- Amsterdam is a capital city of Kingdom of Netherlands and is a home to the oldest stock exchange of the world i.e. Amsterdam Stock Exchange.
- Amsterdam is also known as the Venice of the North as it has more than 165 canals surrounded by some of the beautiful houses.
- The city derives its name from Amstelredamme, which indicates its origin as a dam of the river Amstel.
- The city is famous not only for its nightlife, restaurants but is also famous for its canals and museums and is also considered as one of the most romantic and beautiful cities of Europe.
- The City is also famous for its coffee. There are more than 250 coffee shops in the city. Coffee shops here are also allowed to sell weeds, hash and marijuana and because of this there may be restriction to enter the shops for people below age of 18. ID may also be required to enter the shops.
HOW TO VISIT
If one is planning to visit Amsterdam, I would suggest them to not only explore places within the city but also should plan to explore some outskirts of the city which are not only beautiful but will help to understand the history of the city and Holland more closely and clearly.
To visit and explore both outskirts area and the city, I think minimum 3 days are required so that it will not be hectic and one can enjoy every moment and admire the beauty and the culture of the city.
Explore the city with Amsterdam City Card
With regard to the Transportation, one can go for the 48 hrs Amsterdam City Card which will cost around 55 Euro 65 Euros. There are other options also available like 24 hrs or 72 hrs card. But 48 hrs card is a good deal for a 3 days trip as one day will be spent to explore the outskirts where the card will not be valid.
Benefits of the card:
- Free entry to Amsterdam’s best museums and attractions.
- Free canal cruise, a beautiful way to see the city’s historic centre
- Free, unlimited use of the GVB public transport (bus, tram and metro).
- Great discounts and special offers throughout the city.
- A free, detailed city map.
Explore the city with Bicycle
Amsterdam is also considered as the bicycle-friendly capital city of the world. One can see lot of people (not only tourist but also locals) using bicycle to commute within the city. I think the best way to explore the city is Bicycle only and if one is interesting to do that, its very easy. Yes !!… there are lot of vendors providing bicycles on rent. Just hire one bicycle for yourself and start exploring. More information on how to take bicycle on rent can be obtained on the official website of Amsterdam tourism.
According to me if one is going on a budget trip of 3 days to Amsterdam, it will cost around 350 Euros -400 Euros (excluding travel to the and from the city). The major cost breakup are:
- Accommodation : Youth Hostel cost around 30-40 Euro per day and can be booked online through various websites like Hostel Bookers and Hostel world.
- Food : Depending on what one prefer to eat. However one can expect 5-7 Euro per meal in an inexpensive restaurants.
- Transportation Cost : With Amsterdam city card, all the public transportation are free. If you go for bicycle rent, it may cost you from 8.50 Euros to 15 Euros depending upon the type and model of bicycle.
- Sight Seeing : With Amsterdam city card, all the major museums and attractions are free.
Money Saver Tips:
1) Travel with the Amsterdam city card.
2) If you are not using the city card ask for the combo deals. There are discounts available if one go for the purchase of tickets of two attraction at a time.
3) Ask for the discount coupons. Almost all the tourist attractions, provide some discount coupons which can be used at other tourist attraction point. Ask for the same, if you are not using the city card.
4) Book the hostel in city center as all the major city attractions are near city center and will thus save time,
MUST WATCH PLACES
Tulip Garden of Holland does not require any introduction. Its one of the most beautiful attraction in the world. There are lot of tulip garden near Amsterdam which one can visit. It will maximum takes 40-60 minutes to reach the nearest Tulip Garden. The most famous tulip Garden is Keukenhof Garden which is open only for two months i.e mid March to mid May. One can also take a guided tour, which usually includes a coach ride and pre-paid entrance fees.
Important Tip: All the Tulip garden are open only from mid- March to end of May. So one should accordingly plan to visit the place
Madam Tussaud Museums
Madam Tussaud Museums does not require any introduction. It is the famous wax museum situated at Dam square in Amsterdam. The museum does not only have the wax statues but is highly equipped with the multimedia effects.
It is a self guided tour where one can discover not only the history of the world’s third largest brewer but can also see and understand the brewery making process. There is a tasting room also available where one can taste the beer. The tour also includes the 2 glass of the perfect Heineken .
This is the coolest bar of the Amsterdam with a temperature of – 10 degree Celsius. It has two bar with lounge where one can have cocktail or large beer while enjoying the good music. The best part of the Icebar is that all the furniture, walls infact each and every thing here you find is made up of ice even the glass too 🙂 I think this Icebar is altogether a new and wonderful experience for all the people and is a must visit place in Amsterdam.
The history of Amsterdam is intimately connected with water. Its 165 canals were created over the centuries to stimulate trade and transport and reclaim land to expand the city. They continue define the city’s landscape and in 2010 Amsterdam’s canal ring was recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site. It is also said, exploring Amsterdam with canal cruise or boat always seems to be more magical and beautiful. Perhaps, it is one of the best way to explore the city.
Red Light Secrets and Walking tour
As all are aware that Amsterdam is famous for its Red Light district. Red Light Secrets also known as museum of Prostitution provides some of the hidden facts and secrets behind the Red Light District. There is a short movie also which will introduce to you the dreams, desire and some secrets of the women working in the Red Light District. This museum is definitely a thrilling and surprising museum in the city.
Country Side & Windmill Tour
A visit to Amsterdam would not be complete without having seen the lovely Dutch countryside. One can take a guided tour with tourist departement in Amsterdam. This is a full day trip during which following excursion will be done:
a) Zaanse Schans Windmill
Windmills are an iconic part of the Dutch landscape, and a visit to one is a must for visitors to the Netherlands. And with eight windmills located in and around Amsterdam, windmill spotting is a great way to see the city. The Zaanse Schans is just 15 minutes from the Amsterdam. This picturesque open-air “museum” is free of charge and boasts eight well-preserved windmills in one cluster. The windmills produced all sorts of items from paint to mustard to oil, and for a small fee, some of the windmills are open for visiting. Make a day of it and wander through the traditional houses, clog factories, or stop by the Windmill Museum, a 15-minute walk away.
b) Volendam Museum
Volendam is an village near Amsterdam also known as fishing village is one of the famous tourist attraction near Amsterdam. The museum takes you back to year 1462 where you can see the culture, tradition of folk dance, songs etc of this fishing village. The tour is a small one but quite interesting for all the people who loves to learn the different cultures of the world.
c) Cheese Factory
Netherlands is famous for it cheese and here in the countryside tour one gets the opportunity to see and expiereince how the tastiest cheese of the Netherlands are manufactured. You can also purchase lot of varieties of cheese here according to your taste.
d) Cog Maker factory
At the end of the countryside tour, you will be taken via boat trip to the island of Marken, where you will visit local traditional clog (Wooden Shoe) maker. One can also see the manufacturing process of the wooden shoes which is very interesting. One can also purchase some wooden shoes here.
The official approved guide to Amsterdam : http://www.iamsterdam.com/en/
Note : Picture mark with * are taken from wikipidea.org
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