Being half Dutch myself, I have always wanted to visit Amsterdam. Although I have been as a child, I don’t have a very clear memory from that trip. So, last summer I went again with my best friend and now Amsterdam is one of my favourite European cities with its quirky houses, never-ending canals, and charming little benches. I promise you that Amsterdam looks just scenic as and romantic as it does in The Fault in Our Stars movie.
You can take the train from Schiphol airport to the city of Amsterdam. Train tickets can be bought on Trainline and cost as little as £4.88 one way (with a railcard). From the train station you can take a tram to wherever your hotel is, but prices will vary depending on how far you are travelling.
The most famous aspect of Amsterdam is undeniably the canals. The city itself consists of around 90 islands that are connected by 1,500 bridges. Although it is possible to explore the city of canals on foot, what better way to experience Amsterdam than on a canal boat! The cheapest canal ride that we could find was around 12 euros, which included the ride itself and a tour guide. If you don’t fancy floating on the canal, you can take the tram or simply just walk along it. And, if you want to fully emerge yourself into Dutch culture, you could hire a bike for as cheap as 6 euros and experience their famous bike lanes.
If the weather is good, I would recommend a picnic in Vondelpark. Park Plaza offers breakfast, lunch and dinner – with vegan options on offer. Although the restaurant is highly Instagrammable and perfect for people-watching, the prices are not too student-friendly. Instead, one could opt for packing a Dutch lunch, such as a broodje kroket (a soft white bun with a deep-fried croquette).
Povertjes are the famous loved Dutch sweet treat that I would recommend to all. Povertjes are small fluffy pancakes, typically served with powdered sugar and syrup. You can find pancake houses on pretty much every corner of Amsterdam. Next to the Anne Frank House we ate at PANCAKES Amsterdam Westermarkt, and according to my vegan friend their vegan pancakes are amazing. Whatever you do in Amsterdam, you must go to a pancake house.
One of the most famous must-dos in Amsterdam is undeniably the Anne Frank House, which I encourage everyone to visit. It is an important reminder of those that lost their lives during World War Two and the suffering that they went through. Be sure to purchase your tickets online as early as possible since they sell out very quickly. Tickets cost 10 euros for an adult or 5 euros if you have a European Youth Card.
Another tourist sight is the Museumplein, where three major museums are located – the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk Museum. We visited the Rijksmuseum for 20 euros per person, which is a museum dedicated to history and art in Amsterdam. If museums aren’t your thing, I would still recommend walking through the Museumplein as it’s a beautiful area in Amsterdam, definitely worthy of some photos.
For a night-out, Amsterdam has a range of clubs. The famous Leidestraat consists of numerous bars and terraces for pre-drinking. Clubbing tends to begin at around 12am, but clubs do not fill up until around 1am. Although we did not go clubbing, the best club according to tourists is Escape. Depending on which event you attend, entry can range from about 7,50 euros to 17 euros.
Amsterdam has so much more to offer than it’s coffee shops and Red Light District. From its canals to its culture and food, the city is certainly something special. And, if you plan smartly a weekend away can be highly affordable. I hope that you all visit Amsterdam and fall in love with the city, just as I did.