The city of canals, bikes, bridges and some other pretty interesting stuff…! Amsterdam is the perfect weekend break for new lovers, stag and hen do’s (perhaps we’re still a bit young for that..?!) or just friends who want to go away for a fun European city break.
If you’ve been to ‘The Dam’ then you’ll know it’s a city that has a few laws of its own…But once you’ve got over the illegal being legal and the erotic shops and, well, the window shopping being a little more than you bargained for…There’s a lot to see that is, what shall we say?… a little bit more PG. Of course I went with two boys and met up with another two (see above) so it was slightly tricky to get out of the city what I actually wanted…but I still managed to see and do what I wanted – almost…there were a few things I hadn’t exactly planned to do but that’s a story for another time!
Anne Frank’s House
Anyone who doesn’t know about Anne Frank’s Diary needs to get a culture-check…! World War II ring any bells? Well, Amsterdam is the city that held Anne and her family in a little house during the war until they were caught by Dutch Nazis. After the war, her Father published her diary and transformed their annex in to a museum by her father. It’s amazing to see how these people lived for so long in such an enclosed space – the wallpaper is untouched, and you can see Anne’s personal interests through the posters that scatter her rather small room. There’s plenty of little snippets of her writing which are fantastic – especially when you consider this was the output from a fourteen-year-old girls brain! But you’ll want to book your tickets in advance – and I mean like before you board the plane, or ship or whatever to actually get into Amsterdam – trust me, you don’t not want to be waiting in the queue!
As I’m sure you already know Amsterdam is bike crazy. Cyclists have the right of way on the road and it is a case of pedal and hope for the very best because it’s a bit of a wacky races – except you’re on a bike…so if it goes wrong, it probably won’t be great for anyone involved…But it’s an experience, and definitely the best way to get around the city efficiently! However, if the roads are a little intimidating for you to thoroughly enjoy the ride, head to Vondelpark and cycle through the green trees, past little sanctuaries of water. Pretty and relaxing!
The Amsterdam Sign
Oh the famous ‘IAmsterdam’ sign that is posted all over Instagram to confirm to all your follows that yes, you have in fact been to Amsterdam. This was probably my least favourite thing to do as it wasn’t overly great…it is just a sign with a million tourists and go-pros…But it’s one of those things you’ve got to go and see. And it’s right in front of ghd Van Gogh Museum! So you may as well stop by and battle your way to the front for that perfect selfie before checking out some actual cool stuff.
The Red Light District
Okay, so I know I said PG…but you do actually have to check this area out. And if you’re just walking by, you’re technically not doing anything uncertified. I’m pretty prudish when it comes to this type of thing, so I found it rather confronting…however, if you’re a bit more easy going, you’re bound to see the fun side of it. My friends certainly had a good laugh. It is a bit weird, but once you get used to the half-dressed girls waving at you, it’s not all that bad. Plus there’s loads of cool bars where you can stop and have a drink (if you’re like me, you might need one after that)! I didn’t actually take any of my own photos of this because rumour has it if you take a photo you get a bucket thrown over you…it might be a bucket of urine…I don’t know but I certianly didn’t want to test it and find out…as I said, bit confronting!
So there’s just a few things you can do and see in the Dam but there is a load more, including the Heineken experience, which unfortunately I didn’t get to do. So definately prioritise what you want to do and see – make a plan so you don’t miss anything! I’m sure you all have ideas of your own which might be a bit more on the edge…but each to their own. Be safe, have fun. It’s a fantastic place – albeit a little pricy, but where isn’t these days!
1ST: authors own