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The Netherlands is growing as the people still struggle to fight for land from the sea and while God created the Earth, the Dutch created the Netherlands. With its quaint structure, amazing canal network and rich history, Amsterdam is as unique as it gets, here is the essential checklist of the do’s and don’ts.
Float along the canals
Image source- Tours-tickets
You know how they say “Agra aaye aur Taj Mahal na dekha to kya Agra aaye”, the same applies for Amsterdam and its picturesque canals. The reason why it tops the list is because you get to know the whereabouts of city by just sitting and sipping wine on a guided boat your.
Pedal it out.
Image source- that’s me, yeah.
There are approximately 9, 00,000 bicycles in the city. That’s also the four times the number of cars. So go and rent a bike and pedal along the streets of Amsterdam. There are special cycling routes and make sure you follow them and avoid drunk driving.
Find yourself in Vondelpark.
The park is as old as Amsterdam. Pack yourself a sandwich, get inside Vondelpark, find a captivating spot (Can be confusing) and sit there, sit there for hours. Look at people passing by, if you’re lucky you can also hear artists playing flute or saxophone. You’ll surely find a part of yourself there.
Blaze a ‘J’ at the Bulldogs Cafe.
It was the year 1974 since marijuana was legalized in Amsterdam and Bulldog was the first coffee shop to open doors for the hippie stick. Even if you don’t smoke or feel like, just make sure you go there and have a hot mocha for soothers.
Take a stroll in the Red Light District.
Image source- GetYourGuide
There is much more to the notorious reputation that this area holds. You might have a pragmatic approach towards the sex trade but the place has its own charm. Visit the sex shops, stare at the junkies, gaze at the prostitutes inviting you and if nothing then go see a sex show. They have unique appeal and a social cosiness to them. Tip: Avoid clicking pictures as it may land you in trouble.
Hog on the street food.
Please keep your excuses to yourself and make sure you eat the delectable street food. Try the churos, try the pancakes, try the stroopwafel, this is a must when you are visiting Amsterdam. Also try the croquettes from the vending machines; it’s something the locals survive on.
The Heineken Experience.
Image source- plana.nl
Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder. Redefine the statement by dropping by the beer refinery of Heineken. There might be a never ending queue out there but be patient, the beer you are about to sip would be just worth it. Also make sure to get your own customised Heineken bottle with your name engraved on it. Cool much?
Put up in a hostel.
Image source- Booking
Give your all time hotel accommodation a break and put up in a hostel, they are cheaper, also give you complimentary breakfast and you sound sleep on the bunk beds after a long tiring day. The hostels also have a lot of activities happening in there and above all you make friends, lots of friends, there are endless conversations that take place and that shall totally stay with you till eternity. I stayed at the Flying Pig hostel at Dam Square (City Centre) and it was one of the best thing happened to me.
Look in on the Anne Frank museum.
Image source- Lonely Planet
Anne Frank was a diarist who witnessed the horrendous Jewish War. During World War II, she hid from the Nazis with her family in the magnificent canal house where the museum resides which is now knows as Secret Annex. The museum preserves the hiding places, tells you happenings on the life and times of Anne Frank. Also the 3rd most visited museum after Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum.
Visit atleast one of the local markets.
Image source- Tripadvisor
There are loads of markets happening around town all round the year. Make sure you drop by in any of them because everyone has to take back home some materialistic memory. The markets that should be on your check list are The Bloomenmarket (Tulips, tulips and more tulips), Waterlooplein market (Vintage drool worthy stuff) and Albert Cuyp Market (Exotic herbs and spices).
Get clicked at the ‘I AMSTERDAM’ letters.
It really is not as overrated as it sounds! It shall be that one page in the memory diary that remains vivid and heart-warming for ages to come.
It’s a location used then and again in Bollywood movies and trust me, it’s a place worth visiting.