I wrote a piece not too long ago about what not to do in Amsterdam to avoid having your camera thrown into a canal or worse. This post will give you tips on how to make your Amsterdam trip even better. The city has a lot to offer and some of these tips will help you save cash whilst exploring Amsterdam’s cobblestone streets and gleaming canals. If you want the inside scoop on this bicycle obsessed city then join me for this ride.
Try a stroop waffle
There are many stores in Amsterdam which sell waffles the popular kind. The ones you pop into a waffle iron. I saw a meme saying waffles are just pancakes with abs and laughed at it.
Stroop waffles are on a whole other level though. I’m talking sweet things heaven here. Stroop waffles have a hard texture and when you bite into one you will taste the yummy golden syrup inside. Place your stroop waffle on top of a steaming hot cup of tea or coffee. The steam will make the waffle easier to chew and the syrup inside will become gooey. I first had this on my Lufthansa flight from Munich to Düsseldorf. I had them again in Tilburg. I’m advising you now though if you are only going to visit Amsterdam please don’t forget to try this treat.
Take photos of the canals
I only managed to take a few good photos of the canals. Try to take photos which include flower baskets and bicycles to give your pictures more character. You can even include a stroll waffle in the image to give it an extra boost.
Use free Wi-Fi
I always had a roaming package and paid very little for it thanks to my network provider in Germany. Big up to Aldi Talk. I didn’t need to use the free Wi-Fi provided by the library in Amsterdam but if you are budget conscious pop in to the public library, (Oba Central library) which is conveniently located close to Amsterdam Central Station. The library also has an eye-catching exterior.
Go watch a movie at the cinema
I’m one of those people who love going to the cinema. And guess what movies in the Netherlands are often not dubbed over in Dutch. If you are watching a Hollywood blockbuster film it will be in English yipeeeee! The film might have Dutch subtitles. When I went to the cinema with my Dutch friend Monique the film was in English. We watched the Bridge of spies and there were no subtitles. If you are going to be in Amsterdam for a longer time going to the cinema might be something different from the more tourist centred activities that you can do. Click the following link for more information about the cinemas of Amsterdam :https://www.iamsterdam.com/en/see-and-do/whats-on/cinema-film-amsterdam
Save time with skip the line passes
My trip to Amsterdam was my first solo travel trip. It was also the first time I left Germany. Inexperience added to the mistakes which I made on this trip. I only had one day in Amsterdam and should have planned better. I don’t regret winging it still I wish I could have seen inside Anne Frank’s House. I did get to see the outside and one day I will visit again to see the inside. So get the skip the line tickets you can buy these online. If you plan to visit Anne Frank’s House, The Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum you will need online tickets .
The lines to museums in Amsterdam are so long that you may spend hours queuing before being able to enter. Do note that tickets to both the Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank’s House only allow you to enter during a certain time slot. You have to be there at the specific time to enter or else your ticket will be invalid. I usually don’t promote combination tickets in this case it is wise if you plan to visit these museums which are also the most popular museums in Amsterdam and go on a canal cruise buy a combination ticket.
For in-depth comparison of the different kinds of tickets click the link: https://freetoursbyfoot.com/amsterdam-city-passes/
If you plan on exploring Amsterdam don’t travel by tour bus in my post on Amsterdam’s tourist traps I discussed how the streets are narrow and bus travel is impractical. Instead walk around things are located close to each other. Wear good shoes as the streets are cobble lined. If you need to travel inside the city use the public tram or public bus. You can purchase a bus ticket from the tram/bus driver directly and it’s cheaper than wasting your euros on a red bus tour.
If you need to travel to a place not on the public transport line then call a cab if need be. You gonna have to pay more for this and it can be pricey so budget for this expense. Remember on days like New Years Eve and Kings Day, you should book your taxi in advance otherwise you will struggle to get a taxi which is available. It is also not normal to get a taxi easily whilst you are on the street in Amsterdam so rather call. I spotted very few cabs in Amsterdam. To book a taxi call: 0031 20 777 777 7
My Dutch friend and my travel buddy who studied in Rotterdam both told me that Netherlands is small. My dad told me this to but when I took the train to Tilburg I realized just how small it was. If you want to travel around inside the Netherlands in other words leave Amsterdam and go to Utrecht, Rotterdam or Venlo then use the train. It’s safe, comfy and interconnected and you can even get to tiny villages using the train. The Dutch railway company is called Nederlandse Spoorwegen their official website has an English section as the Netherlands is an extremely English friendly place. Train travel can be expensive in the Netherlands so watch out for that be not travelling during peak hours 7:30 am -9:am and 5pm-7pm during the weekdays is when the tickets are the most expensive.
Check for shows
Amsterdam is home to many concerts and has an active night life scene. South African acts like Goldfish often perform in Amsterdam. Goodluck another SA music act is set to play in Amsterdam this August. If you are a bit of a party animal or totally wild, and want to attend a concert or go see Goodluck then plan in advance. Sorry if I’m putting a damper on your carefree animalistic spirit, it’s just that you won’t score tickets if you wait till the last-minute to buy them. And if you do you will pay more.
If you ignored my prudent advice then use Lastminuteticketshop.nl. You can pay using your international credit card or by iDeal if you have a Dutch bank account. Just remember that you will be charged extra for using this service. It’s still a viable option if you want last-minute tickets.
Now you might be thinking what do I do if the concert is sold out already? Ticketswap might be your saving grace. Ticketswap sells e-tickets which have already been purchased to you, from one person to the other person. It is rather safe service based on the reviews I have read. And ticketswap checks whether the e-ticket you are buying is valid. The service is also available in Budapest and other cities. Ticketswap is an online service and you can download the app to. Follow the link for more details: https://www.ticketswap.com
My lack of travel experience led to another mistake which I made in Amsterdam. I ate a falafel instead of having a hearty Dutch meal. I didn’t pay for it a creepy guy bought it for me so there’s that. I did feel like I missed out a bit afterwards because I didn’t eat traditional Dutch food that was until I got to Tilburg. I’m forever grateful to Monique for cooking many traditional Dutch meals for me.
But if you don’t have Dutch friends living in Amsterdam then use the app which the locals use IENS it is a restaurant guide which is available in English. And it doesn’t only list Amsterdam’s restaurants you can find quality restaurants across the Netherlands by using this app. It provides you with reviews from patrons and restaurants are ranked from 1-10. You can search by typing in Amsterdam obviously, you can also search by area, or by a spot located on the map to find a foodies dream close by to where you are in Amsterdam. Click here for more information:
A few weeks ago I read a newspaper article on how a flat with a fully functional kitchen was being advertised for rent on Amsterdam. The cost was ridiculously pricey rent in Amsterdam tends to be costly. The unusual thing was that the advertisement specifically stated that the kitchen could not be used for cooking. I was like huh, what, why and I laughed. So check if you are allowed to cook at the place you are living and also check if you can eat there if you plan on staying longer in Amsterdam. If you are and want to order in. Thuisbezorgd will help you find restaurants in your area which deliver to your door use this service if you prefer to stay in and rest your travelling feet for a bit.
Triposo is another one of those free and helpful apps which provides you with a digital tour guide to the Netherlands. Download the app for free then download the guide for the Netherlands in this case. You can find things to do, places to eat, where to go shop, tourist sites and other activities. You can also filter your searches by searching for canal cruise for example. It is the kind of app which you can use if you will in Amsterdam just for one day and if you are too rushed to do proper research.
The downside of using the app is sometimes the zoom feature is a bit much which makes the map a bit confusing. This app is also going to list the typical things to do and see. You aren’t going to find the hidden gems which bloggers like me ha ha and good guidebook writers include in their works.
Check the weather and layer
It can get chilly in Europe at night. This is me stating the obvious I just don’t want you to be getting cold. I hate getting cold. I had two jackets with me and a scarf in the photo below I’m wearing them both. This is something that I at least got right when I visited. Monique warned me that it gets cold in Amsterdam because of all the canals and the wind. I layered up and didn’t get cold. If you are a day tripper it’s important to have the proper clothes as you probably don’t have luggage. This means you can’t go back to your room to grab your coat or fuzzy warm jacket. Use AccuWeather to be better prepared
Visit Hidden Gems
I haven’t had time to write about the hidden gems of Amsterdam. Right now I don’t have access to my laptop.If you want to explore less touristy places in Amsterdam follow the link: https://theculturetrip.com/europe/the-netherlands/articles/amsterdam-s-10-best-kept-secrets/
This list of things to do isn’t really hidden it does however, provide things to do that are different from the norm. Some of the things I found out about aren’t listed in the article. I will compile my own list once I’m reunited with my laptop.
If you are a regular here thank you so much. And if you are new to my blog thank you for visiting and welcome. I love reading comments on my blog so if you want to please don’t hold back let me know what you think. If you want to collaborate or chat you can inbox or e-mail me.
Wishing you many happy travels through the journey of life!
xxx Nikki xxx
Congrats on your first solo trip, you did so well and got a few great photos too! I tried stroop waffles recently and loved them – I found them at our neighbourhood kiosk here in Cairo, of all places.
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That’s great to hear they sell them here in Cape Town to. Such a brilliant find. Now I know I can stroop waffles in Cairo also 😊Thanks for your feedback.
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