Morning: Amsterdam can be explored on foot or by the popular, local method of transport – cycling. Everywhere you go in this city people are travelling by bikes. On your first morning in Amsterdam head to Vondelpark, either by foot or by bike and explore this beautiful, green space. Enjoy a sit down brunch in the park or pick up something on route; there are plenty of cafes in this area, and Vondelpark is a lovely spot for a picnic. After you have strolled, and people watched, through Vondelpark you may wish to head to the Van Gogh Museum; it houses the largest collection of Van Gogh’s work.
Afternoon: Once you have viewed the works of Van Gogh, walk through the Southern Canal Belt towards the City Centre. Amsterdam is an incredibly picturesque city; you could spend hours walking along the canals. If you are looking for a break from walking/biking, why not take a Canal Cruise? There are many different Canal Cruises and they are a great way to see the sights whilst still being able to relax. I do, however, recommend walking, as you will be able to slip in out of the many shops and cafes alongside the canal. The Sexmuseum is situated in the City Centre and is a popular spot for many tourists to visit. If this is not to your taste, make your way back to your hotel and relax before dinner.
Evening: Before we visited Amsterdam I saw an article on Matador Travel about Café Bern – http://matadornetwork.com/nights/reaching-fondue-nirvana-in-amsterdam and I knew instantly that I needed to go here! We made a reservation for Café Bern at 8pm, as we wanted to make sure we got a table, and I’m glad we did; it was extremely busy. The atmosphere is fantastic, very relaxed with a mixture of both locals and tourists. There are a few different items on the menu but the most popular is the Fondue and Entrecote, and for very good reason; the food is incredible! It is a no brainer that Café Bern made it onto my Top 5 European Foods list. There are lots of bars around Café Bern where you can enjoy some beers after your meal.
After dinner may be a good time to head to the Red Light District. Amsterdam is extremely famous for Sex Tourism so I was intrigued to see what this area was like. It was a very surreal experience and we didn’t linger for long, but being such a famous aspect of Amsterdam I am glad that I ventured to this area.
Morning: Get up early and make your way to Anne Frank Haus. We were lucky to pass the Rijksmueum on our way, which meant that we could stop and take a picture before all the tourists arrived. If you do want a picture of the I Amsterdam sign whilst no one else is there, I would recommend making a detour in the morning, as it gets extremely busy.
The queue for Anne Frank Haus is incredibly long; we waited for around 3 hours. However, if you go with a partner or in a group you can take turns standing in the queue. My boyfriend, Sam, went to get us breakfast whilst I waited in the queue, which helped to pass the time. No matter what time you go the queue is going to be long, but I would100% recommend it; the experience is worth the wait. Reading Anne Frank Diary gives you an understanding of what the Frank family went through during WW2, but being in the house allows you to feel it 10 times more.
After you have finished at Anne Frank Haus take a walk along the canals to the Pancake Bakery for lunch, which serves a delicious selection of sweet and savoury pancakes, as well as soups and salads. If you’re not in the mood for pancakes there are plenty of other eateries in this area. If nothing takes your fancy, stroll along to Leidestraat, where you will find a huge range of shops and restaurants. There are lots of different shops here, including fashion and souvenirs. If shopping is not for you, why not head back to the Rijkmuseum and explore the thousands of pieces they have on display. The building itself dates back to the 19th century and is visually stunning.
If, like me, you love Mexican Food, Los Pilones in Nieuwmarkt serves excellent tacos. The menu is limited and pretty simple, but what they do, they do well! The margaritas here are also very enjoyable. This restaurant is in a bustling area, which means that there are plenty of options for places to go for a drink after your meal. Amsterdam is an incredibly beautiful city; make sure you take it all in on your last night by exploring the canals by moonlight.
Amsterdam is a vibrant, cultural city – there is always something happening! The Beach Volleyball World Championships happened to be taking place the weekend that we were there, so we managed to snap up some tickets. Make sure to investigate what is on when you’re visiting, to make sure you don’t miss out!