Monday, April 8, 2013

guide to amsterdam

• the well-traveled wife's guide to amsterda
amsterdam was such a pleasant surprise...i felt like i had only heard about it's
crazy ways, the red light district, loose laws, etc. i got there and instead found
beautiful canals, amazing food, nice people, great art + museums,
pretty flowers, and more bikes than cars. i love this city.
it's even nicknamed the "venice of the north" 
for it's canals. you'll fall in love!

a few favorites:

we literally stayed on a BOAT on the water. be warned-- it's not 5 stars, it's
sort of a hostel feel but very clean and such a fun experience. you can get your 
own rooms and then share the bathrooms on the boat. they served a 
great european breakfast every morning on boat, so we ate while
taking in the water & city while eating. i adored staying here!

it's so incredible that anne frank's house + the room where she hid is still
preserved and was turned into a museum! whether you've read the diary of anne frank or not,
this place is amazing and they've done such a good job with it. it opens at 9 AM and it's inexpensive.
a line forms early in the morning, so it's best to put this early in your plan so you can beat the line! 
<<Get off at bus stop ''Westermarkt'' and walk to your right onto the Prinsengracht>>

Pancake House
Prinsengracht 191
best dutch pancakes + omelettes. it's right down the street from the
anne frank house, so go after you visit the museum!

Pannenkoekenhuis Upstairs
another amazing pancake house in the red light district in
a cute little old house. all different toppings. YUM!!!!!

Other Food Suggestions
--dutch pancakes: you will find these all over amsterdam {like the 2 places listed above}
they are kind of a combo of crepes and regular pancakes...they melt in your mouth, and
they are best with sweet toppings. get them with ice cream, chocolate, etc.
--stroopwafels- these are the famous dutch treat. i am obsessed with these! they are like crispy waffle
cakes with caramel in between..they are all over amsterdam, get some fresh and also take some home!
--"chippers"- you will find french fry shops all over the place. you can get them in paper cones and
all different sauces. my favorite is the curry sauce, like a fry sauce with a little curry taste. yum!

Van Gogh Museum
loved this museum with an incredible collection of van gogh!
so worth seeing. we spent hours here.

national museum, full of lots of art & historical items.
the building is beautiful, and it's right in the museum square so 
it's worth stopping into if you have time.

fun square right between three main museums..the van gogh museum is 
on one side, and the rijksmuseum are both right here, plus the famous
"i am amsterdam" sign which you have to get a picture by :)

if you're a flower//tulip lover, this is fun to visit.
you have to see the famous dutch tulips!
if you get the city card, this museum accepts it. 

Flower Parade

depending when you're planning to visit amsterdam, there will always be fun events going on.
i've only been to amsterdam in the summer, but this flower parade in the spring is on my bucket list 
to see one day! it is a HUGE parade with massive floats, all covered in flowers. the parade starts
off a weekend in april every year, and the floats stay downtown all weekend lit up.

Canal Cruises
book a fun canal cruise here or here, depending what kind you want!
or, get the city pass {info below} and a canal cruise is included!

last, we've loved doing these fun walking tours, so click here and plan it out!
you should also rent bikes, there are rentals everywhere and it is the
best city to bike in..everyone is biking, all over the place!

***depending on what you want to do in amsterdam,
this i amsterdam city card can be great. click here for info..
it includes:
  • entry to many museums
  • unlimited use of the tram/ bus system
  • entrance to main museums/ attractions
  • one canal cruise
  • discounts on various restaurants, etc
this pass can be worth it depending 
on what you want to see and do. so check it out!

we have also partnered with netherlands tourism to share
their tips to amsterdam, which you can see here.
their site is a great resource for all things holland!

enjoy amsterdam for me!!


  1. Thanks for that updated info, a fantastic service for everyone. More power to you!

    thai restaurant amsterdam

  2. Great guide! I'll definitely link this up when I eventually get to posting about Amsterdam! xo

    1. can't wait to see your posts from amsterdam!

  3. Wow, it really does look stunning. I love the tulips, pancakes and canals.

    xx Kelly

  4. This is defiantly on my hit list. Thanks for the info on the pass..that's super useful:)

  5. It looks so beautiful there!

  6. I just got back from Amsterdam, and was very pleasantly surprised. I didn't have the chance to see everything [guess that means I'll just have to go back ;)], but definitely enjoyed the couple of days wandering around. Wish I had seen your tips before I left, though! Great post!

    1. ahh i should have posted it last week! never a bad thing to re-visit a place though! XO

  7. I really hope to go to Amsterdam some day! Although people always talk about the bad parts, like the red light district, whenever I see photos of Amsterdam it just looks so beautiful! And so many people have told me so many good things about the flower parade that I just have to see it for myself some day!

    - Carrie

  8. Wow, Amsterdam is high on my list of cities to visit! Your pictures are amazing - glad you guys loved it!!!

  9. when were you in amsterdam you little world traveler?! i already miss you this week... do a guide to Laguna next!!

  10. The company I work for is based in Amsterdam so have been fortunate enough to get over there. It's a wonderful city full of history. The Ann Frank house is not to be missed! My husband and I left there in tears.


    1. that is so great that your company is based there! what a great place to go for business trips :) glad you and your husband both got to go. the anne frank house was so touching! XO

  11. This looks great! I've never been, but I'd love to go!

  12. Very cool! The pictures are beautiful

  13. Gorgeous, just gorgeous. Amsterdam is on my bucket list to visit sometime. We didn't get there the last time we went to Europe but it will be on the list next time!

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  14. I've always wanted to go here! Look at those yummy pancakes!!!

  15. Absolutely stunning. Amazing pics! I will have to try out those pancake places when we go in May!

    1. yes definitely! SO exciting that you're going so soon! xo

  16. I forgot to add this to my list. I would love to see the Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum. Thanks for sharing as always. -Jess L

  17. you are making me want to travel again so badly! it looks beautiful there! Thanks for sharing about all your travels!


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