31 July 2015

Amsterdam To-Do List

Amsterdam

Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands

 The great thing about Amsterdam is it is such a different and diverse city, as well as being extremely bold. Sex shops on every corner, the famous red light district and not to mention the drug culture may shock you, but Amsterdam is a place to broaden your mind and discover a culture completely different to our British brush everything under the carpet approach. As well as these naughty hot spots, Amsterdam also holds some amazing museums, monuments and artwork. Situated by the water and decorated by lopsided houses and vivid flowers, it's a feast for the eyes, mind and imagination. Amsterdam isn't just a trip but an experience, so here's what I got up to when I was there.

Anne Frank House

Anne Frank House
Travelling around Europe - the Anne Frank House was one of the most moving experiences of the trip - if not my life. I've read lots about Anne Frank through my education and always found her such an inspiration that to visit the house and learn more about not only her but the people she lived with for her final years was very moving and touching. I will say that you do have to get out of bed early and expect to queue for a while, but it's worth the waiting time and it will definitely change your perspective about things after visiting. An amazing tour which I highly recommend and would definitely go to again.

Heineken Experience

The Heineken Experience
This was one of my favourite things I got up to in Amsterdam. The staff just love throwing free beer at you, and you learn not only about the amazing company and how it came to be, but also about how the beer is made and the best way to drink it. You actually leave understanding how to fully taste beer, which sounds ridiculous but ever since visiting I've definitely enjoyed having a pint more. (Although being a northern girl I was always pretty inclined). After the tour, which had loads of interactive stuff including pulling your own pint, there's a boat tour which is free and really fun. The boat tour ends at the Heineken gift shop, where you can show your ticket and claim your free Amsterdam Heineken glass.

Sex Museum

Visit The Sex Museum
It's cheap, hilarious and kind of trippy. I found it in no way educational, but I had a right laugh looking at vaginas and penises all day. Level of maturity: zero. I think the best thing about going there as a woman is watching all the men try to pretend they're interested in the displays on an intellectual level - you ain't fooling anyone boy - this is pretty much just porn.

Weed Shop

Get High
Well let's be honest, it's probably on your mind if you're considering visiting the Dam. I didn't get high when I was over there, but there's plenty of opportunity to. With an array of coffee shops and stores selling everything from cannabis lollies to magic mushrooms, it's pretty impossible to avoid at least the idea. But, the place does stink of weed so either way, you'll probably feel pretty monged out for most of the trip.

Typewriter

Visit a book store 
One of my favourite things to do is go into old kooky little book stores hidden away on back streets - and there's plenty of them to find when you're Eurotripping. Even if you can't find an English section, they're still interesting to have a mooch in and very peaceful places to collect your thoughts when you're busy travelling. We found this beautiful old typewriter among a bunch of them, just on display in a book shop in the Dam and I found it very picture-worthy!

Rubber Duck Store

...Or the Duck Store
When planning my trip to Amsterdam, I looked at a LOT of pictures on Instagram and the internet at places I should visit, and came across this cute little shop called the Amsterdam Duck Store. With an array of rubber ducks that are all different characters, it's the ultimate souvenir for yourself or gift to bring back for someone (with a bar of Milka of course!) The Amsterdam Duck Store is a tiny little shop but you can check out the website here with a map of how to get there.

I amsterdam

The Famous "I amsterdam" Sign
If you are thinking of heading to Amsterdam, you've probably got that obligatory picture in front of the I Amsterdam sign at the top of your to-do list - and I'm not ashamed to admit it was at the top of mine too. I was kinda annoyed when we got there as it was really bad weather that day, but I and Luke got the selfie stick out and ended up just messing around with our camera as you can see above. Also, don't be fooled into thinking the sign is in the centre at Dam Square, it's actually at Museumplein which is a bit further but not difficult to get to.

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