Top 5 in A'dam


Today I am wrapping up my Amsterdam posts with my top 5 must do while in Amsterdam. Amsterdam has been one of my favorite cities so far while living in England (which is only 9 months) and I would love to return again at some point. I just loved the energy. I am not fond of the hustle and bustle of big cities and Amsterdam was able to offer the attractions that a traveler would want to see but also a sort of calmness as well. Maybe it's the water.....

#5 See the Red Light District

It's a little cliche to go to Amsterdam and see the Red Light District but I think it is a necessary part to a trip to Amsterdam. You know you are curious to see just what the district includes. Go during the day if you are opposed to seeing the working girls. But do go, even if it is just to say you have been! What I found was that it wasn't all bad. There were great little shops and restaurants all throughout the district. It wasn't all about sex and drugs, but that was a part of it. But it wasn't like a bunch of hooligan people are out running around. It was definitely not as bad as I expected. And what is crazier is the fact that there are some beautiful buildings throughout the district. If you have a sense of humour and can be open minded for just a few short blocks, then you can handle the Red Light District.

#4 Take a tour

While in Amsterdam, you must take some sort of tour. We chose to take a WWII/Holocaust Tour through the city and it was the most informative tour I have ever been on. It was a 3 hour walk through the city, learning about important places and people in Amsterdam under Nazi reign. It was a sobering and heartbreaking tour but one that I will be forever glad that we braved the cold rainy weather to experience. You can read more about the tour here if you would like. But if you choose to take another tour, take a canal or bike tour through the town. Amsterdam is a great city to take a tour through. Especially if the tour is through some other form of transportation besides your feet! We chose the canal tour and it offered a wonderful view of the city. Like I said, any tour in Amsterdam should be great and the city has plenty to offer. Do your research ( I love Tripadvisor reviews) and make a choice! Let someone guide you through all that Amsterdam has to offer!

#3 Eat at Cafe Bern

When you walk into Cafe Bern you notice three things; it's tiny, it's completely full, and it smells like old cheese. Kind of contradictory right? This place is AMAZING. The menu, which is in Dutch but the food is actually Swiss, offers only about 7-10 menu items. I don't think I would be making assumptions if I said that I think the menu has probably never changed. And it's for good reason. Having tasted the fondue, house salad, tomato soup, entrecote, house wine and bread, I can say that I have tasted most of their classic dishes. And they. are. DELICIOUS. We visited this restaurant twice, to make sure that the food was consistent. It was. Both times, we did not make reservations and sat at the bar, which was perfectly fine. And both times, we were served by a sweet waitress named Sabine. I literally dream about this place. You must try it. However, after looking their website, their main location will be closed until next summer for renovation. They do have a temporary location and I'm sure it will be just as lovely.

#2 Anne Frank House

Anne Frank House is an absolute must while in Amsterdam. So book your tickets in advance online so that you do not have to wait in the hours long line. To visit Anne Frank House is to step back in time. Most people have read her diary as school age children and it is a humble experience to be able to visit the place where the diary was written. She was such a bright, funny and witty little girl. Her legacy and story will live on for many years to come.

#1 Hang with the locals

The Dutch are seriously cool people. There was not one restaurant, tour, or any place that we did not have a conversation with some local residents. They were all very friendly and wanted to get to know us better. Luckily, everyone in Amsterdam spoke pretty much perfect English so there was never a problem with a language barrier. They even could understand my very Southern Dad :) I really found that the people made Amsterdam what is is. A lovely city.


What are your "must-dos" in Amsterdam? I know I missed plenty :)

-Jamie

Travel Tuesday

26 comments

  1. I would love to see Anne Frank's house as well as the Red Light District. But really I would be happy just getting to visit Amsterdam!

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  2. If there weren't so many other places I need to visit, I would be there every weekend!

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  3. I'm not sure how I missed the 'A-Dam' abbreviation this whole time or if it's something you just made up, either way, I love it. ;) I would also add to your list strolling the canals, the Rijksmuseum and the Reypenaer Cheese Tasting room!

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  4. I've never heard of that cafe but swiss food is amazing, especially because of all that cheese! I would love to visit it :)

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  5. A cheese tasting room.....how did I miss this?! See, now I have a definite reason to go back.....Thanks!!!

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  6. Definitey try it out if you go to Amsterdam!! They definitely have amazing fondue!

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  7. I haven't been to Amsterdam yet but a bike tour through the city sounds amazing! And just the idea of fondue makes me want to jump on a plane!

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  8. I really wanted to do the bike tour...but I'm not very confident on a bike in busy places :) Plus, we got to bring wine on the canal tour!!

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  9. I so loved the Anne Frank House, I was one of the miraculously lucky people who walked up tp no line to get in after having forgotten to book my tickets online! I was so happy I was able to experience the house.

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  10. Oh it is so fun! You have to try it one day!

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  11. Your last picture has ruined me for the rest of the day. Biiicycle! Biiicycle! I want to ride my Biiiicycle! My boyfriends family is Dutch and I feel left out that I haven't been to Amsterdam yet. How selfish that he didn't want to use one of our vacations to there because he's already been six times! :P

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  12. I'd definitely opt for a bike ride/tour around the city!

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  13. Love Amsterdam. The Anne Frank house is definitely something I would recommend anyone doing while they are there (I wrote a post about it today actually!) I think just wandering the canals is a nice way to take it all in as well!

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  14. I've always wanted to go there...hopefully soon! I would love to just bike around and hang with locals :)

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  15. I agree, visiting Amsterdam won't be complete without dropping by Anne Frank's house.. this girl is just so witty and intelligent, she could have been a great writer if only she's given a longer life. But Amsterdam is indeed one of the awesomest cities in the world. There's no doubt about that. I want to ride my bicycle!

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  16. Love your #1! ha! great tip! sometimes overlooked! I must say that what I'm most sad about my trip to Amsterdam is not taking a tour and not going on the canals! I'll have to try it out next time :)

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  17. I have been to Amsterdam once but it was when I was 10 years old so not surprisingly we did the Anne Frank museum but not the red light district!! Maybe next time!

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  18. Haha I know right!! I had the song stuck in my head the whole time we were there :) You must make your boyfriend go!! At least make it a stop over trip on a vacation!

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  19. It's definitely worth the time in a city like Amsterdam :)

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  20. I know! I saw your post and it was wonderful. I literally was speechless the whole way through the house. I just couldn't believe that I was able to experience being there!

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  21. It's so awesome! I really hope we get to make a return trip. I would love to even live there!

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  22. Can you imagine if she had lived longer and been a writer? I can only imagine her books about the conecentration camps and her adding in her personality. She was truly incredible. I feel so lucky to have been able to visit her house.

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  23. Yes! The people are amazing! I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with the locals and learning about everyday life in Amsterdam. They all were totally cool.

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  24. Yeah, I wouldn't recommend the Red Light District for children haha! Although they do have child walkways so that you can take a path around the bad streets!

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  25. Hi there - I am popping over from your interview with Marielle. I love your top 5! I think I did most of them - I didn't hang out with the locals though! I also would recommend going to a diamond factory. I loved learning about the four cs of diamond grading!

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  26. Good Amsterdam picks! I'd suggest the Van Gogh Museum or the Vondelpark for a picnic among locals. I don't think there was anything I disliked there; it is such a stellar place!

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