Amsterdam was really cool, from the clothes people wear to the lifestyles they lead, it was just really cool and relaxed. It is just overall a great city, I can see why people would want to move there. The City was absolutely beautiful, the canals and bikes were mesmerizing and the ferry rides were perfect. It's like a fairy tale town during the day, and the perfect party city at night. If you haven't been you should definitely put it on your list.
Whenever I'm about to go on a trip I always hit up Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook for places I should go and things I should do. I love finding unique, cool things to do and that is what this blog is all about. I wanted to share my trip with you all, let you know where I stayed and what I did in hopes that I will inspire you to travel and check this city out.
During our trip we stayed at Teleport hotel. We had a great stay, the people were friendly and helpful. The hotel was right near the Sloterdijk train station, so it was super easy to get around the city once I figured out the public transportation (more on that later). The hotel is art themed, so you might end up staying in a room with a huge mural. They provide breakfast (I didn't taste it), free guided bike tours and also discounted nightlife tours. The room was great, it included a little kitchen area with mini fridge, sink and microwave, and if you stay here make sure you select a room that includes your own private bathroom because some of the rooms don't have it (unless you don't mind sharing a restroom with other guests! It'll save you money but its not for me). The one downside was the outlets. I have 2 different adapters for when I travel overseas and only one of them actually fit, so I had to take turns charging my items. Of course they were selling adapters that fit in their outlets, conveniently... Just letting you all know!
To get around in the city, I purchased a 3 day Amsterdam & Region travel ticket at the airport. This ticket was good for trains, buses, tram and ferries both within Amsterdam City and close cities nearby. Because there are so many options, it got a little confusing at first. There is a separate number system for each different option, for example buses might be numbered in the 50's while trains are 1-15, so if someone calls out the number you should catch you don't know where to go. Also, different number trains come through the same location, so even though you're in the right place you might accidentally hop on the wrong train if you're not paying attention. Once you figure it out, you can get everywhere quickly and easily, definitely a good value and cheaper than Uber and cabs. It was hard for me not to compare Amsterdam's system to London (Since I did a stop there on the way). London has such a nice, easy to use system, Amsterdam's takes a little practice.
Sightseeing, Cool and Unique Things to Do
There are so many cool things to do in the city. Of course if you get one of those guide books or search on Pinterest and blogs, you will see the usual things, go to the museums (Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank museum, Van Gogh ), visit the red light district, ride a bike through the city, Canal cruise, IAmsterdam sign, Vondelpark... Yes, do all of those things. But, I wanted to include a couple lesser known things that I enjoyed. My favs were:
House of Bols Cocktail museum
This was an interactive cocktail experience! It is a self guided tour with info about the liquor and the process to make its flavors. There is a room where you use your sense of smell to guess flavors. At the end you go to the bar and have a cocktail, one drink is included with tickets to the museum, extra drinks are 5 Euros. You have to be 18 to enter.
Super cool observation deck with great view of the city! As you ride up to the top, there is a light show in the elevator. Once at the top, there is an indoor room (with a bar) and up one small flight of stairs is the top. There is a swing that lets you go out over the edge, I was scared shitless. It was fun, I will never do it again. For access to the lookout its 12.50 Euros for ages 12 and older which includes a digital photo. There is an extra 5 Euro fee to ride the swing.
Food and Partying
The food was good! Especially the dessert...
The fact that I eat like a kindergartner is always a concern for me, but I was fine. One night I did spend 17 Euros on McDonald's, don't judge me. As in most other European cities, when you go to a restaurant the drinks are expensive (I'm talking 4 Euro's for a coke). I found it even worse in Amsterdam, a couple restaurants told me they "don't serve tap water" and you had to buy a small bottle. When I ordered a jack & coke at the bar, they make you buy them separately and give you the bottle to mix the drink on your own (defeats the purpose of having a bartender right?).
Also, before I left I read that you don't tip in bars or restaurants. When I got there, I asked a bartender if people normally tip, he said, "Yes, 15%". Later on I got info from a lady who lives there that it is a lie, they never tip and it is something they do if you are recognizably foreign. Either way it wasn't a big deal to me, I'm not gonna fight the guy over 3 Euros (this time...).
Amsterdam has awesome nightlife. Besides checking out the Red Light district, there are great clubs and really you could just walk around in a populated area and find things to do. I visited Club Abe on a Monday night, had some drinks and a good time! It was free to get in and they had a great DJ.
Trip pricing total:
flights $360 round trip from NYC
teleport hotel 4 days, 3 nights $252.62 about $85 a night or $43 if you're splitting it
Drake concert tickets $99
Public transportation for 3 day $28.42
This leaves the total at $613.73, keep in mind you can do it even cheaper. As always I would be happy to find cheap flights for you all, I just ask for a $3 donation to keep my little blog running that can be made via Paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested email me (keep in mind there is no guarantee, I can look but I can't control prices! I'm just Mally, not Beyonce', I know its confusing).
Traveling While Black Amsterdam
I didn't have any issues in the city, everyone was friendly and laid back. No one automatically assumed I was American and people often came up to me and started speaking in Dutch before I gave them a crazy look and told them I speak English.