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A Weekend in Amsterdam Travel Guide

My weekend trip to Amsterdam was quite the adventure.


Before I dive right into places to go / see / eat, make sure you get enough sleep the next before you leave.

The Amsterdam weekend trip was part of the EF Paris activities, and we were all supposed to meet at 7 AM at a bus station that was an hour away from where I was staying. 
The day of the trip... I somehow missed my alarm and woke up at 10 AM. 
I received a dozen emails and texts asking where I was. 

I was so frantic about the situation and I knew I couldn't miss a trip to Amsterdam while here in Paris, so I booked the next train ticket to Amsterdam, even with all the pit stops in Belgium, and somehow made it there. Before the EF Paris group. With no phone service outside the train. 
I honestly have no idea how it all worked out. But I'm so thankful it did.


PLACE TO STAY: 

After checking into the ClinkNOORD hostel, we had some free time for the remainder of the night. 
The girls and I dropped off our luggage in the room -- a small room with three bunks for 6 girls, 1 bathroom with a toilet / shower and barely no space for anything -- and freshened up. I usually like my space when traveling, but this place was budget-friendly enough for a big group that EF Paris put together. If you're looking to stay just for a weekend, it isn't that bad. But if you're planning to stay longer, I recommend staying somewhere else. 

{ These are other hotels in the area to check out here. }
 
Pros: free wifi, breakfast, lounge area, coffee shop, and a bar located near the front desk area. 
Cons: you have to rent a towel and purchase other supplies if needed. 

{ The Butcher restaurant building located right beside the hostel }

The ClinkNOORD hostel is located at 
Badhuiskade 3, 1031 KV Amsterdam, The Netherlands 

and I actually liked how convenient the location was. Centraal Station was only about 5-10 minutes away, which led to the heart of Amsterdam. You do have to take a free ferry (which takes about 3 minutes) in order to get back and forth from the hostel, but the ferry runs every 7 minutes (and departs every 15 minutes during the night). 

{ right outside Centraal Station }

Fair warning: you will be doing a lot of walking in Amsterdam. I have a FOSSIL step tracker app connected to my FOSSIL smart watch, and I was hitting about 7-8 miles every day.

Not to mention, the first two days we arrived... it was unbearably cold. 
Be sure to pack lots of coats and layer up because the wind was brutal.



THINGS TO DO:

- Visit the Sex Museum -- located in the busiest areas of Amsterdam: Damrak Street.


- Eat a Dutch pancake -- called pannekoek, and you can opt for either a salty or sweet version. These were mini sweet Dutch pancakes with powdered sugar. 

- Eat the frites on the streets. 

- Visit Madame Tussauds -- the world famous waxworks museum. 


- Visit Dam Square -- you'll see The Amsterdam Royal Palace, which sits at the very center of Amsterdam. It was originally a city hall in the 17th century, but is now used for royal events.
There's more information on tours and viewings here.

-- Feed the pigeons in Dam Square -- for starters, I'm not the biggest fan of birds. I was actually terrified to even feed them, but then gave it a try and actually enjoyed it. There were so many pigeons on the day I was walking around the Dam Square.

My initial reaction when a pigeon tried to eat from my hand. 


- Visit the I AMSTERDAM sign -- a classic tourist attraction for photo opps. Of course, it was overcrowded with tourists trying to take photos. But the area itself is nice to walk around, eat, enjoy a coffee or an ice cream cone, and hang out.

- Check out the Bloemenmarkt -- the world's only floating flower market. The weather finally warmed up a little and the sun made an appearance on the day I went, so I would recommend spending some time in the area. There's lots of shops and restaurants nearby to explore and sightsee. 

{ playing tourist with all the cheese shops } 
 
{ there's so many cheesy photo opps in this area } 

- Walk through the famous Red Light District at night -- fair warning: it is forbidden to take any photos of the women in the windows. 
Since prostitution is legal in Amsterdam, you'll see an interesting atmosphere in this area. Just be careful of pick-pocketers and be sure to go with a group or people!

- Go on a canal tour -- the tour I went on, there was an audio guide that explained the history behind all the different canals. 

- Ride bikes -- a classic experience in Amsterdam... which I unfortunately was not able to do. But the best transportation is biking, so I definitely recommend renting a bike and sightseeing the beauty of Amsterdam. 

{ The architecture and buildings here are so beautiful }

- Visit the Amsterdam windmills -- De Otter mill is the 'heritage of Amsterdam' and about 20 minutes away from Dam Square. 

- Visit an Amsterdam Coffeeshop -- I personally did not do this, but a lot of people from the group were open to trying it. Make sure you don't buy cannabis from people on the street. It's illegal and dangerous. There are many Coffeeshops in the area to do it. 

- Nightlife -- I went out both nights the weekend I was there. It wasn't any different from the clubs I've experienced, but European people really do love Justin Bieber and Latin music! 


There's so much to do in Amsterdam, and I feel like a weekend wasn't enough to experience it all. However, I'm excited that I was able to make it (with my situation), and cross it off my bucket list of places to visit. 

I hope you enjoyed this weekend travel guide to Amsterdam!
If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or shoot me an email :)

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