Amsterdam as a Tourist Destination
There is always this strange feeling when you come back from a trip. Once you set your foot at home, you start comparing your city to the place you have visited. Amsterdam is a popular tourist destination, so it is interesting how locals perceive their city after returning home from other cities?
The best thing is that everything interesting is on walking distance. We have also a good public transportation, especially the tram, that can bring you everywhere in the city. There is also three big museums that are close to each other at one square. Those are Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh and Stedelijk museums. Finally, there are many terraces and old (brown) cafés. There you can sit and have a nice beer or just relax with coffee or so.
Everything in Amsterdam is special and different than other cities. This is because of the atmosphere, which you can’t compare to other cities. Even walking alongside the canals is like walking in an open-air museum. This is because of all the beautiful old houses. For example, the house with the heads, Keizersgracht #123, or the ones, which are very tiny and small, like Singel #7.
You proved to be a really wonderful guide for everyone to become well-prepared for their next trip to Amsterdam! Could you list 5 places that are a must-see for any tourist?
- Anne Frank House, for sure.
- Walk around the Jordaan for the vibe of Amsterdam and visit one of the ‘hofjes’ (e.g. Karthuizerhofje or walk little further of the Jordaan and go to the ‘Begijnhofje’, the most famous one and you can find the oldest wooden house at #34).
- Catch a museum (Rijksmuseum for Old Masters or Van Gogh if you like Van Gogh).
- Drinking (organic) beer at the foot of an authentic windmill at Brouwerij ‘t IJ (Funenkade #7). It’s a little brewery and you can do beertasting and have a little tour, but you can also have lunch here as well.
- Vondelpark and you can relax and having lunch or drink at VondelCS, ‘t Blauwe Theehuis or at the Vondeltuin (especially with nice weather), all three are in the Vondelpark itself. In the summertime there are also free performances at the Open-Air Theatre in the Vondelpark.
Could you also name several food places that you would recommend to try for every guest in Amsterdam?
For catch a beer in an old brown café: Café de Pieper (Prinsengracht #424), Café Hoppe (Spui #18-20), Café in den Aepjen (Zeedijk #1), Café ‘t Smalle (Egelantiersgracht #12 – the terrace is wonderful for a summer lunch), Café De Prins (Prinsengracht #124), Café Binnen Buiten (Ruysdaelkade #115) or Café Het Papeneiland (Prinsengracht #2 – cross the bridge for taking one of the most photographic corners of Amsterdam).
For eating: De Hallen (various foodstalls and drinks – Hannie Dankbaarpassage #47), Van Harte (Hartenstraat #24), Zus & Zus (Overtoom #548), Loetje (best known for steaks, different locations: Stationsplein #10, Johannes Vermeerstraat #52, Werfkade #14), Bern (good for entrecote or cheesefondue, Nieuwmarkt #9), Thai snackbar Bird (Zeedijk #77), Toscanini (Lindengracht #75), Kantjil & De Tijger (Indonesian food, Spuistraat 291-293), De Bakkerswinkel (for lunch and other baked goods, Warmoesstraat #69), In de Waag (Old City Gate, Nieuwmarkt #4), Van Dobben (nice sandwiches, especially ‘broodje kroket’, Korte Reguliersdwarsstraat #5-9), Gebr. Hartering (Peperstraat #10), Lion Noir (Reguliersdwarstraat #28), De Struisvogel (Keizersgracht #312), Buffet van Odette (Prinsengracht #598) and De Taart van m’n Tante (beste pies, Ferdinand Bolstraat #10).
What about the activities, that you believe, a tourist should try?
- Rent a bike (or a bike tour) and exploring the city by bike.
- Taking a canal tour (you also have the museum boat which stops at several museums).
- Going to an outdoor market (Albert Cuyp (everything), Bloemenmarkt (flowers), Noordermarkt (Saturday farmersmarket), Waterloopplein (flea market), Oudemanhuis book market.
- Eat an apple pie with a cup of coffee in the morning (around 10 a.m.) at Villa Zeezicht (Torensteeg #7) or at De Winkel43 (Noordermarkt #43), because the apple pie here are the best.
- Drinking jenever at one of the tasting houses, like Wynand Fockink (Pijlsteeg #31), In de Olofspoort (Nieuwebrugsteeg #13) or Proeflokaal De Ooievaar (Olofspoort #1).
- Eating a typical snack out of the wall, namely ‘kroket’ at FEBO (different locations).
- Take away French fries like the Dutch way ‘patatje oorlog’ at Friteshuis Vleminckx (Voetboogstraat #33).
- Wandering around in the free Rijksmuseum gardens.
- Walking along the canals (the Brouwersgracht is the most beautiful one) and even walking through the red light district and neighborhood during the day is worthwhile of the buildings.
- Catch a beer with ‘bitterballen’ in one of the old brown cafés (namely above question).
- Try syrup-filled waffles ‘stroopwafels’ at the Albert Cuypmarkt.
- Take tram 2 all the way and back to the central station (takes about 75 minutes).
Okay, so our head starts to spin just by thinking how many days it would take for us to do all those things… Could you recommend for people planning their trip to Amsterdam – how much time do you think is enough to spend here to take the most of it?
In three to four days you’ve seen the highlights of Amsterdam, but one week you’ve the time to explore more of the city or other places around Amsterdam, like Zaanse Schans (windmills), Keukenhof (only in april) & Haarlem, Alkmaar, Utrecht, Den Haag or Rotterdam for example. Those places are within an hour train ride from Amsterdam.
That was one hell of an interview, which will allow for anyone visiting Amsterdam to create a list of things to do here! Still, we have one last question!