Amsterdam Travel Guide

Amsterdam Travel Guide

The Venice of the North

Amsterdam is one of Europe's most charming cities -- between the vibrant architecture, fun-loving attitude, and picturesque canals, it's hard to not immediately fall in love after your first visit.

And I've fallen madly in love with Amsterdam.

It's one of my favorite cities in the world and one I would move to in a heartbeat. There's something about the warm glow of the sunsets, the still-life beauty of the city's flowers, and the endless rows of quaint houseboats that just makes me want to pack up and move over there permanently.

It's European sophistication without the snobbery. It's culture, art, community, cuisine, and architecture all bundled into one stunningly beautiful yet oh-so-walkable city!

What To Do & See

Amsterdam is a city of layers and history. There's SO much to do and always something exciting going on.

Amsterdam has some of the world's best museums, best paintings, best river cruises, and best parks so make sure you plan time for them ALL!

Rijksmuseum Amsterdam MuseumSPOTLIGHT ON:


The Rijksmuseum

The Netherland's most visited art museum isn't to be missed on a trip to Amsterdam! After almost 10 years of STUNNING renovations, the Rijksmuseum reopened to the public in 2013 and it's well-worth a visit just to see the incredible remodel. It certainly helps that it's housed in one of the most architecturally stunning buildings you'll find in all of Europe and has some of the world's best art pieces on display, most famously Rembrandt's 'Nightwatch'.

Beyond paintings, the museum is brimming with stunning furniture from the Dutch Golden Age as well as clothing, armor, and countless homages to Amsterdam's maritime past. And the Rijksmuseum library (in the above shot) is truly one of the most stunning libraries in Europe.

I'm working on a full Rijksmuseum post to show you why I love this museum so much -- stay tuned!

Amsterdam Photos

Vermeer's A Girl With A Pearl Earring Painting

Amsterdam Photos

Amsterdam's Best Coffeeshops

"Pass the joint, man..."

Don't be fooled! Coffeeshops and coffee shops are NOT the same thing in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam has long been a progressive haven for cannabis lovers around the world. And while you can easily avoid the legal cannabis in Amsterdam if you DON'T want to participate, there are TONS of spots to choose from if you do. Just make sure you understand the difference...

Coffee shops are where you go buy lattes.

Coffeeshops are where you buy cannabis.

But not all of Amsterdam's coffeeshops are created equal -- some are beautiful and swanky while others are... in a word, terrifying. Choose wisely and be sure to follow this list of charming Dutch tips on responsible cannabis consumption.

Rembrandt House Museum Amsterdam

Amsterdam Photos

Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam

Where To Eat

Like most European cities, Amsterdam's food scene is a buzzing hybrid of old and new. Traditional Dutch fare meets spicy Indonesian food (a holdover from colonialism) meets some of the world's most Instagrammable street food.

It's literally a foodie paradise incarnate (and the perfect place to cure any munchies from the above mentioned coffeeshops!).

INK Hotel Amsterdam MGallery by Sofitel

Amsterdam Gelato

The Duchess Amsterdam

Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam Afternoon Tea

SPOTLIGHT ON:


Afternoon Tea at the Waldorf Astoria

For my 30th birthday I KNEW I wanted to spend it in Amsterdam with my closest family and enjoy it over a really lovely afternoon tea. The Vermeer-inspired tea room in the Waldorf Astoria (truly one of Amsterdam's most beautiful hotels) is not to be missed and made for a truly memorable birthday experience.

The selection and afternoon tea themes change seasonally but are ALWAYS beautiful and delicious. Not to mention Instagrammable!

Read my entire afternoon tea experience here.

Conservatorium Hotel Amsterdam

Indrapura Amsterdam Indonesian Restaurant

The Duchess Amsterdam

LOGISTICS

Hubby and I first started coming to Amsterdam for one very simple reason: it's such an easy place to travel to in Europe!

And a lot cheaper than spots like Rome, London, and Paris.

Not to mention the charming yet terrifying swarms of bicyclists you'll see EVERYWHERE.

HOW TO GET AROUND

The best ways to see Amsterdam are via bicycle, canal cruise, or just plain walking. This tiny city shouldn't be seen from the back of a car unless absolutely necessary.

Amsterdam is a very walkable city with so many small, secret streets to explore. Generally I don't even bike when I visit, I walk EVERYWHERE!

AIRPORTS

Schiphol is one of my absolute favorite airports. While it is confusing at times (the exits are poorly marked so don't be afraid to ask for help -- almost everyone speaks fluent English!), the restaurants are solid and the cute Dutch shops are always a fun distraction while traveling.

I highly recommend stocking up on stroopwafels as a snack for your flight home!

Amsterdam Photos

The Duchess Amsterdam

Amsterdam Photos

Curated Posts

It's no secret that I absolutely adore Amsterdam. It's quaint yet wild, delicious yet humble, stylish yet unpretentious, and accepting of everyone -- what's not to love?

So here's a short selection of my favorite posts from my favorite city, Amsterdam:

10 Of My Favorite Things To Do in Amsterdam

Rent a Vintage Boat for a Private Canal Cruise

Walk Through the Streets of the Jordaan Neighborhood at Sunset (With Ice Cream, If Possible)

Getting a Caprese Pancake at The Pancake Bakery

Sip a Shisha Cocktail at The Tunes Bar

Take a Morning Walk Through Vondelpark

Get a Cone Of Hot Fries With Mayo At Mannekenpis

Take a Picture of Hotel Zaandam

Shop for Souvenirs at &K

Get a Fresh Stroopwafel at Albert Cuyp Markt

People Watch from a Café In The Red Light District (You'll See The WILDEST Things)

Amsterdam Photos

Rijksmuseum Amsterdam Museum

Amsterdam Street Style

"I love Amsterdam. The city is vibrant and alive. It's fresh and so open. It's definitely one of my favorite places."

-- Stefon Harris

Amsterdam Street Style


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