If you are looking for something different, Amsterdam would be the destination! It's one of the most liberal cities that I have been to yet, with so many things to see and do. If you are going during the summertime, take advantage of the long summer hours when the sun stays out past 9 PM. That's right! 9 PM!!! Explore the city by bike, take a stroll around Vondelpark, or sip on coffee and relax by the canals.
THINGS TO DO
1) Visit the "I amsterdam" sign
Take a picture.. or it didn't happen! Get a picture in front of the iconic sign behind the Rijksmuseum. Note that it gets extremely crowded so if you want a clear picture with no one in it, I recommend going at 7AM latest. By 8AM, tourists will start trickling in.
DO IT FOR THE AMSTER-GRAM
2) Stop by a "Coffee Shop"
Want to feel high on life? This is the place to go (hint-hint: there's no coffee).... OR if you choose, you can go to an actual cafe. There are plenty of cute ones around here. I had my morning pick-me-up at a place called CT Coffee and Coconuts, and ordered CT Coconut Dream Juice which was made out of fresh banana/mango/cucumber and coconut water. It was delish!!!
3) Shop in the City
If there's a mall or shopping involved, I gots to go. My favorite area to shop while in Amsterdam was De Negan Straatjes (aka The Nine Streets for us Americans). This place had the cutest and trendiest boutiques with great culture.
4) Experience the Anne Frank House
This was one of my favorite sites to visit. It was a very humbling experience, and took you back in time to show you what must have felt like to live in Amsterdam during the Holocaust. Book your tickets online ahead of time to avoid waiting in long lines and sometimes tickets sell out!
5) Ride bikes in Vondelpark
This park is Amsterdam's most famous park. It's a huge park with trails to either take a nice run on or ride your bike. We rented bikes and rode around the park for an hour, it was definitely relaxing.
6) Walk around the Albert Cuypmarket
This outdoor market open everyday besides Sunday. Pick up a warm delicious stroopwafel while you're at it.
7) Museum Hopping
Grab the "I Amsterdam City Card" which gives you access to multiple museums! I'm all about those good deals!!
8) Visit the Hortus Botanicus
I didn't get a chance to visit this, but would have loved to. One of the oldest botanical gardens in the world.
9) Hang out at the Red Light District
Wander off and discover what the Red Light District has to offer. You may find all sorts of goodies and interesting experiences! I, for one, found it fascinating.
10) Eat Your Heart Out at the Foodhallen
If you're indecisive like me and never know what to eat, go to the Foodhallen! This place gots errrrthang. I'm talkin' anything from Spanish to Asian to European to... you get the point. It's basically an indoor food court with hip vibes and drinks. I chose to go to Jabugo and paired my ham&cheese with some wine.
11) Cruise on the Canal
This was a nice chance to see the canals up front and personal! I took a 1 hour tour and learned all about Amsterdam's history.
Spent a quick weekend in this city, but loved the uniqueness it had to offer!