Over the course of two trips, I have spent a total of 6 days in Amsterdam and I can say with confidence that it’s one of the prettiest cities in the world with the nicest people. When you’re 21, you’re probably were going there because “marijuana is legal there” but then you realize that there are SO many other things to do. That was part of the reason why I went, but reason #1 was to visit the Anne Frank Huis (house).
Anyways, Amsterdam is safe and lovely and beautiful with lots of history and tons to do that isn’t just getting high. So where are the top five things that I think you should do while you’re there:
Anne Frank Huis. Like I said, this was one of my main reasons for visiting Amsterdam. I could never actually finish her diary when I was 9 or so, but I really ‘like’ (that sounds like an odd thing to say) learning about holocaust history (having lost family in it and all). The tour through her home and the famous attic where she lived with far too many people for two years was extremely claustrophobic with ladders to climb up and walking from tiny room to tiny room. Her actual diary is kept in a glass case in the main room of the attic. It’s an experience for sure. (Photos weren’t allowed inside so all I have are these two photos below.)
Stroll the Red Light District at Night: This might sound odd if you’re on the market for a prostitute, but walking along the canals in the Red Light District at night is really, really pretty. It’s also really safe.
See? Pretty. And blurry. Sorry. #2007
Van Gogh Museum: Because lots of people like art museums a lot more than I do, you are probably one of them and you shouldn’t miss this museum. It’s pretty self explanatory what you’ll see there!
My photography skills in 2007 were something magical.
Marvel at the Architecture (Starting with Rijksmuseum): The architecture is really pretty in Amsterdam and you can start by gazing at the Rijksmuseum. I didn’t go into this museum either time I was there, but it looks SO cool from the outside. You’ll also notice on a lot of the small houses along the canals that they have hooks around the windows on each level. This is how the Dutch get their furniture into and out of their houses (using ropes, etc). Or at least it used to be, because their stairwells are so small. Very smart, those Dutch people.
Basically it looks like a castle.
Lastly, visit The Heineken Experience. I wrote about it here, but it’s truly a lot of fun. And if you hate Heineken in the US, I believe the Heineken in the brewery was a LOT better than Heineken here. It’s a fun way to spend part of an afternoon.
Those are my top 5 for Amsterdam. Bonus points if you go to the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum and the Sex Museum, if you have more time. And don’t forget, of course, to visit a coffee shop!
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