Must Dos in Amsterdam
1. Hop on your bike: There are over 800,000 bicycles in Amsterdam. That’s more bikes than people! Cycling in Amsterdam is a way of life, made easier by the city’s unbeatable network of cycle routes and flat landscape. Amsterdam regularly comes out on top in lists of the world’s most cycle-friendly cities, and there’s no finer way to explore the city’s streets, canals and attractions than by pedal power.
2. Get lost in the arty Jordaan: Often cited as Amsterdam’s most charming neighbourhood, wandering into the Jordaan feels like stepping back in time. Originally a working-class area, the Jordaan’s narrow streets and quaint buildings now make up one of Amsterdam’s most desirable quarters, dotted with independent art galleries, antiques shops, courtyard gardens and atmospheric bars and restaurants.
3. Catch the ferry to Amsterdam North: Many visitors to Amsterdam never manage to venture north of Amsterdam Central Station, which is a shame considering the vibrant food, drink and cultural scene that’s developed across the water, along the banks of the IJ. A short (free) ferry trip will take you to a number of drop-off points, including cultural hotspot NDSM, where you can enjoy a host of hip waterside hangouts, frequent festivals and events.
4. Take a canal cruise: Created in the 17th century to keep the sea at bay, Amsterdam’s UNESCO-protected canal belt is the quintessential picture-postcard vision of the city, and an unbelievably pretty sight by both day and night, when the bridges are illuminated by fairy lights and the whole area takes on a magical feel.
5. Eat from a herring cart: Raw herring may sound a little scary to the uninitiated, but every visitor to Amsterdam should give it a go. You’ll spot haringhandels (herring carts) serving up this Dutch speciality all over the city.
6. Go beer tasting under a windmill: There are eight remaining windmills in Amsterdam, the easiest to visit being De Gooyer in the Oostelijke Eilanden (Eastern Islands) neighbourhood. And this isn’t just any windmill, for under the sails of this striking landmark is Brouwerij‘t IJ, an award winning artisan microbrewery with a large outdoor drinking terrace and guided tasting tours.
7. Eat your way around thirty food stalls in a former tram depot: Located in the hip Oud-West neighbourhood, De Hallen is a brand new centre for the arts, crafts, fashion and food in a recently refurbished industrial building dating from 1902. De Hallen houses a cinema, independent stores and a boutique hotel, as well as the impressive Food Hallen – a food and drink heaven where visitors can munch their way through a selection of upmarket street food from one of many vendors located around a central bar.
8. Come face to face with original Van Goghs: No trip to Amsterdam could be complete without paying homage to Dutch impressionist Vincent van Gogh. The modern building on Museumplein is home to more than a thousand of the artist’s paintings, drawings and letters.
9. Wake up and smell the tulips: Yes, they’re as clichéd as clogs, but tulips are a definitive symbol of Dutch culture, and a trip to the Netherlands wouldn’t be complete without feasting your eyes on these beautiful blooms. The most famous place to buy tulips and bulbs in Amsterdam is at the Bloemenmarkt.
10. Most #instagrammable place: Have your photo taken with the I Amsterdam letters. You can track down the travelling letters as they move around the city – find out where they are on the official website.
Off the beaten path
⚽ For football fans
Just a 50-minute stroll from the stadium, you can discover what locals sometimes refer to as “Cruijff Country”; Betondorp, the area where the Netherlands’ most famous football player Johan Cruijff had his very first kickabouts. An impressive ten-metre mural dedicated to him decorates the wall of a housing estate – located near the junction of Wembleylaan and Anfieldroad (yes, these are the actual street names).
🍃 Day trip
Zandvoort is a real gem. It’s one of Amsterdam’s most popular beaches and is home to many vibrant beach clubs, which range from chic restaurants to colourful bohemian bars with DJs and campfires. Getting to Amsterdam Beach is a piece of cake. It’s quick and easy to get there using public transport. By train it just takes 30 minutes from Amsterdam Central Station. Bus number 80 also runs directly from Elandsgracht in central Amsterdam to Zandvoort beach, taking approximately one hour.
ENGLISH – DUTCH
How are you?
Hoe gaat het ermee?
I don’t speak Dutch.
Ik spreek geen Nederlands.
Netherlands will win UEFA EURO 2020.
Nederland zal het Europees kampioenschap winnen.