Amsterdam has something to offer for all. World-class museums, historic sites, beautiful canals and an abundance of hustle and bustle. It’s no wonder Amsterdam is on your to-do list. The city is the perfect answer for a cultural get-away and here’s why.
1. Visit the Anne Frank house
This is at the top of my list. If you’re lucky enough to grab yourself a ticket before visiting Amsterdam then you can skip the queues and go in at an appointed time before 3:30pm. However, if like me your selected date was sold out this means you have to start queuing up after 3:30pm. Priced at just €9 this museum offers an insight into the life of Anne Frank and many others in a Nazi-occupied Netherlands. It is definitely worth the 2.5 hour + wait. I came out feeling overwhelmed, it made it very much more of a reality as opposed to just a story. If its one thing you can’t miss, it’s this!
2. Free walking tour
If you’re looking to get more of an insight on Amsterdams history and culture, a tour of the city is the best way for this. What’s really great is that Amsterdam has many tour guides offering free tours every morning from Dam Square. There is an option to give the tour guide a tip. I spent 3 hours walking around the different Amsterdam neighbourhoods from the Jewish quarter to the Red light district. I learned everything about how Amsterdam was founded and built to what it’s like working as a girl in one of the many windows dotted around town. This is a great way to explore the city by foot but why not try a canal cruise for an inside look on the city connected by water.
3. Iamsterdam Letters
In just a short tram journey away you could be headed to Museumplein for the 2m tall letters where you’re within walking distance of top attractions including The Heineken Experience tour, Van Gough Museum, Vondelpark and Rijksmuseum. This makes for a great photo opportunity to tell all your social media friends where you are. The letters are located at the back of the Rijksmuseum and there is a nearby garden with water fountains that make for the perfect spot to eat your lunch on a pleasant sunny day.
4. The Begijnhof
It’s no secret that Amsterdam is home to many secrets but what fascinated me the most about this place was the fact that nestled right in the very heart of the city, amongst the sex selling and the drug taking, was a sanctuary for women to spend their lives. Established in the 14th century this safe haven courtyard opened up to the “Beguines” sisterhood, today its houses are occupied by older single women. They nursed the sick and taught the children. This tranquil spot is located near Spui. The south entrance is an arched door on the Spui. This is a perfect way of escaping the hustle and bustle of the city whilst learning about its past.
5. Sex museum
Priced at €5 per person, you really cant miss out on this museum. The sex musuem offers everything from collections of pictures to moving figures. Its an interesting look into sexuality and the many different forms of it. There’s so much ‘history’ within this museum dating back to the Ancient Greeks and the Romans. They truly were wild. My favourite room was the dimly neon-lit room with different pictures. I had to leave the room 3 times due to my uncontrollable laughter and the comments from my friend Becky. It was the highlight of my trip. The museum itself is like a maze, with many rooms. It is located within walking distance from Central Station, at Damrak 18, one of the busiest streets of the city.
6. Red light district
To get the best experience of the Red Light District, venture out in the evening to see the girls at their peak. There’s an abundance of bars on every street if you want to sit down and take in your surroundings. The streets are busy and there’s a real sense of joy amongst the crowd. You’ll meet all kinds of people along these streets and its a really safe area to be in.
7. Explore Amsterdams bars, cafes and peep shows
Amsterdam has many ‘Sex shows’ taking place each year. We decide to have our go at a ‘peep show’. Ignoring the 1 person per cabin rule, we rushed in in pairs together. What we saw after paying our euros I’ll leave up to you to imagine. It’s a weird experience and one we came out of in fits of giggles. So if you’re up for it definitely go and check these out!