I wish I had given myself more time to explore Amsterdam because I immediately felt at home in this city! Amsterdam is so relaxed and laid back that I felt like I wanted to move there and never leave. Everyone was friendly, there is gorgeous art, wonderful markets, public transportation was fabulous, and stuff wasn’t too expensive.
I arrived in Amsterdam around dinner time after leaving Paris EARLY in the morning and stopping in Bruges for most of the day.
Day 1- Monday June 22- arrive at 6:42 PM
I dropped off my backpack at Hostel Van Gogh and immediately left to wander around and made my way to the Oude Kerk which is the oldest building in Amsterdam and is still in use is a old church in the middle of the Red Light District.
As a solo traveling woman I don’t recommend hanging out in the Red Light District too late. I enjoyed walking around just as it was getting dark and then heading out when it started to feel a little seedier.
Note: Go to the Red Light District, just don’t take pictures of the girls in the windows because big bouncers might appear out of now where and smash your camera. Or so everyone tells me. I didn’t want to take any chances and left my DSLR in my bag.
Day 2- Tuesday June 23- Museum Day
Rijksmuseum Get there by 8:30. 9 am open 18E – Buy tickets online for 9 download the Rijk Museum App for a free 90 min tour of the masterpieces.
Van Gogh Museum book a timed entry to avoid lines 15E
Canal Cruise– Buy online for a discounted price of 14E. I was so tired after seeing the museums that I actually fell asleep during this quiet hour-long canal cruise. The dreary skies, warm boat, and bad photo ops due to the glass might have had something to do with it too.
Save money buy combining tickets for canal cruise and Rijksmuseum 31E total
Buy picnic stuff at the Albert Cuyp Market (open 9-5)
Picnic in Vondel park– Everyone seems to go here with their friends to hang out, have a snack, or smoke. I brought some wine and my own picnic supplies and enjoyed my book next to this pond. I was interrupted a few times by some VERY friendly birds!
Day 3- Wednesday June 24- Windmills!
I wanted to go to the Anne Frank House, but even though I went right at opening time there was already a three hour wait. If you want to fight the crowd be sure to buy a timed ticket!
Instead I went to Zaanse Schans! It is a 17 min train ride from the city of Amsterdam. Go here to see a ton of windmills and a more traditional way of life. Buy the Zaanse Schans Card for 10E for access to museums and windmills. Be sure to check out the Bakery Museum (which still produces bread and sweets) and the Distillery Museum which also allows you to taste test the local alcohol! The wooden shoe workshop has wooden shoes for sale which would make a great souvenir.
Note: The website www.9292.nl provides routs that include tram, ferry, train, bus and metro. There is also a phone app by the same name.