THE DO'S AND DON'TS FOR YOUR WEEKEND IN AMSTERDAM
Finally!!! You have waited so long for this amazing vavavoom weekend in Amsterdam. Beer, weed and the canals cannot wait to welcome you in their beautiful home. But is this really the Amsterdam you want to discover? You do not want to be one of these standard tourists pis.... annoying the Amsterdammers, right? No! Never! You want to experience the real Amsterdam. For this endeavour I am happy to share some VIT with you: very important tips.
Please, don't. Just don't. No Amsterdammer discovers Amsterdam by bike even though numerous travel guides want to make you believe that. We bike because it's the fastest way to get us from A to B and because we don't have to pay for public transport (it's expensive enough here as it is). And because it's kinda part of the Amsterdam style. But do you really have to do that as a tourist, too? No, because of these very simple reasons:
You don't know the city. How could you? You don't live here, I would be lost in Berlin as well.
You don't know the rules. We have our owns and it took me a little to find them out.
You won't see half of the city because you will only look for the way on Google Maps.
If you get caught biking with your mobile in your hand, only our beloved Dutch Uncle Sam will be happy (#kaching).
You cannot explore the really cool little alleys.
So, do something good to yourself and the Amsterdammers and walk. Or take the tram. Even if we don't use it that often, it is quite handy and really takes you everywhere.
YAS! Definitely. As soon as Amsterdammers see an opportunity they jump on a boat and cruise through the canals soaking up both sun and beer. But there are also a few rules when it comes to your canal tour. The most simple one: the bigger the boat, the more depressed the people in there seem to be. A tour in one of the long tourist boats is still very nice, don't get me wrong, but not as nice as on a small boat with a cool guide. I can highly recommend "Those Damn Boat Guys": a boat for twelve people tops and best buddy feeling with the guides. And you can take as much beer and weed as you wish. Whoop, whoop. Or you rent your own Mokumboot. It is a bit like the thing with renting a bike, but really just a bit. You'll be fine.
Sure, when you are in Amsterdam, have a few grams. Even if I am certainly not an expert on this topic (beer is my métier), the Van Gogh Museum is supposed to be highly interesting in a psychedelic state of mind. See what I did there? HIGHly! Okay, not that good. Sorry. Please do us one favour though: don't smoke weed before breakfast. Amsterdammers really don't enjoy cycling to the gym or to work in the morning surrounded by weed clouds. Thank you very much!
Now we're talking. I am from Bavaria and even if that might be a case of treason, I can really recommend Dutch beer. A lot. Like a lot a lot. You will find yourself in a true craft beer paradise: from Oedipus Brewing in the North to Brouwerij 't Ij in the East. Not only can you enjoy all their delicious beers, but you can also book a tour through Brouwerij 't IJ! Oh and of course there is Heineken, but we are talking about good beer, aren't we?
With the palace (which is not thaaaaaat pretty tbh), the Red Light District, Madame Tussauds and the Dungeon the centre is clearly the tourist magnet par excellence. But Amsterdam is so much more:
De Pijp in the South is the hipster part and almost bursting with amazing bars and cafés.
The West is a little quieter, but also welcomes you with cozy cafés and cuisine from around the world. You can also find the Westerpark or Rembrandtpark in the West which allure with their great beauty. And then there is Sloterplas: an amazing lake with a little beach. Heaven.
In the East you can find some new up-and-coming districts. This is also the home of Brouwerij t'Ij btw. In a windmill. Then you can tick that box of your list as well.
You can reach the North with a ferry from central station... for free! Every three weeks one of Europe's biggest flea markets opens its doors, the Ij-Hallen. A mekka for scond hand shoppers and really worth a visit.
So, what have learned in today's article? Dare to leave the centre and discover the true Amsterdam. It is worth it. You'll see.
Okay my lovely friends, now you are perfectly prepared for your weekend in Amsterdam!
Pack your panties in your bag and off you go!