This may or may not, be the most useless blog to be written simply due to the fact that literally every Tom, Dick and Harry has been Amsterdam at this point but I feel as though I can offer some useful advice to those who haven’t been to the city or even plan on going back. Continue on reading for some ideas on places to stay, eat and visit as I am a very sad individual who has visited the city 7 times…and counting.
This may sound cheesy but Amsterdam is my happy place. I am very fortunate to have visited many different countries and cities around the world in my 22 years of being alive, however, Amsterdam is somewhere I will always go back to.
I am going to keep this as appropriate as possible so in other words, find the ‘coffee shops’ yourself, I’m not helping you with that one.
Anyway, lets get into it…
Places to Stay
ID Aparthotel Sloterdijk
I have stayed here 7/7 times I have visited Amsterdam so I can’t actually recommend anywhere else. And to be honest, I can’t recommend this place enough! ID Aparthotel is located in Sloterdijk, just outside of Amsterdam Central. The hotel is a 2-minute walk to the train station and then 5 minutes on the train into the centre. Staying outside of Amsterdam Central allows you to save some money as the hotels in the centre tend to be a little more expensive. However, the rooms in this hotel is something you won’t experience elsewhere. These hotel rooms are designed as actual apartments equipped kitchen and living spaces and they are huge and very affordable. I find that it is easiest to book through booking.com
Places to Eat
Vegan Junk Food Bar
This place is a MUST! Whether you are a vegan or not, you need to try here!
Vegan Junk Food Bar is a plant based restaurant and you wouldn’t even know it! My boyfriend and I both eat meat and we still couldn’t believe how realistic it tasted. In the photo below you can see; a ‘beef’ burger, a ‘chicken’ burger, loaded ‘chicken’ fries and fried ‘shrimp’. (We were hungry, don’t judge).
There are 5 different Vegan Junk Food Bars located throughout Amsterdam, meaning that you are more than likely never far from at least one. There is usually a queue for a table but trust me, it’s worth it.
If you are after a good breakfast or lunch in Amsterdam, Greenwoods will definitely sort you out. Offering homemade Irish soda bread, this place is hard to beat. For a European menu, the menu is quite recognisable with dishes such as Eggs Benedict, Classic Fish and Chips and The Full English Breakfast. There are two Greenwood restaurants in Amsterdam and they are seriously worth visiting. mmm…
A foodies dream!
Food Hallen is an unbelievable indoor food market serving a range high-end street food and beverages in the urban Oud-West neighbourhood of Amsterdam. This food hall has everything you could think of from wood-fired pizzas, to Japanese Sushi, to Greek Mezze to Artisanal Burgers. Amsterdam’s best-loved kitchens are located right here.
Think St. George’s Market on steroids…
The hall also has a large seating area and bars to allow you to enjoy your food and take it all in. A great way to spend an evening in Amsterdam.
Things to do
Red Light Secrets Museum
It is inevitable that you will visit the Red Light District whether its for a nosey or to pay for the services provided (no judgement here). However, somewhere really worth visiting is the Red Light Secrets Museum. Located in the heart of the Red Light District, this museum will give you an insight into the history of Amsterdam’s Red Light District and answer all your questions. Who chooses to work here? And why? How much money do they make? What happens when the curtains close? You can only really find out once you go inside…
Anne Frank House
Honestly, in my opinion, this is not worth the hype. I was extremely excited to visit the Anne Frank House after years of learning about her story at school, however, I really didn’t think it was worth it. It felt that it lacked authenticity and information which meant that I wasn’t actually sure what I was actually looking at half of the time spent here. If you do decide to visit the attraction, be prepared to queue, we waited in one for 3 hours, not ideal.
…no words to be honest. Visit the sex museum if you are up for a laugh and don’t cringe too easily. Entry fee is only €5. No pictures for this one either, use your imagination and multiply it by 10.
Vondelpark is the largest and most famous park in Amsterdam which usually welcomes around 10 million visitors a year. If you visit Amsterdam in the summer, I would recommend renting a bike and cycling around the park. It’s beautiful and nearby to the Van Gough Museum and Rijksmuseum if you fancy visiting them as well. It’s also free.
Some Friendly Tips
- DO NOT walk in the bicycle lane or jay walk – Amsterdam cyclists are crazy and you will certainly be hit if you don’t be careful.
- REMEMBER to lock your bike up – bike thieves are ruthless in Amsterdam so if you rent a bike, be sure to lock it up.
- DO NOT take pictures of the women in the windows at the Red Light District- have some respect.
- ENJOY YOURSELF!
Laura Magennis is a final year BSc in Communication Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found on LinkedIn @LauraMagennis