6 Tips For Visiting Amsterdam
Rent A Bike
Renting a bike was by far the easiest way to get around Amsterdam. the city was built for it, with lanes made specifically for them running parallel to car lanes on all the roads. Make sure you walk away from the Amsterdam Centraal Station, towards the city center for better rates. T and I ended up sharing a bike, with me sitting on the flat rack on the back, and we were more than comfortable. We had the BEST time zipping through the city.
I know everyone tells you this all the time, but Amsterdam was seriously a beautiful city to get completely lost in. Winding through the tiny alleys, looking up at the tall mismatched buildings and running along the canals was probably the highlight of my stay here. Grab a pastry and some coffee, roam around and make yourself comfortable next to the canal for an hour or so and watch the locals float by leisurely enjoying the sun.
Take In The History
All of Europe is so rich in history, but Amsterdam's old brick walls and slanted roofs hold an especially heart wrenching story. Learn about Anne Frank and stand on the streets that she once stood on, imagine how the canals must have looked during her lifetime. We also stayed in Haarlem where we were able to visit the Corrie Ten Boom house, an incredible house that holds the story of how a woman and her family risked their lives every day because of their faith in God.
Stay Outside of Amsterdam
I think we made the best decision staying outside of Amsterdam. Haarlem was a short 25 minutes away from the city and we were able to use the trains easily. It took one bus and a train to get from Haarlem to Amsterdam but I think the quiet nights and calm canals made it completely worth it. Haarlem has a beautiful city center with amazing food, T and I definitely recommend it!
Card Is King
Unlike most other European cities, card is definitely king in Amsterdam. A lot of the places that we ate at didn't even take cash! So keep that in mind when you're visiting and make sure that your chip cards have a pin and you're aware of your foreign transaction fees for each of your credit cards.
One last tip! ALWAYS, always keep your train tickets on you. You scan them when you enter the station AND when you exit the station, even if the gates are open. We got into some trouble once after throwing our tickets away after entering the station, and the conductor threatened to charge us 150 euros each for not holding onto our tickets.