1) You can rent a boat and drive the canals on your own!
Most people do the commercial canal tours which are offered at every corner of the city. Don’t! Its much cooler to get yourself a picnic and drive through the water streets on your own. You will see lots of private boats where locals have wine and food and do a little sunshine trip.
Where: We did it at boatly (find all links here
2) Public transportation is not cheap!
I was used to use busses or trams in every European (and asean) city I went to, because of the moderate prices. Not so in Amsterdam, where I found out that uber is more comfortable (of course it is), everywhere within minutes available, and CHEAPER than the bus. If you are not using this app now, do it in Amsterdam!
3) You are allowed to have sex in public parks!
Whaaaaat!?!? I hear you say. Well, I was amused (and a bit shocked too), but its the truth. After dawn you are allowed to have your tryst in every public park, only watch out is that you should not be too! loud. LOL.
4) No pre-booked ticket – no museum!
It’s awful standing in line for hours (and while its rather raining or sun-burning) and getting no tickets for the museum you want to see. Top 3 museums (which means they are CROWDED all day long, ever before opening) are: Van Gogh museum – a don’t miss, Rijksmuseum (soooo huge and it will take you the whole day) and Anne Franks house (skip it, it’s not more than walking in line with other tourists in a normal looking house where you won’t be able to walk when you want to walk and stay when you want to stay).
Plan for every museum not less than 3,5 hours, it’s impossible to make it quicker (also because of the other thousands of tourists). Special tip: go to the special events in the Van Gogh museum, you can find them on their homepage or this link).
5) Don’t take spaces cookies (but smoke a joint)!
Everyone is curious about coffee shops and the famous space cookies. Being in a city where “soft” drugs are legal seem to encourage people who never had them before to try everything they see. You can do whatever you like but…maybe you have come to Amsterdam to really SEE something. To discover the city. Space cookies may knock you out for hours/ days, whereas a joint is more predictable and will allow you to do both: visit a coffee shop AND do sightseeing (-:
6) Say cheese to life!
Obvious but it’s so worth having a look in the cheese shops and taste the specialities (and take them home with you). There are some good shops around nine streets, but actually the whole city is full of them.
Btw…I used to shop these things in the supermarket, being much cheaper that special shops. Not so in Amsterdam – cheese in the supermarket was expensive too. Thus De Kaaskamer is told tob e the best cheese shop; I liked the Amsterdam cheese company much more. They were super friendly and super commited (they even told me what to better dion’t buy because I wouldn’t be allowed to take it into the plane…somethin I forgot about).
7) Stay with Airbnb!
Hotels are very expensive in Amsterdam, and unfortunately you don’t really get what you paid for. Its much more interesting to stay in a private flat (our host was super friendly, she even told us to eat all food and even drink the beer she had in the fridge). Flats are (because Amsterdam is stylish!!) a dream and you won’t want to leave. One watchout: flats have no elevators and you will have to step up very narrow and cliffy steps.
8) Don’t run a red light!
Tourists and bloggers argue if it’s really a must-see in Amsterdam: the red light district. Well…I thought it was like being in a toys store for adults, having a look at Barbies (indeed Barbies in underwear). Its like window shopping for adults, you will be through in about one hour (if you walk slowly). All window-ladies looked bored or unfriendly or unreal (those lips!), but they are used to masses of tourists starring at them (well, they pose for that right).
But don’t get youself food/ a drink there (crowds of drunk guys and expensive prices).
9) Don’t throw away your water bottle at the airport!
Before and after the security check…Amsterdam Schipol..love you for that!