My girlfriend wants to go for a long weekend break there. Any suggestions on what to do when there?
Most Helpful Girl
I lived there for over a year
Some things I'd recommend:
A really big museum with lots of things. You can even spend days there if you're into it. And it's not just art in there, just in case you were wondering. Tram 16 would be the best way to get there.
- Channel Tour
Take one of the many boats through the channels. You'll learn a lot quite easily and so more than just walking around. Boats leave from almost anywhere in the city, but especially from the area between the central station and Dam square (either at the station's square or a bit cheaper at the Damrak boulevard (which is the big road between the station and Dam square))
- Anne Frank Huis / Anne Frank House
Great things to go to, even tho you wouldn't spend too much time there. But the waiting like to get in can get a mile long during the weekend, so if you want to go, go like half an hour or earlier before opening time and just get it some with early in the morning.
It's actually not Amsterdam, it's a city about 15 minutes from Amsterdam by train. It's a nice old city, much like Amsterdam. It's just not messy by mass tourism, much quieter and has just as many things to city by just wandering about. Leave Amsterdam at the end of the afternoon, in the centre of Haarlem less than half an hour later (trains go like every 10 minutes). Enjoy the city, watch the great cathedral and have dinner there (much much cheaper and way better quality). Afterwards you're back in Amsterdam in no time at all. And if you want to see the red light district in Amsterdam, just go there between getting back from Haarlem when you're heading to your hotel. The red light district is basically Amsterdam's slum and it's right between the central station and Dam square. You don't need to spend more than like 10 minutes there to see everything, so if you want to go there just go there along the way rather than planning hours for it ;)
- Zaanse Schans
Again, not in Amsterdam But it's only like half an hour from the city centre of Amsterdam (like 15 minutes by train and 15 minutes walking or 45 minutes by bus) so it wouldn't take you longer to get there than some places in Amsterdam itself. De Zaanse Schans is basically the most known dutch windmill area. In some tourist guides it's called Amsterdam Mill Area, even tho it's not Amsterdam at all. Out there it's not just about the mills, it's also about old crafts and trades (cheesemaking, beerbrewing, 'klompenmaken' etc1
Most Helpful Guy
Yes, I have been there several times. It only takes about 11 hours by train from where I live. I went there with a good friend once and we booked a couchette (sleeping compartment), so we just slept for the whole way and when we woke up again, we were almost there ;-).
Unfortunately, I don't remember a lot of what we did when I went there with my family because I was only 12 or so. I just remember we stayed in my aunt's house because she comes from the Netherlands and we walked around a lot in the city (we also visited other cities). Rotterdam is a very pretty town with a nice and typical North Sea atmosphere. When I went to Amsterdam with my friend, we mostly just strolled around, went to different coffee shops to try out all the different kinds of weed and we also walked around the red light district (the latter can also be done with a girlfriend... it's just a fun thing to do in the evening, there were also other couples). The "Grachten" (channels) are beautiful and as far as I remember, they also have a lot of cafés (not coffee shops). I also know that they have a beautiful crystal museum that is definitely worth visiting. There's also a Van Gogh museum but it's not really worth it. It's really expensive and their collection is quite small. One thing I also remember is that I went with my guyfriend to the Heineken museum where you can learn how beer is made (and they give you free beer at the end of the tour). I personally don't like beer but it was still fun to do the tour (I just gave all my free beer to my friend ;-)). I'm sure if you google Amsterdam, you will find more interesting things. If you're going before October or so, I also highly recommend you to go to the beach and see the sea. It's different from other seas such as the Atlantic because in the Netherlands (and also northern Germany) they have the Wadden sea. The seafloor is really, really, really flat and so the sea is very shallow close to the beach. You can walk in around 50 meters and the water still only reaches your knees. It's quite a special atmosphere.2