The most liberal city in the world, ladies and gentlemen. Amsterdam was my first travel solo destination, so understand how nervous I was when I arrived. Not only I was scared, but also lost in a new city where I didn’t speak the language. Oh oh. Mariella don’t panic.
On my ride from the airport to the hotel located in Amsterdam’s city center, I instantly felt how cool this trip was going to be. I couldn’t believe what was I seeing. The canals that surround the city and it’s stunning architecture looks and feels unreal. I spent three days in Amsterdam, but I wish I could’ve stay longer. Luckily, I managed my time wisely to get to know the city in the short time I had.
DAY 1 – Get beautifully lost!
On my first day, the tour I booked started at 2:00 pm. So I was there in Amsterdam with no plans, no destination, no clue where I was standing with four hours to spare until my tour starts. My father once told me that the best way to get to know a new area is by getting beautifully lost. So I decided to walk with no destination and see where I stumble upon. (This might sound like I was irresponsibly walking alone in an unknown city, but it wasn’t the case. I was safe!)
Ready to explore the area, I left my carry-on in the hotel’s lobby and headed nowhere. During my 2-hour walk, I discovered the true beauty of Amsterdam. From it’s unique architecture to various canals and historical sites to museums and people watching, now I could understand its vibe. Fun fact: I even got lost in the Red Lights District without me knowing, so imagine my surprise when I see this scenery. “Ooooh”
I started to head toward the meeting point for my first tour. This guided tour was about Amsterdam’s Jewish history, prior and post WWII. In the first three hours, we walked around the Jewish Quarter and visited the Portuguese Synagogue, the Jewish Historical Museum and De Dokwerker (Herinnering ann Februari straking) monument. Finally, we headed over Anne Frank’s house.
If you want to visit Anne Frank’s house without waiting in line, this tour is for you. The line to get into Anne Frank’s house is unreal. About three street blocks! By taking this tour, you skip the line completely and enter directly to the museum without waiting not even a minute. To book this tour, go to the GetYourGuide website and find the tour that fits your schedule. Note: Make sure the tour includes Anne Frank’s house entrance fee.
De Dokwerker (Herinnering ann Februari straking) Monument
Anne Frank’s House – Learn more about my experience at the Anne Frank’s house here.
End the day with a relaxing dinner cruise!
DAY 2 – THIS is Amsterdam.
Spend your morning in Amsterdam’s famous Dam Square. Explore the area and take in the beautiful architecture of its buildings such as The Royal Palace, Dam Square’s monument and Madame Tussaud.
To get an insight of the city’s structure and get familiar with the neighborhoods I recommend taking a bicycle city tour. This was my first tour on wheels! It was very fun and I got to see the entire city in few hours. Don’t worry tour guides usually stop in several places for you to take pictures. Also, mid-way to the end of the tour they usually stop at a cafe or bar to rest and enjoy a refreshing drink.
During the bike tour we stroll across the Rijksmuseum, saw the IAmsterdam sign and the famous Van Gogh Museum. As we continue our journey, we stroll towards Amsterdam’s beautiful Voldelpark. Riding around the park was truly beautiful! The weather was so nice and we got to experience how locals enjoy their weekends at this gorgeous park. Finally, we head over to Anne Frank’s house, biked around Amsterdam’s canals, explored the Red Lights Districts and crossed the famous Margere Brug bridge to get to the bike store.
After your morning bike tour, there’s plenty of time to visit the museums. In my case, I visited the Rijksmuseum and took the 45-minute audio guide tour which walks you through the museum’s main exhibitions. A must do!
If you’re curious about the Rijksmuseum‘s art pieces in the highlights audio guide tour, read my blog post dedicated to my experience at the museum. Click here.
Afterwards, I head over to Heineken’s first factory. The Heineken Experience is a must do when visiting Amsterdam. It’s not only fun but very interesting to learn about the company’s history and the process of making beer. Through the tour, you can sample the beer! I had at least five haha
DAY 3 – Keep Exploring!
This was my last day in the city. During breakfast, I realized that I visited most of Amsterdam’s main sights thanks to the wonderful bike tour. That being said, I decided to walk around The Red Lights District and visit the Museum of Prostitution. Very interesting! A small museum that explains you how prostitution is controlled by the government in this area and some other interesting facts along the tour.
You can’t visit Amsterdam and not go to The Pancake House. OMG I’ve never had pancakes this good! was my first reaction when I had my first bite. Amsterdam’s pancakes do not look like our pancakes. They are more like a crepe!
Nearby The Pancake House there’s the Tulip Museum. It only takes approx. 30 minutes to tour it. Very interesting facts about the Tulip production business and distribution!
Finally, head over to the Van Gogh Museum and enjoy Van Gogh’s fantastic artwork.Make sure to book your tickets ahead of time. At least, 2 days prior to your visit! Almost every museum in Amsterdam makes you wait in line for at least an hour. If you book the ticket ahead of time, you walk directly inside.
Until next trip,
The Fabulous Script