Amsterdam is pretty much synonymous with sex & drugs in most peoples’ minds. While you’d be hard pressed to find another city in the world where you can walk into a shop and buy magic mushrooms as casually as if you were buying milk, Amsterdam has a lot more to offer. I firmly believe you get what you’re looking for, so if drugs and sex is your thing, you can find it in abundance; but on the flip side, if you’re looking to explore a city with the most incredible sights, food, and fashion, Amsterdam is second to none.
I’ve gotten a lot of inquiries about what to do in Amsterdam, including from my younger brother who is visiting in a few days, so I couldn’t think of a better time to put together a travel diary. Now, the popular thing to do is to rent a bike, but I’ll be honest with you: I’m terrified of biking. I crashed into a fire hydrant and busted my knee when I was younger, so that was the end of my biking days. Instead, I chose to explore the city by foot, which is also very doable considering it’s a very small town. Beware though, bikers are vicious and out to kill.
What to do: The first thing I chose to do was go on the Sandeman’s walking tour (no, I’m not their brand ambassador). I find walking tours are the best way to get a good overview of the city. They help me get an idea of what to see and do instead of walking about aimlessly. Amsterdam is famous for cheese, so make sure you sample cheese at the numerous cheese shops. If you’re not a cheese connoisseur by the end of your trip, you should be ashamed of yourself. Cheese shops also have some of the best Stroopwafel, so if you’re planning on buying some, buy it from there. Go shopping at Laundry Industry for the best selection of minimalist clothing. Episode Vintage for the best vintage shopping (real fur coats for €125, just sayin’). Wander through the Red Light District, just don’t be stupid about it. The Red Light District is very safe, but if you’re strolling the streets completely wasted at 2am, you make yourself an easy target. PS- don’t forget to walk down Big Mama’s Lane (yes, that’s a place). Spuistraat and Jordaan for the best restaurants. Walk from Spuistraat to the Rjikmuseum to find the most incredible selection of chocolate shops, art shops, and vintage shopping.
What to eat: The thing I spent the most time doing in Amsterdam was eating, so a word of caution: this list will be long. Het Stadpaleis for the best lattes and organic breakfast/lunch you can imagine. Order their smoked salmon sandwich and finish with the dutch pancakes. Kantjil and de Tigre for affordable Indonesian food, which is a specialty in Amsterdam. For all out gluttony, go to the Nutella Ice Bakery and get yourself an ice-cream. Don’t be foolish and think this can be a post-dinner treat, go with an empty stomach. Kinnaree for Thai food, I highly recommend the Green Curry. Van Stapele Koekmakerij for the ooey, gooey chocolate cookies. Singel 404 for breakfast/lunch with the best view of the canals. La Perla in Jordaan for pizza that will blow your mind, walk just a little further down the street for ice cream at Monte Pelmo.