I absolutely ADORED this city, everything about it was just my vibe. The people were so friendly (and the majority of their English was incredible), all of the shops and restaurants were a designer’s dream, everything was priced reasonably, and not to mention being surrounded by those stunning canals was a nice touch!
I was able to meet my friend Nivi “halfway” as she’s currently living in Dubai. This trip also proved to me how small the world truly is, as I also met a couple of girls in my hostel not only from Vancouver, but who happen to live four blocks away. Had to go across the world to meet my neighbours!
We stayed at two hostels that were from the same company and I would HIGHLY recommend them. COCOMAMA was a little on the smaller side (but close to an adorable breakfast place called TOON), so try to get a spot at ECOMAMA first. Let’s just say this hostel had a hip cafe in the front, bikes hanging from the ceiling, a swing at reception, and a fort. That’s right, a fort! Hands down, my favourite European hostel I’ve stayed at.
VONDELPARK is what all the cool kids will be doing, so make sure to make an afternoon of it. Bring some snacks and wine and you’re set.
Rent a CANAL BIKE (paddle boat) for 1-1.5 hours and explore this city’s canals. Forewarning, while Amsterdam is known for being very chill, “open hours” is a very vague term and we had to walk to a few different locations to find an open one. You can also purchase some wine as well (and hopefully keep that steering straight!)
DE 9 STRAATJES (or THE NINE STREETS) is a shopper’s dream. Made up of, you guessed it, nine streets, here you can catch a glimpse of clothing stores and gift shops that give Amsterdam its unique style. Everything was relatively priced here as well.
The one thing I wish I had more time for in Amsterdam was visiting all of the museums, as I wasn’t able to check out the RIJKSMUSEUM or the VAN GOGH MUSEUM (I guess I have a reason to go back!). However, right around that area is where you’ll find the iconic I AM STERAM sign.
For museums, I designated a morning to do the ANNE FRANK HOUSE which is a must do. Prepare yourself for lines up to two hours, and we ended up going before it opened and had to wait quite a while. Of course, it’s worth it, and when you’re done, head across the street to the CHEESE MUSEUM. Nearby as well is THE PANCAKE BAKERY were you can try a dutch pancake. Prepare yourself, the size of these are insane!
Amsterdam is also home to the HEINEKEN EXPERIENCE, which was really interactive and also included a few beers with the ticket price. Sold.
And a great way to end a trip is to have a few more drinks under a windmill-turned-brewery, BROUWRJ ‘T LJ. Doesn’t get more Dutch than that.
Amster-dammnn you’re fine!
Check out the map below for all the spots I hit up.