When Amsterdam is mentioned, the first thing that springs to most of our minds is getting high as a kite (legally) in a random café by the canal. But hey, smoking weed is not for everyone and its definitely not the only thing this wonderful Dutch city has to offer.
So, you’ve booked yourself a little weekend trip and even if you do want to visit a café at some stage, it’s not the only thing you want to do. Here are some of the very best activities and places to eat and drink while you’re abroad.
Where To Stay:
Hostel: Generator Amsterdam
You’ll find a Generator hostel in most cities and they never disappoint. There’s always such a buzz around the place and the interior is funky as hell.
This hostel in particular has a raised café, outdoor terrace and a bar, so it’s the ideal venue for people who want to socialise while they’re away.
If you’re looking to rent bikes, the hostel provide them, which is handy AF. You can grab a bike and start your adventure as soon as you arrive.
Amsterdam is famous for its beautiful canals, so what better way to enjoy your stay than to rent out a houseboat?
This is the complete, authentic Amsterdam experience and the perfect way to make for a memorable trip.
The houseboat itself is newly designed and can host four guests. Don’t worry it’s not as squished as you would expect, in fact it has its own kitchen, living area, terrace and two bedrooms – Ideal.
They even have a Nespresso machine so you can have a coffee kick in the morning.
Hotel: Sir Adam Hotel
Sir Adam Hotel, Amsterdam is located in the legendary Amsterdam Tower.
The best view you’ll get of the city is at the very top of this building where you get to swing (yes you read that correctly) out over the edge in what is an amazing experience.
he hotel is a music lovers heaven. Installed in each room is a vinyl record player with numerous classic discs left beside it. As well as this, Gibson guitars hang off the wall just above the bed making this place cooler than cool.”
Hotel: W Hotel
If you want to up the ante a little, the W Hotel offers some of the most stunning rooms in the city, not to mention they have a heated rooftop pool.
There’s a rooftop bar, a spa and a gym – Everything you need for a fancy, relaxing weekend getaway.
It’s in a deadly location and it also has 3 on-site restaurants: MR PORTER, The Butcher and the Michelin-starred restaurant The Duchess.
This place is lush.
What To Do: Red Light District – SANDEMANs Free Walking Tour
I have been to a lot of cities in Europe and I’ve done a free walking tour in almost every single one – This was the best one I’ve done by far.
A walking tour is the perfect way to become familiar with a city and also learn a bit about it. What makes the Red Light District Tour unique from other walking tours is you actually do it in the evening, so if you’ve flown in late, this is an ideal way to spend your first evening.
The tour guides take you through the Red Light District itself and give you information on how it’s run. Most of the guides live in the city so they really do have a good insight into it. My guide was friendly with some of the girls in the windows and could tell us about their lives and why they chose to work there, which was really interesting.
She also made us guess the theme of each street, I was very surprised when my guess of American Dream turned out to be Tranny Alley.
During the tour you also visit a Condomerie and a peep show. The peep show is one of the most bizzare things I’ve ever done but it is definitely worth doing at least once in your life.
What To Eat: La Perla
This is by far the best pizza place in the Dam.
Their pizzas are made with unreal stringy mozzarella and sweet tomato sauce.
Their Calabrese Di Spilinga must be tried. It’s made from tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, salami and spicy oil – It’s unbelievable.
These guys are super sound too, they’ll even let you take the bottles of wine to go.
Where To Go: Rent Bikes and Cycle The City
Amsterdam is a lot bigger than you would expect. Renting a bike is one of the best ways to get around and you’ll also feel just like a local.
Beware though, cyclists can be quite agro, so avoid stopping on the cycle paths for a chat or photo.
You will find a list of bike rental companies here.
Where To Drink: XtraCold Icebar
This place is probably one of the most Instagrammed venues in Amsterdam because it’s proper cool (pun intended).
Drinks are served in ice glasses, it’s probably a good idea to wrap up while you’re there, brrr!
For The Thrill Seeker: Try Out “Europes Highest Swing”
Dangle your little toes 100 meters over the IJ on the giant swing and try not to scream.
The A’DAM LOOKOUT will provide you with the best views of the city.
This one is not for the faint-hearted.
What To Do: Anne Frank Tour
As a history nut, I wouldn’t be able to write this list without including this landmark.
The Anne Frank house is one of the most famous attractions in the world and it really is worth the visit. The queues to get in can be crazy-long so it’s best to book tickets in advance.
What To Eat: PLLEK
This is one of the hippest and quirkiest places in the city and there’s always something exciting happening.
There’s savage grub, yoga classes, music, movies and deadly craic. This is the kind of place you can really impress your mates with if you’re in charge of picking a cool place for dinner.
The parties here in the summer are insane.
Where To Go: Stroll Around Vondelpark
The Vondelpark is a public urban park of 47 hectares. If you’re on a tight budget why not pack yourself a picnic, tuck in and chill here for the day?
Where To Drink: Radion
You could find yourself raving for a little too long in this 24-hour club. As in, you could stay clubbing for an entire day if you wanted.
This trendy club with an industrial vibe hosts parties and events regularly and they also have class live DJs and musical performances.
For The Thrill Seeker: Go To A Sex Show
Time to get really cultured.
The live Sex Show is really something else. You’ll see real-life couples getting down and dirty and you’ll even see some things you might not want to tell your mother about…
*cough, cough, a woman shooting a banana from her lady-parts*
Regardless of how you feel about it, these shows are shockingly great craic.
What To Do: Lovers Boat Tour
Sure you just have to cruise down the famous canals.
There are quite a few boat cruises you can do on the canals. Some at night while you tuck into a candlelit dinner, some where you get free pizza and some where you get a full tour of the city.
The Lovers Boat Tour is definitely one I would recommend, as it’s reasonably priced and you get to see the city from a whole new perspective.
The company do quite a few tours so you can pick what suits you best.
What To Eat: HappyHappyJoyJoy
This Asian dining experience must be tried.
It has the most incredible interior, with red umbrellas covering the ceiling and quirky posters stuck on the walls. They also serve delicious grub so you’d be silly not to.
You’ll be telling everyone about this place after your visit.
Where To Go: The Sex Museum
This place is great for a good laugh.
There’s nothing too extravagant about it, but you will have a good time that’s for sure.
It’s simple, quirky and just a bit of fun.
Where To Drink: The End Karoke Bar
If you want to take it a little easier than clubbing for 24-hours straight, this karaoke bar is genuinely one of the funnest places to go in the Dam.
It’s dark and grimy and doesn’t look like much, but once you get in and line up your first tune you’ll find yourself there for hours.
For The Thrill Seeker: Go Bungee Jumping at Faralada Crane Hotel
Want to dive head first off a building?
This one’s for you, ye lil dare-devil ye.