My Very Own Ultimate Amsterdam Guide

Hi, hows your life going?

In my life things have been great so far, I even got a chance to try being a guide in Amsterdam! How cool is that, right? In this article I want to show you my ultimate tour around this beautiful city: nice, extensive and inexpensive; since Ive never done this before, Ive just dedicated some time to particular activities and seasons. So lets begin!

Starting our tour by the Amsterdam Centraal station, an enormous Gothic building designed by Pierre Cuypers, who is also known for his design of the Rijksmuseum.

First things first, you gotta see where youre actually heading to, no? So now that youre standing in front of the station, turn over and head to IJ lake on its other side. Youll get there easily by an underpass. You need to get to the other bank, and thats what free ferries are for! Youll eventually arrive right under a high mast: the Adam Lookout. From its top youll be able to see the entire country if the weather is friendly enough, and you can even swing over the “nothing” under you! However, you have to buy tickets in advance: one entry is 12,50€, with swing counted its even more expensive.

Now hurry up! Get back to the other bank and if you feel like seeing Amsterdam from a different perspective, nows the best time to hop on the sightseeing boat (tickets must be booked in advance as well). One tour usually takes around 1,5 hours, and its worthy if youre visiting the town for the first time. If you dont fancy such tours, simply follow the largest street of Adam, Damrak, head to the famous Dam Square, where youll find the Koninklijke Paleis (Royal Palace), Gothic Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) & Madame Tussauds, plus its the best gauge point for any further sightseeing. The National Monument, a white stone pillar designed by J.J.P. Oud and erected in 1956 to memorialize the victims of World War II, dominates the opposite side of the square. Also overlooking the plaza are the NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky and the upscale department store De Bijenkorf.

When you head right, youll get to De Jordaan district, where youll find e.g. Anne Frank Huis (House of Anne Frank) or Westerpark. If you head left, youll end up in De Wallen (Red Light District) and thats where things can get very interesting! However, thats not what we want to see right now. By the longest shopping street of the Netherlands, the Kalverstraat, and Begijnensteeg youll get to one of the most tranquil tourist places in Amsterdam. Begijnhof is an enclosed courtyard dating from the early 14th century. Nothing survived of the earliest dwellings, but the Begijnhof, which is cut off from Amsterdams traffic noise, still retains a sanctified atmosphere. It was originally built as a sactuary for the Begijntjes, a Catholic sisterhood who lived like nuns, although they took no monastic vows. Houses in Begijnhof are still occupied by single women, so respect their privacy and also be quiet.

Only a few steps away is located the famous Bloemenmarkt. The Amsterdam Flower Market is the only floating flower market in the world, and one of the most fragrant places of interest of Amsterdam – in all seasons. This unique market exists since 1862. The flower stalls stand on the houseboats and evoke the old days when the market was daily supplied by boat. The flower market of Amsterdam is a particularly colorful place in the city. Youll find there all sorts of tulips, narcissus, geraniums and many other types of flowers. At the Amsterdam Flower Market you can either buy bouquets, single flowers or bulbs. The bulbs are ready for export, so you can enjoy them at home too. Now head to the very end of the market and turn left where the last stall is situated. Eventually youll come to three of the most beautiful canals in town: Herengracht, Keizersgracht, Prisengracht. As youll be continuing forward, youll spot the Bulldog Palace on your left side. This place can be considered just a grand café, however, it is also the biggest and most supplied coffeeshop in the town. Its very cozy and funky, so if you fancy experiencing such thing like having a coffee or a delicious cake in between the stoners…this is the right place.

Now head forward, and as soon as you another lovely canal, the Singelgracht, turn left and youll be facing my most favourite place in the town: the Vondelpark. Its considered the most visited park of the entire country, however, you can easily find a calm place for yourself since its enormously huge and it provides you with hundreds of kilometres of paths. Free concerts are given at the open-air theatre or in the summer at the parks bandstand. Two years ago I had a chance to experience Tiësto and Don Diablo this way! Other attractions are the statue of the poet Vondel, the cast iron music dome, the Groot Melkhuis with playground for children, and the historical Pavilion with its restaurant Vertigo, opening in summer a popular terrace. I particularly the t Blauwe Theehuis café, it makes me feel so comfortable!

Now, somewhere approximately in the middle between the initial entrance and the t Blauwe Theehuis café is situated an overpass. If youre coming from the café side, use the exit on your right and then just continue right. If youre coming from the entry side, use the left exit and go left. Continue until you see silhouettes of the three of the most famous Dutch museums on your left (its not too far, just a couple of minutes on foot): the Stedelijk Museum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum. Here youll also find the popular IAmsterdam sign (the other one is located on Schiphol airport) and a smaller Modern Art (Moco) Museum.

Now that youre standing in front of the Rijksmuseum, turn right until you come to the canal, then turn left, and when theres nowhere to continue since a broad highway is in front of you, turn right, and go ahead until you see it: the Heineken Experience Brewery. Tickets must be booked in advance here as well. In this district you can find many inexpensive restaurants and fastfoods, so if youre hungry, just look around yourself and I assure you youll find something interesting.

And thats very our tour gets a little bit complicated, since were quite far from…well, basically everything. You can either walk down Vijzelgracht street and eventually come to Bloemenmarkt (takes about 20 minutes) and the Rokin Metro sign, or use the 52 Metro (initial station: Vijzelgracht) line and hop off on the next station named Rokin (direction Noord). As soon as you reach Rokin, turn right: and theres it, the renowned Red Light District of Amsterdam. Leaving nothing to the imagination, some stereotypes about this area are really true… There are plenty of sex shops, peep shows, brothels, an elaborate condom shop, a sex museum and prostitutes in red-lit windows.

Eventually youll find yourself in an Asian district (if you do not turn anywhere), which is another amazing place to get some great meals in. The built-up area is now slowly beginning to thin out, and youll start recognizing buildings of Damrak on your left and the Centraal station in the distance. Then use any of the bridges leading over the water (dont judge me for not knowing the exact name please, Im lost in all those water areas around Amsterdam) and youre almost back at the Centraal station where we began, hooray!

Now…ah, writing this article made me so “homesick”, I was literally there when I was explaining the route! I hope you felt like that, too, although….some of you may find it a bit complex at first, but when you arrive to Amsterdam, itll all start making sense since Amsterdam is rather easy to wander around, I promise!

Ill keep you updated with how my very own Adam tour turned out like and until then…

Have a great day!


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