KING’S DAY NETHERLANDS 2020 IN THE TIME OF CORONA

THE DUTCH CELEBRATED KING’S DAY AT HOME FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE SECOND WORLD WAR

This year hasn’t been so orange colored for Dutch people. Equally, the whole world became quite grey colored, entering the year 2020 with corona virus infections. The Dutch Government had to also follow the measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Indeed, safety comes first and health too. That’s why large-scale events are banned even until 1st of September 2020 and the “Konings Dag” (King’s Day) was no exception.

BUT WHAT IS KING’S DAY?

King’s Day is a Dutch national holiday, being celebrated on 27th of April in the whole Netherlands in the honor of a Dutch king Willem-Alexander. Actually, that day is his birthday. I guess we all know that The Netherlands (still known as Holland) is the kingdom. Until Willem’s mother, Queen Beatrix, abdicate in 2013, this national holiday was known as Queen’s Day and it was celebrated on 30th of April.

People wearing orange on King's Day the Netherlands

HOW DUTCH PEOPLE CELEBRATE KING’S DAY?

Long story short – WILD! People from the Netherlands and abroad are drawn to Amsterdam to enjoy in parties in literally every club and bar, flea markets, street parties, concerts, dance events, sidewalk performances, boat parties and many more. City’s canals are filled with those party boats and everywhere you can see crowd, bottles, speakers, colors and plenty of trash too. Surprisingly, the day after, the city shines like nothing ever happened, already in the afternoon. Most Dutch people put out the flag and most of people wear orange clothes (national color).

Traditionally Amsterdam is a hotspot. the capital city is definitely the best place to celebrate this day.

Almost everyone is dressed up funny on King’s Day

WHY ORANGE COLOR?

The history of orange as national color dates back to 16st century to Willem of Orange (Willem van Oranje), a distant ancestor of the current king. He was a prince, from a tiny region in France around the city of Orange. I guess the name says it all. 🙂

WHAT IS KING’S NIGHT?

You see, many people go straight to work day after King’s Day. That’s why smart Dutch people invented “Koningsnacht” or “Kings’s Night”. The night before King’s Day is literally a chance to party hard in order to be able go to work day after the biggest national holiday in the kingdom.

Dancing people on King's Day Amsterdam the Netherlands

SO HOW DID KING’S DAY LOOKED LIKE IN 2020?

King’s Day celebrations DID NOT take place this year. At least, not outside and wild like they used to. Thus, King’s Day 2020 was very different from any previous one. Citizens were encouraged to stay home, but they still could celebrate. Some people did celebrated at home, some went to a park to drink a beer (while keeping the distance), some enjoyed home performances and concerts, digital markets, online bingo, DJ’s and their livestreams…

Those who didn’t followed the distancing rules of 1.5 meters, were punished with €390 fine! Watch the videos of King’s Day 2020.

And while King’s Day 2020 went quiet, King’s Night went even more quieter. As you know, I moved from Amsterdam to Spain already a year ago, so I wasn’t experiencing King’s Night or Day. However, I still keep a good contact with many of my friends in Amsterdam and they were so good to send me some photos of this year “celebration”.

See below photos from the empty King’s Night, taken by our dear friend Linda Milojkovic. (edited by me)

@lindamilojkovic
@lindamilojkovic
@lindamilojkovic
@lindamilojkovic

PARTY SUGGESTIONS IN AMSTERDAM

1.) INDEEP’N’DANCE EVENTS

If you love parties an techno, you have to know for Linda Milojkovic and Dejan Milojkovic (Dexon). They are the owners of InDeep’n’Dance Records, a record store, label & organization behind famous weekly Techno Tuesday Amsterdam & Kraft Amsterdam Events, both concepts are home based in Melkweg Amsterdam.

These two artistic souls are often organizing parties, and in the time of King’s Night and Day too. If you are fan of high quality modern techno music and new generation producers & artists, see their website with some great techno events and other related content. Besides the music, this lovely couple does t-shirt printing (their own collection and custom t-shirts).

2.) LOVELAND VAN ORANJE

Of course, there are many more parties and events during the King’s Day. Unfortunately, none for this year, but you can see the list of events and festivals for year 2021 (or wait a bit more since it’s still early).

IMPORTANT TO KNOW

1.) CROWD

King’s Day is really, really crowded. In recent years, Amsterdam authorities did take some measures. For example, a big events and DJ events, parties, festivals are moved to the outskirt of Amsterdam and for those you always have to pay a ticket. The events tend to sell out weeks earlier so I advise you to buy your ticket a month earlier or so.

To give you a better picture, around 600,000 to a million people descend onto the city of Amsterdam to celebrate the King’s birthday. Literally, Amsterdam becomes one giant drunk and loud place for two days, but extremely fun too!

2.) NO PLUBLIC TRANSPORT

There’s no public transport in the center of Amsterdam during the King’s Day. (that includes private cars, taxis, Uber…) If you need a taxi, bus or tram to get to the closest point, it will probably take you somewhere around Nassaukade, Museumplein or Valkenburgerstraat. Expect to walk for at least 15 minutes to get to the city center. One more reason why bike is the great way to move around Amsterdam. The ferries between Amsterdam Noord and the rest of the city are operating normally even when it’s King’s Day.

3.) IT’s CITY-WIDE PARTY experience

Amsterdammers (people from Amsterdam) celebrate this day with parties all around the city. I advise you to start exploring the city on King’s Night by simply walking around in downtown Amsterdam. You’ll spot many parties and fun people (official rule states that pubs must close an hour or so before sunrise). After, you can continue to party in one of the huge events (the best events, in my experience, are outside of the city).

However, don’t get “smashed” during the night. If you are not more or less sober, you won’t be able to enjoy and to properly experience the day after – King’s Day. Remember, King’s Day is a once-a-year unique experience that you shouldn’t miss!

Alone person in Amsterdam streets during King's Day 2020
Empty Amsterdam, a photo by @marko_arch

INTERESTING FACTS:

  • When the 27th of April is the Sunday, Dutch people celebrate King’s Day on 26th of April
  • Beatrix, who was the last queen, has her birthday in January, but since January is a very cold month for a national holiday, Dutch people celebrated Queen’s Day on 30th of April (the birthday of the queen before Beatrix – Juliana)
  • Dutch queen is called Maxima and she is Argentinian
  • During King’s Day, you can sell anything on streets in so called “Free market”. You don’t even need to have a stand. Explore King’s Day street markets.
  • Everyone will wear orange and look funny and so should you
  • You can still visit museums during the King’s Day

If you liked my article and you think it’s helpful for some future travels, share it with others on your social media! ♡

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An illusion room in NEMO museum Amsterdam

THE BEST AND UNIQUE MUSEUM OF AMSTERDAM: NEMO

Amsterdam is a city of art and culture.

If you can’t travel the whole world, but you would love to see it somehow – come to Amsterdam! The population of Amsterdam is one of the most diverse in the whole world with over 180 nationalities plus this fascinating Dutch capital has more than 75 museums all around the city. As a matter of fact, Amsterdam has been declared as the world’s most popular city with the most cultural attractions per capita.

The choice is enormous. From modern and contemporary art, science, film, biology, photography to houseboat museum, cannabis, erotic and torture museum. There is simply a little bit of everything for everyone.

@marko_arch

I must admit I haven’t been to many museums in Amsterdam. Somehow, I never had enough time. However, I’ve been to few and I want to present you one unique museum I believe you will adore as much as I do. In this post, I’ll describe you my favourite museum in Amsterdam: NEMO Science Museum. A museum that will drive you to the past and pull you back-to the future.

@liammcgarry

BOAT-SHAPED BUILDING

The building of the museum is striking. It represents a full size replica of a Dutch trading ship that is docked on a pier. The architect was Renzo Piano, surprisingly – not a Dutch but an Italian man. Believe it or not, the museum was build on top of a tunnel and connects city center and the North part of the city.

On the ROOF OF THE NEMO SCIENCE MUSEUM you can enjoy in amazing views over Amsterdam, being in the tallest town square in the whole Netherlands – 22 metres above water level. (considering the whole country is below the sea level, this is quite high!) Here you will also find the open-air exhibition Energetica, a huge terrace and a gorgeous healthy-style restaurant.

I recommend you to visit the roof on a sunny day and enjoy in interplay between the elements (water, sun, wind) via sculptures and installations that you can operate yourself and find more about how renewable energy works. The roof is also a nice to just relax.

@ollar

But that’s not end of the story about the exterior of NEMO. As I already mentioned in few of my previous articles, Dutch people are truly genius architects and builders and I keep admire them in all what they did and what they still do.
They’ve even made a green roof on NEMO since 2013 as a part of Amsterdam’s natural environment. On the roof, you can find 14 types of succulent and 25 different types of herbs (17,500 individual plants.)

This is how NEMO building looks like from outside

Besides, there are two hives of approximately 20,000 Buckfast bees situated on the roof. However, don’t worry, these kind of bees are super friendly and quiet and you probably won’t even see them.  

WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT TO FIND IN NEMO?

NEMO Science Museum offers stories of science and technology via devices and inventions on 5 floors. The museum has a collection of approximately 19,500 objects that explain the story of man and energy. The main focus is exactly the energy, but in a broad sense of the word.
Literally, this means that in NEMO museum you can find it all; from a walkman, rare algae and pieces of meteors to “how it works” interaction devices, quizzes to test your IQ, optical illusions and so much more. It’s a perfect place to grab lots of knowledge and entrain yourself, your family and friends. 

I am finally bigger than my bae! 🙂
NEMO is definitely making you feel like a kid on certain floors


If you love bunch of facts and if you constantly question everything like I do, NEMO is definitely a must place you shouldn’t avoid when in Amsterdam.
Check NEMO’s interesting section online with many explanations called: “Discover The World Around You At Home”.

A Waterclock from Bernard Gitton installed in NEMO in 2011.
An old compas
Collection of old phones and other technology devices

1.) THE LOBBY

In the lobby, you can find a Water Clock small cafeteria and a gift shop which sells small copies of some of the attractions in the museum, books, cards, crystals and many more interesting things.

2.) FIRST FLOOR

The main focus on the first floor is DNA and chain reactions. Plenty of devices that will blow your mind.

3.) SECOND FLOOR

On the second floor you can find many objects to play with and understand how and why something works. A great thing is that on each floor you have a great explanation next to every device or you can always call stuff to explain you better. There’s also a small cafeteria and a movie/performance hall where many acts, movies and shows about science are shown.

In NEMO you are able to see many on-screen presentations

3.) THIRD FLOOR

There’s a giant science lab on the third floor where you can do science experiments such as looking at DNA, testing electricity etc. There is also a small part of knowledge about money and business.

In NEMO Science Museum Lab, you can learn how to make electricity with a help of onions

4.) FOURTH FLOOR

This floor is dedicated to the human mind and it’s my favourite! It contains of many experiments such as memory tests, mind solving problems, IQ tests, sense testers and many more. This floor is quite dark which adds more to overall impression.

On the fourth floor, there’s a section dedicated to sex
A spider’s web made under the influence of a psychedelic drug-LSD

5.) FIFTH FLOOR

This floor has a cafeteria, a children’s play area and a great views of the city.

FROM WHERE ARE ALL THOSE OBJECTS IN NEMO?

The vast majority of NEMO’s historical and engineering collection comes from the former Amsterdam Museum Energetica. That former museum had a large donations too. Most of the objects in NEMO are very rare and you won’t see them anywhere in the world, but in NEMO.

The only place on Earth where you can find this ZEBRA ROCK is in Western Australia. How the stripes are formed is still a mystery
BRAIN CORAL: this is the limestone of a brain coral, an animal.

WORKING HOURS

The museum is currently closed due to corona virus measures. I hope everything goes well as soon as possible and measures become less strict and we can all travel again. For future visits, it’s important to mention that this museum is a popular place for families. It can be busy and loud and you often have to wait your turn to try some device. That’s why you should avoid NEMO during school holidays and during holidays.


Quiet periods are on beautiful weather (Dutch people love to use every ray of sun) and at the beginning of the day around 10 AM. I advise you to come as soon as NEMO is open because you need a lot of time to explore all. (remember, there are 19,500 objects!!) 

You will hear Dutch people often saying word “Lekker” which is a positive word, meaning tasty, great…And this is a presentation of what happens inside of our mouth with our tounges when we kiss

FACILITIES

Dutch people are usually offering many facilities in each museum. One of the highlights here are:

  • elevator
  • baby change
  • FREE LOCKERS
  • trained stuff to suggest you most interesting things and to answer on all of your questions
  • gift shop
In NEMO gift shop you can buy plenty of interesting things. Some are very expensive, but some are surprisingly affordable
Most of the books in NEMO gift shop are science related, brain hacks etc.

HOW TO REACH IT

NEMO is super easy to reach. If you go on foot from the main exit of Central Station, it will take you only 15 minutes. And don’t worry. You will recognize NEMO right away. A huge, blue/green building in a shape of a boat.  

On of many on-screen presentations

HOW TO SAVE THE MONEY ON TICKET

A challenging thing about museums in Amsterdam is crowd. For example, a waiting line to Anne Frank house can last for hours. In order to save your time and some money, I advise you to buy tickets online (usually you have a discount and you can skip the line) or get I Amsterdam City Card. For more information, visit the official website of the NEMO museum.

The view from the lobby by @marko_arch

What is your favourite museum in Amsterdam or if you still haven’t been, which museum you would love to visit?

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🇬🇧 WHY AMSTERDAM?⠀ _⠀⠀ ⠀ Did you know that Amsterdam is a home to more than 180 nations, being the most diverse city in the world? ⠀ ⠀ Besides, it's declared as the most cultural city in the world too offering the biggest number of cultural attractions per capita.⠀ ⠀ I was lucky to have a job in the city centre near Central Station in Amsterdam for almost 2 years where I was meeting a minimum of 300 people a day. Yep, I even counted few times.😁⠀ ⠀ Working near Central Station surrounded by coffee shops, Red Light Windows and smart shops meant one thing: being able to meet lot of wild and interesting folks; many sex workers, their boyfriends and loud English people who were majority of Amsterdam tourists.⠀ ⠀ But also, I've met some influential and incredibly rich people, businessmen and on the contrary, a poor guy from Switzerland who won the jackpot two days before, a 11 year old with tattoos and a piercing who was a cocaine addict and many more people especially from the African countries I didn't even know they exist. ⠀ ⠀ I was speaking at least 3 languages each day and I was trying to learn 7 more. Or, at least a greeting from each.⠀ ⠀ Working in hospitality for years, got me realized my brain is expanding and my perspective is multiplying with each new soul I meet.⠀ ⠀ There was no money that can make me rich like a new friendship from other part of this planet.⠀ ⠀ I got hooked up to people.⠀ ⠀ I was an addict of meeting new, different and foreign. I still am and I will always be.⠀ ⠀ "My name is Valentina. Pleasure to meet you."⠀ ⠀ 😊❤⠀ ⠀ ____________________________________________________⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ #theviewfromhere #peopleareawesome #people_and_world #people_infinity #ig_respect #loves_people #travelblogging #travelstories #travelgirls #travellog #travelstory #iamatraveller #splendid_people #faces_of_our_world #humanity_shots_ #worldtravelers #snap_people #ok_people #water_perfection #waterreflection #visitamsterdam #amsterdamworld #amsterdamlife #gramthedam #ig_energy_people #ig_muse #featurecollective #great_captures_people #great_captures

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5 IMPORTANT THINGS WHEN MOVING TO NETHERLANDS & LIFE IN AMSTERDAM

Streets of Amsterdam West neighborhood, sunrise time
Streets of Amsterdam West neighborhood, sunrise time

Have you ever wondered how it looks like to live in Europe, The Netherlands or to be more precise, in Amsterdam?

What else that magical city hides besides dozens of bicycles, canals, tulips and cheese?

To be frank, many people asked me about those two questions above and about my life in Amsterdam.

That’s why I decided to share in this article my experience of living in Dutch capital.

I will include all the knowledge and tips about paperwork and all the other aspects that are important to know before moving abroad to The Netherlands in 5 crucial steps.

I was a resident of Amsterdam for almost 4 years and I will speak openly about pros and cons of living there.
I hope my tips will be useful to you or to your friends for easier deciding on future life.

PLANNING TO MOVE ABROAD?

You are not satisfied with you current location for whatever reason? Totally fine!

You are still not sure where you want to move? That’s also totally fine!

FIRST, ASK YOURSELF QUESTIONS!

1.Where do I want to live? (warmer countries/colder contries)

2. Where do I want to work? (your profession, your knowledge vs. your wishes and possibilities + available jobs in desired country)

SECOND, DO YOUR RESEARCH!

If you already have some countries in your mind, research about all the necessary documents for moving there, their health system, prices of living/public transport, tax, job opportunities etc.

It’s essential that you take a closer look at what everyday life is like in the country.

WHY THE NETHERLANDS?

The Netherlands is a popular country for expats especially students.

Dutch society is known for its tolerant vibe and the country has a high standard of living. Amsterdam is a charming canal city that keeps attracting many international workers.

Tech and finance industries are growing there rapidly.

Other cities are also home to large expat communities such as The Hague, Utrecht and Rotterdam.

The whole country is well connected so you don’t have to worry about transport.

If you’ve decided on moving to the Netherlands (Amsterdam) there are certain things to be aware of before you make that move:

ADVANTAGES OF LIVING IN AMSTERDAM:

  • More than 180 nationalities
  • High paychecks
  • Ability of opening your own company for only €50
  • Full freedom & tolerance
  • Great infrastructure (easy travelling)
  • Entertainment 24/7
  • Plenty of life opportunities

DISADVANTAGES OF LIVING IN AMSTERDAM:

  • Rain, rain, rain and some more rain
  • Grey, cloudy and foggy days
  • Strong winds
  • Lack of sun
  • Hydroponic food (growing on water plus lack of sun – food has different taste)
  • High prices
  • Dutch language

5 IMPORTANT THINGS BEFORE MOVING

  1. Have a place/option where you can always return

2. Bring as much money as you can

3. Have some kind of insurance

4. Bring all your personal documents

5. Notify somebody where you will be staying

Let’s move on to checklist of all you need to do as soon as you move to Amsterdam:

1. LEGAL STATUS

The Netherlands is one of 26 countries making up the ‘Schengen’. It’s an EU member state, meaning EU/EFTA residents can enter and remain in the country without requiring a visa.

Any EU/EFTA residents staying longer than four months will need to register with the government. Make sure to have always your ID or passport with you.

Non EU/EFTA residents need visas for entry and residence permits. For more information on this, read the complete guide —> Dutch visas & permits.

2. CITIZEN SERVICE NUMBER (BSN)

To work in the Netherlands, you need to have a BSN number. It’s the same as OIB in Croatia or N.I.E in Spain.

HOW TO GET BSN? You need to first register with the Town Hall (Gemeente). As a result of registering with the municipality you will be assigned a burgerservicenummer (BSN).

WHY DO I NEED A BSN? Anyone coming from abroad to work or study still requires a BSN number, even for short stays. BSN is required in order to be permitted to work, open a bank account, make use of a health care institution, voting, starting a business, studying, apply for benefits or an allowance etc.

WHICH DOCUMENTS I NEED TO BRING? EU citizens will need to provide a valid proof of identity (such as a passport or ID, not a driving licence) and their address to be registered, while for non-EU citizens other documents (such as your residence permit and employment contract etc.) have to be presented too.

If you’re non-EU citizen, your employer will typically need a work permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning or TWV) for you, and you must also have a residence permit.

IMPORTANT TO KNOW: If you currently don’t have an address in The Netherlands, you will receive a temporary BSN (RNI) and in the next 4 months, you will have to bring some address registration (if you want to have a permanent BSN.)

BEWARE Not all documents are automatically valid in the Netherlands. The civil registry will only accept official documents in Dutch, English, French or German. An official translation will be required for other languages. Make sure to ask all in advance.

BUT FIRST…MAKE A CALL! You have to call to make an appointment in order to get your BSN. (usually it takes up to 3 weeks)


3. BUY A LOCAL SIM CARD

This step is crucial before looking for a job or anything like that. I noticed that no one was calling me until I bought a Lebara sim card. I guess is very clear.

When people see your foreign telephone number, first what they think is that you are not serious enough, you are not a resident yet and above all, they are not sure about how much money they will spend calling you. Local sim cards you can get anywhere and usually they are free (you have to top up the credit).

I advise you to choose Lebara as it worked out perfectly for me for the whole 4 years.

4. ACCOMODATION

The most important thing to do when arriving to The Netherlands is to find a place to register. As soon as possible! Until you don’t find a place to register, you can’t really continue with anything else.

WAYS OF FINDING AN ACCOMODATION: The best way to find an accommodation is via friends or people you know.

1.) ON INTERNET: In addition, apply for everything that comes up on website called Kamernet. (to rent: Te huur). It costs around €25 a month, but at least you know all the people who are putting adverts there are real, not scams.

Actually, in Kamernet there are scams too and you need to be careful, but there’s the smallest chance you will run into one via this website.

I advise you to be careful when looking for an accommodation on social medias like Facebook groups because there are plenty of scams. Never, I repeat, never give or send someone money before you see the place and have the keys. Funda

2.) ASK anyone you meet about an accommodation or a job you are looking for. Even if they can only give advice or information, it is still incredibly valuable.

3.) REAL ESTATE AGENCIES AND REAL ESTATE AGENTS personally, I know bunch of people that found their place to live via real estate agent. You have to pay few hundred of euros for their service, but in general, it’s totally worth it because they are struggling to find accommodation, not you.

All you have to do is tell them what are your wishes and financial possibilities. I advise you to look for real estate agents that are having NVM sign which indicates registration in Dutch Cooperative Association of Real Estate Agents and Appraisers. (means they are legit!)

Wondering where to live in Amsterdam? As further from city center you go, less you pay. Amsterdam North is a great area and very well connected.

Amsterdam West and Oud West are my favourite parts of the city. Here, I’m still speaking about rooms or studios because flats are expensive in these area. But, you never know. Who looks for something all the time, he/she eventually finds.

Prepare to live in a room in a sharing flat for beginning. Moving with your partner/friend/family is always easier because you can share the costs and at least you know each other well.

ACCOMODATION PRICES: Try finding something for 500 euros or less. That is the cheapest you will most likely be able to find and it will be a room. An entire, small flat, you won’t find under 1000 euros plus deposit, agency fee and probably 6 to 12 months proof of your salaries.

Amsterdam has one of the most expensive accommodation in the whole Europe so be prepared. I can tell you from my experience, I was really missing a “home” when I was living in Amsterdam. You know, your own mattress where only you were sleeping, your own toilet seat etc. 🙂

But, as I already mentioned, if you look for something long enough, you will find it or it will find you.

5. START LOOKING FOR A JOB

Many people moving to the Netherlands will already have a job offer, but many won’t. Luckily, the Netherlands has plenty of job opportunities for expats, especially in the tech and finance sectors. Actually, there are loads of job opportunities in the whole country.

DO I HAVE TO SPEAK DUTCH IN ORDER TO FIND A JOB? You don’t have to speak Dutch to work in the Netherlands – in fact, English is the main business language in many companies. Although, remember that your employment chances will be limited if you don’t speak Dutch.

You will probably end up working for a large international company if you don’t speak it. For example, finding a full time job is almost impossible because many of them require either fluent Dutch or fluency in any language other than English. 

Dutch people are usually working part time, leaving at least 3 days a week to rest. Many of them are freelancers too. (you are able to open your own company for only 50 euros in KVK). A regular Dutch working week is 38 hours.

The majority of full time (voltijd) jobs are between 36-40 hours. If you work less than 36 hours a week, but more than 12, then you are considered as working part time (deeltijd). A high proportion of women in the Netherlands, approximately 74 percent, work part time.

Unlike many other countries, regularly working long hours overtime is not so common in the Netherlands.

Highly-skilled workers are wanted in Netherlands so much so that there’s a fast-track immigration process to get them in. If you are highly skilled in something even as a butcher, you can easily get a high paid job. There are also tax benefits (the 30% tax ruling) for some international employees.

This group includes engineers, those with technical skills, IT specialists, those working in finance, as well as people with a great experience of working in sales and marketing.

HOW TO GET A JOB IN AMSTERDAM? I can tell you how I did it. First time when I came to Amsterdam, I printed around 30 CV’s (CV should be translated to English and you should always attach a photo on the first page) and I went around the city choosing the places I would love to work in.

I was seeing many places with a sign: “Employees needed” and you will see them too. There’s always something to do in Amsterdam. Come inside and politely ask for a manager or a boss. Never leave your CV to an employee because he/she might throw it away (happens often). If there’s no manager or an owner of the place, come another day.

It’s always a season in Amsterdam but let’s say months: November, January, February are the quiets and March to September are the busiest. (in hospitality or ‘horeca’ in Dutch).

I found my first job on that way: ‘from door to door’.
Next time when I was looking for a job, I got a bit lazy to walk around. I wanted to work in a nice hotel so I googled all the existing hotels in Amsterdam plus the closer area, and I’ve send to all of them an email with my CV and motivation letter included.

Day after, I already received two phone calls. Even if you don’t have a job yet, I advise you to move and look for the job in your new country, not from your birth country or country where you are not satisfied living in. Main reason? Success of finding a job is much higher.

ONLINE SITES WHERE YOU CAN LOOK FOR A JOB:

6. APPLY FOR A FREE DUTCH COURSE

As soon as you solve your registration (address), you can apply with your documents and your contract (flat, house, studio) to Gementee for a free Dutch school. It is usually held in ROC van Amsterdam and you will be attending the school that is the closest to address you provided.

Learning a language in this country will open many doors for you. Plus, you will be able to read the ingredients on products lol. (everything is on Dutch or French). This course helped me a lot. You will be set in a group of 20 to 30 people and your classes will usually be 2 times a week lasting 3h (morning or evening).

However, it’s always better to take a paid Dutch course with a smaller group. You will learn more and faster. In this free course, the main focus is on group work and it’s very laid back. Beware that you need to have 80% of attendance if you want to have a free course.

If you are not attending, you will have to pay. (yes, it’s a real school, only in this one you have to pay if you are absent).

USEFUL SITES:

Government of the Netherlands: government.nl

Local government informations/tips for expats: iamsterdam.com

LIVING IN AMSTERDAM

My personal experience? I was very satisfied with my life in Dutch capital. Although I came to the Netherlands when Croatian people still didn’t have a right to work legally and although it was very hard in those times, I gained an enormous life experience I couldn’t gain nowhere else.

I was able to travel much more than I could ever travel If I have stayed in Croatia.

Amsterdam is very unique European city. If you are coming from Balkan area, or any other further country, you will notice a great difference in the way of living as a resident of Amsterdam.

It’s unlike any other city with more than 180 nationalities which makes it a perfect place for finding a business partner, a friend or a lover. Or meeting such an interesting person that you only could imagine or see on TV screens.

WEST VS. EAST: The Netherlands is a very modern country, rich kingdom where every person has its strong rights. I think that makes the biggest difference with Eastern Europe. You will be amazed by many things how smooth they function, how fast Dutch people are making and repairing things etc.

THE WEATHER: One thing is for sure: you will have to get used to rainy weather and strong winds as well cycling in these conditions. To be frank, I cried everyday when I first came to Amsterdam. Rain didn’t stop for the whole month.

Actually, I realized rain in the Netherlands is like sun in Spain – often and strong. The worse kind of rain you can experience is a “spray rain”. You don’t even see it, but after a short time, you are completely wet. After a while, you get used to it and you actually start loving the rain.


CYCLING CULTURE Believe it or not, the only thing I miss about Amsterdam is cycling. It may look hectic, but it’s the safest in the world.(just avoid tourist groups, they are the most dangerous on the cycling paths). If you decide to move to Amsterdam, you will dig deeper into a cycling culture after a while.

But I promise, you will fall in love with it. Bike in Amsterdam is not just a bike. It’s like a car, camper and a house. IF YOU WANT TO READ MORE ABOUT CYCLING CULTURE IN AMSTERDAM YOU CAN DO IT IN ONE OF MY PREVIOUS POSTS.

I highly recommend moving to Amsterdam at least for 6 months. It’s a magical city and totally worth your time.

If you want to read another post related to Amsterdam: general info about Amsterdam or 15 things you probably didn’t know about Amsterdam and the ultimate list of 26 things to do in Amsterdam.

I hope my article will help you with your decision. If you need more informations or you’re having some more questions/doubts, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments below, on any of the social media or via email: kookylovestotravel@gmail.com

I will be more than happy to help! 🙂

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WHERE TO EAT AND HAVE FUN IN AMSTERDAM

I got to be honest. The food is not a highlight in Amsterdam nor in the whole Netherlands.

I don’t like comparing much because each destination is unique, but seriously, there’s not much to say about Dutch kitchen.
To be frank, I cannot compare it to some other national kitchen even if I want to.

Well, I could say it’s land of snacks. And sweets. (Probably because tourists are smoking much cannabis – it’s a joke 🙂 but not far from the truth!)

At the same time, you can always enjoy in diverse food aromas around the streets of Amsterdam. The city is a home to loads of international restaurants.

Also, you can have plenty of fun in the Dutch capital.
You may not have full stomach with €10, but for sure you will have enough fun with the same amount!


In this article I will mention some typical Dutch dishes and more importantly, the best places where you can eat properly & have a good time after it or perhaps 2 in 1.


Beware that even though I was living 4 years in Amsterdam, I don’t have many excellent photos of food. That’s because I’m a huge foodie and I like to eat food, not take photos of it.
So, I promise I will be a bit more patient in the future with my appetite, so I can decently present you how good my chosen dishes are. 🙂

I’ll try to steer you in the right direction and I hope my picks will help you to have the best time and a full stomach when in Amsterdam! 

 

TRADITIONAL FOOD

Although The Netherlands is not known for its cuisine, you should try at least some of the traditional snacks and dishes in the list below.

1. CHEESE

Hemp cheese in Dutch cheese store
Hemp cheese in Walskaas shop, a real family business in Amsterdam

The Netherlands has a strong cheese culture, with recipes dating back generations. Most Dutch cheeses are hard or semi-hard and classified by age. ‘Jong’ or young is the creamiest and softest flavor. ‘Belegen’ is slightly harder and nuttier tasting, but still quite smooth. ‘Oud’ or old is the hardest from all.


There are many souvenir packages with traditional Dutch “cheese shaver” to perfectly cut any cheese into slices.
I got seriously hooked up on cheese called ‘Old Amsterdam’ (award winning matured Gouda taste).



WHERE TO FIND DUTCH CHEESE?



When it comes to Old Amsterdam, I would definitely suggest Old Amsterdam Cheese Store in the city center that even offers tastings.

Cheese shops are perfect places to get a true sense of the variety of Dutch cheese and they are basically everywhere around the city. Above, I’ve mentioned two. Street markets are full of traditional food culture, and cheese is definitely no exception to this: go early, when the market isn’t so busy. (Noordermarkt is a must!). To dig deeper into a cheese culture, visit Amsterdam Cheese Museum.

2. STROOPWAFEL

Stroopwafel dipped in a coffee on a rooftop in the Amsterdam city
Eating a waffle on the rooftop of the Volkshotel

It is undoubtedly the most famous pastry from The Netherlands. It’s a unique kind of cookie/waffle filled with special sweet and sticky syrup (the ‘stroop’) in between. You can buy them in every supermarket.

However, for the best ‘stroopwafels’ in Amsterdam, you should go to ‘Landskroon’ bakery or to the Albert Cuyp Market. Many places in Amsterdam are offering a free cookie together with a coffee and almost every better bar/restaurant offers one ‘stroopwafel’ instead of a regular cookie.

Two cappuccino coffees on a DIY table
Stroopwafel with the coffee in Canvas, Volkshotel

3. BITTERBALLEN

They are simply little deep-fried mini croquettes that are usually served with mustard and made from beef ragout. Beer is a perfect drink that pairs with bitterballen.

OTHER TRADITIONAL DISHES INCLUDE:

– KROKETS– deep-fried roll with meat ragout inside, covered in breadcrumbs. The meat is usually veal or beef.

– OLIEBOLLEN– again deep-fried and topped with powdered sugar being the traditional year-end treats, while in Croatia people eat these when they have nothing else to eat at home lol. They come plain or filled with raisins and the best is to eat them from roadside stands, fresh and warm.


– SNERT (PEA SOUP)- it’s usually chock full of smoked sausage and served alongside a slice of rye bread. There are many veggie versions around the city too. Amsterdam is very vegetarian and vegan friendly city.

-STAMPPOT- a dish with a base of potatoes, into which you mash any vegetable you want: carrots and onion (hutspot), kale…

-DROP-  Dutch version of licorice with impressively wide variety of flavor and texture combinations. Dutch drops are often laced with a rather puzzling ingredient called salmiak with almost umami flavour. 

-HARRING- maybe the most famous Dutch food, raw fish-herring that is served together with chopped raw onions and gherkins. The way of eating is a real Dutch tradition too. In the Netherlands, new herring is eaten by lifting up the herring by its tail into the air and then taking a bite upwards. If you have a sensitive stomach like I do, rather try harring sandwich called ‘broodje haring’.

-PATAT- Dutch version of french fries that are much thicker than the normal French Fries and are actually invented in Belgium. 
BEST PLACE TO EAT THEM: Vlaams Friteshuis Vlemminckx

-POFFERTJES- I would describe them as much fluffier and thicker baby pancakes made with yeast and buckwheat flour, typically served with a powdered sugar. Fresh ‘poffertjes’ are often made at an roadside stand during winter same as oliebollen.

-JENEVER- Not a food, but a spirit precursor to gin. The spirit is distilled from juniper berries and has a malty flavour similar to whisky. It was traditionally used for medicinal purposes and it became country’s signature drinks. And guess what? It is served in a tulip-shaped glass.

-APPLE PIE-  The Dutch version is infused with cinnamon, dotted with raisins and served with a whipped cream. Winkel 43 serves t he best homemade one!

 

PLACES TO EAT IN AMSTERDAM

1. BIERFABRIEK

This is a very unique place where you can feel like at your own home. It’s a brewery, cafe and restaurant in one. Bierfabriek literally means ‘beer fabric’ and it brews their own beer and serve rustic, tapas like dishes. 

You can draft your beer by yourself at self service tap tables, eat your chicken with your hands and throw the peanut shells on the floor. The place is full of peanuts and they are displayed in bags and on each table so you can feel free to take as many as you want. While entering and walking towards the toilet, you will hear cracking sounds of stepping onto peanut shells.

PRICES: The prices are kind of cheaper comparing to other places in Amsterdam that are serving their own beer.

WHAT TO TRY: I advise you to try ‘Rosso’ beer as it has a very distinctive taste.

Tapas and tortillas in Bierfabriek
Peanut shells on our table plus cheese croquettes and tortilla sandwiches

2. NOOCH

Nooch is an Asian cuisine restaurant that delicately fuses modern Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian and Thai kitchens.

Dadar gulung traditional dish in Nooch Asian restaurant in Amsterdam
Kue or dadar gulung (Indonesian traditional and coconut pancake)

Nooch is a small and charming, Asian cuisine restaurant near the city center. Modern Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian and Thai dishes are served in this place. I fell in love with Asian cuisine due to this place and I can’t wait to travel across the Asian continent!

PS: They working times are limited so check the website before visiting. Reserving the table is a must because the restaurant is not very big.

PRICES: More or less is expensive. As closer you are to the city center, the more you pay.

WHAT TO TRY: Dim Sum Platter, Dadar Gulung, Lapis Legit

 

3. THE SEA FOOD BAR

It’s not so easy to find a restaurant with a fresh fish in Amsterdam. However, Sea Food Bar is a perfect place to taste some. An award winning, modern seafood restaurant where most of the fish comes from the North sea – coldest in the world.  

It is founded by the De Visscher family who are fishmongers since 1984.

PRICES: Quite expensive, but totally worth it. They have excellent wines too!

WHAT TO TRY: Catch of the day or King Prawns were my usual choice. On the other hand, once I ordered oysters, and I ended up with 8 long hours of stomach spams. I never went there after that. Probably oysters weren’t so fresh that day. Despite that, I still recommend this restaurant because I had plenty more great dinners there and always a decent service. But, never eat oysters if they are not caught in front of your own eyes! 🙂

Oysters and me in the Sea Food Bar in Amsterdam
Oysters eating in The Sea Food Bar

4. ZA

ZA is a Mediterranean and modern designed restaurant near Central Station in Amsterdam. This place has a great choice of quality wines, sometimes live music, tapas and delicious, perfectly served food. They even serve Croatian/Istrian wine – Roxanich Milva.

This place has a concept of “shared dining” and “tapas” style cuisine with Italian influence.

PRICES: Quite expensive, but prices are following the quality. My boyfriend ate in ZA the best piece of meat ever in the whole Netherlands. Menu is changing from time to time.

WHAT TO TRY: Home made Focaccia

Nicely cooked meat in ZA restaurant in Amsterdam
The best place to eat meat – ZA
We were too hungry to make nice photos lol

5. NOVOTEL AMSTERDAM CITY

Novotel Amsterdam City is actually a 4-star hotel in the Amsterdam’s business district ‘de Zuidas’. You can reach the hotel via A10 highway and within walking distance from RAI station.

I recommend this place as I was working there and I saw how much effort chefs are putting into dishes. If you are in Amsterdam due to business and staying near RAI, it’s a nice place to relax. Avoid Mondays tho, as they are super busy.

PRICES: Expensive (4-star hotel prices)

WHAT TO TRY: Their local beer made with honey from the roof of the hotel (if they still have it). They have a great burgers too but try to order something traditional! Their menu is sometimes changing.

 

Decorated fish and salad on the plate
The restaurant has Dutch chefs and they always try to properly decorate food for a 4-star hotel
Fish cake decorated on a plate
Fish cake as a starter

6. SUMO SUSHI EXPRESS AND MOJO JAPANESE RESTAURANT

Any sushi lovers here? Well, I am!
These are my top 2 sushi places in Amsterdam.
MOJO JAPANESE RESTAURANT – for eating in
SUMO SUSHI EXPRESS – for take away or order online

PRICES: Restaurant is a bit pricey, Sumo is less expensive

WHAT TO TRY: All? 🙂

 

Colorful Sushi in Amsterdam
Sushi is my huge addiction 🙂
Sushi from close up
Anyone for sushi!?

8. WATERKANT

Waterkant is a trendy and cosy bar/restaurant place with a terrace (self service if you sit outside).

In this place you have many healthy food and beverage choices; vegan, vegetarian, meat, large number of beers…


If you want to be around local people, this is a perfect place for you as Dutch people love Waterkant and its vibe next to the canal.

The place has a home delivery too and great events every or every second weekend. It’s very magical in the night time!

PRICES: Expensive

WHAT TO TRY: Home made ginger beer, banana burger

Waterkant and its lights during the night in Amsterdam
Waterkant at night
Waterkant during the night in Amstedam city
Waterkant literally means ‘waterside’

9. BEACH CLUB 5

Beach Club 5 is open 365 days a year. It’s actually not in Amsterdam but the closest beach to the city – Zandvoort. They have a terrace with spectacular view and great steaks.

PRICES: Expensive

WHAT TO TRY: Steaks, mushrooms and bread

 

Chicken mushroom and bread in Beachclub No5
My dish at Beachclub 5

Lunch at Beachclub No5
Beachclub 5

10. FLOOR 17

85 meters up in the sky, on the roof of Leonardo Hotel Amsterdam Rembrandtpark, you will find the spectacular Floor17 Rooftop Terrace. Fancy an amazing view over Amsterdam?

Don’t miss this place even if it’s grey and cloudy!

The view from lounge of Floor 17
Beautiful view from the restaurant and lounge of Floor 17, Leonardo Hotel Amsterdam

BONUS TIP:

Perhaps you are from Ex Yugoslavia and you can’t survive without Balkan products such as cevapcici, Yugoslavian beers, Prijatelji shop are definitely for you!

The shop is located near the Anne Frank House and the owner is my Serbian friend so you can even have a nice chat with a proper person to find out more about the shop and all the goods inside.

Of course, you don’t have to be Ex Yugoslavian to go there.

You just have to be curious enough! 🙂

 

Serving cevapcici dish from Balkan in Amsterdam
I was serving cevapcici to Dutch people in the time of neighborhood festival
Ajvar is the famous Balkan product
Prijatelji.nl main product: Ajvar !

BONUS TIP 2

Amsterdam can be a tricky place to find food and drinks in the late hours. Especially bread, cosmetics and other necessary stuff.

Sterk shop is a late night shop again near Anne Frank House that has everything you need with extensive and exclusive range of champagnes, wines and beers from all over the world.

I would definitely say that is a must visit shop. (They have a beer with 32% of alcohol!)

 

Mr. Basil drink from Sterk shop in Amsterdam

 

Agroposta drinks from Sterk shop in Amsterdam
Croatian products in Sterk shop: Agroposta

Gonzo Imperial Porter drink from Sterk shop
Gonzo beer in Sterk shop

BONUS TIP 3

If you need some vitamins, the best place to get them are definitely markets!


I advise you to visit Nieuwmarkt market square where each day except Sunday, you can find fresh veggies, fruits, squeezed juices etc.

If you eat exclusively healthy, Eko Plaza shop is a perfect place for you and you can find it in almost each neighborhood. However, Eko Plaza is a bit pricey but each day after 6PM you can find many discounts!

 

Fresh green salad and tomatoes on the shelves of Ekoplaza
Fresh veggies in Eko Plaza

PLACES TO HAVE FUN IN AMSTERDAM

1. BOURBON STREET MUSIC CLUB

Bourbon Street music club – tiny and charming club with live music (entrance of minimum €5)

Bourbon Street Music Club in Amsterdam
Live blues music with Afro-Croatian brothers

2. TON TON

TonTon Club is a super fun gaming place right next to Red Light District. Here you can find many video, arcade and multiplayer games with a large range of beers.

Ton Ton gaming machine in Amsterdam
Two player table game in TonTon

3. GASHOUDER

Gashouder is the perfect location for extraordinary fairs, big presentations, parties and live shows.

The ceiling is out of this world and inside you feel like you are thrown in Universe. With a surface area of 2500 m2 and a height of 14,5 meters it’s one of the most monumental locations of Amsterdam.

Both Westergasfabriek and Gashouder were a former gasworks in Amsterdam.

Events that took place there include:

Gashouder arena in Amsterdam during Awakenings festival
My first time in Gashouder with an apple juice 🙂
photo by: @mario_keglevic

4. LAB 111

First time when my friend invited me here, I though something bad is happening because she had invited me to a hospital, laboratory.

But Lab 111 is something totally opposite: a cosy bar and a cinema.
Yet, it would be great to have a room where you can immediately detoxify after a heavy night out. 🙂

Great food and drinks are in the bar with a name: Strange Love Bar.

LAB 111 in Amsterdam
Entrance of Lab111

As has been noted, Amsterdam is a really fun and internationally diverse place where you can find all you ever desired from food to entertainment.

I hope my article was helpful and if you want to read more about Amsterdam, check out some of my previous Amsterdam’s articles! 🙂

Rating: 1 out of 5.

 

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Amsterdam houses along the UNESCO canals

ULTIMATE LIST OF 26 THINGS TO DO IN STARTLING AMSTERDAM

Get ready to find out the 26 BEST things in amazing capital of the Netherlands!

2020 didn’t start so well.

We are caught up in a misfortunate, global situation that left us all feeling a bit discouraged.
In times like this, it is the most important to occupy your brain. Bloggers and creatives are here to help you spark you imagination!

Photo by @aqui_c

In order to feed your imagination and travel appetite, I am continuing to write about travels. Many readers and followers expressed desire on my Instagram profile to read more tips about an unique city such as Amsterdam.
Just to remind you, I was a resident of Amsterdam for almost 4 years so I was able to wander around long enough to share with you some excellent corners that are maybe not so popular.

Here are some items you definitely should add to your Amsterdam bucket list regardless of the season.

Amsterdan houses along the canals with reflection in the rearview of the scooter
Photo by @alexisantoine


GET LOST

As Lost in Amsterdam slogan says:

“You are not lost, until you are lost in Amsterdam.”

GPS is such a cool invention, but sometimes, it feels much better to let go. Somehow, I was never feeling afraid being lost here. I advise you to do the same. Leave your phone and start exploring around by yourself! Make sure to visit Lost in Amsterdam restaurant & bar too. Interior is very different and the vibe is extremely pleasant.

PRO TIPS:

  • Have an address of your accommodation and Google Maps already downloaded, so you can use it even when offline and end your day sleeping somewhere warm
The view on Amsterdam houses and canals
Photo by @colt_jones

STROLL OVER THE MOST ARTISTIC AREA OF AMSTERDAM: DE JORDAAN

Back in the 17th century, The Jordaan area of Amsterdam used to be the neighborhood for poor full of refugees and struggling artists. Today, it’s one of the most expensive areas to live, still full of artists and charming little houses. I advise you to explore every little street in this Jewish quarter!


PRO TIPS:

  • Visit Noordermarkt market (my favourite market in Amsterdam) that works on Mondays and Sunday mornings, to explore some local delicatessen and organic food, souvenirs, crafts…

HOP ON THE BIKE AND FEEL LIKE A LOCAL

Okay, this is a big lie. The reality is, you won’t feel like a local as soon as you hop on a bike even if you did a Tour de France for a few times. You will still be a tourist driving a bike and locals will see that from the distance.

However, if you visit Amsterdam for a longer period, or you have a local by your side, you might get deeper and faster into Dutch biking culture. Amsterdam is flat and highly populated so leave the expensive public transport and enjoy in city properly – biking!

PRO TIPS:

Bikes in Amsterdam tied onto the bridge
Photo by @jacegradinetti
Colorful wall with bikes in Amsterdam
Colorful vibes

EXPERIENCE AN ADRENALINE RUSH ON EUROPE’S HIGHEST SWING

Whether you like adrenaline or not, climbing up to A’DAM tower to observation deck is a must! You’ll experience the best panoramic views of the city and who knows, maybe you get encouraged once you’re up there, to swing 100 meters above the ground. 🙂

PRO TIPS:

  • Buy tickets in advance and see the weather forecast
  • If it’s cloudy and rain, the views won’t be so spectacular
The view on Eye Filmmuseum and A'DAM tower
Photo by @moritz_photography
A'DAM tower from frog's perspective
Photo by @mariganeshkumar

TAKE A WALK OF A LIFETIME OVER THE FAMOUS RED LIGHT DISTRICT

Red Light District sign
Photo by @jordanmerrick

Whatever your opinion might be about legal prostitution, coming to Amsterdam and not seeing it’s old part ‘De Wallen’, equals to going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower. On the other hand, I understand we all have different desires and priorities. Yet, wandering around the streets of Amsterdam in the Red Light District area can only be exciting and fun, even during the late nights.

For all of you who might be scared, this area is all covered with cameras and police offices are regular visitors here. (I don’t mean it literally!😂)

PRO TIPS:

  • If you want to avoid teasing, never go alone sightseeing Red Light District in the night time (if you are man it’s not a problem). Plenty of people who spend their time there, are there for one obvious reason
  • It only makes sense to visit this area during the night because all the lights are visible after the sunset. Remember, passing with a bike can be tricky during the night due to crowds

YOU AIN’T SEEN ANYTHING YET IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN KING’S DAY YET

Each year on April 27, the Netherlands celebrates the birthday of their King Willem Alexander. Most of the canals (more than 165) become packed with boats with loud music and shows. Streets become dancing floors with parties, flea markets and fun activates. It’s the day of free tax so literally anyone can sell almost anything.

The craziness starts on April 26th with great festivals and concerts with music from all genres. Each club offers different a program. Almost everyone is drunk or on drugs and wearing orange colors. It’s the wildest event I’ve seen in my life, but definitely a must experience. It’s even wilder than New Year’s Eve!

PRO TIPS:

  • If you want to get some orange items for this day, head over to ‘Action’ shop few days before. Buying items on the streets will cost you double or even triple

HEAD OVER TO THE TINIEST HOUSE IN AMSTERDAM – OUDE HOOGSTRAAT 22

The smallest house and tea dining room in Amsterdam
The smallest house in Amsterdam

The smallest house (1738) is like a miniature version of typical houses along the canals of Amsterdam. Tiny house is located in Oude Hoogstraat – one of the oldest streets in the heart of the city being only 2 m wide with 5 m deep.

PRO TIPS:

VISIT THE EXTRAORDINARY RIJKSMUSEUM AND ITS LIBRARY

Rijskmuseum Library
Photo by @wilvanw

Rijksmuseum is one of the greatest and the most popular museums in the Netherlands. Here you can admire Dutch art and 800 years of history from the Middle Ages till today. It has many artefacts and building itself it’s worth revisiting.

Please don’t miss the most extensive art history library in The Rijksmuseum (INCLUDED IN THE TICKET PRICE) because it seriously looks like a library from the Harry Potter movie. It’s gigantic!

PRO TIPS:

  • By downloading the Rijksmuseum app, you will have access to free and self-guided tours
  • Buy tickets online and get there early morning
  • Enjoy in Rijksmuseum’s garden on a warm day and stretch your legs around the greenery and its sculptures FOR FREE (every day from 9 AM – 6 PM) 
Observing  artworks in Rijksmuseum
Absorbing the art

SEE THE MOST INTERESTING MUSEUM IN THE ATTIC

Our Lord in the Attic Museum (Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder) is one of the oldest and most unique museums in Amsterdam. The museum is actually well preserved house from the Dutch Golden Age. It hides a very interesting story and has a church built in – attic !

PRO TIPS:

  • WORKING HOURS: Monday to Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM and Sundays from 1 PM to 6 PM
  • Be prepared for many stairs
  • You can’t enter the museum if you are wearing stiletto heals


HAVE FUN IN NEMO, THE SCIENCE MUSEUM

Reward yourself with a day in innovative Nemo Science Museum and discover approximately 19,500 unique artefacts of humankind, energy technology and science. This is my favourite museum in Amsterdam because it offers fun activities, knowledge and plenty of rare items that you won’t seen anywhere in the world but here!

PRO TIPS:

Nemo Science Museum at night
Photo by @liammcgary

JOIN PLASTIC FISHING WITH THE FIRST PLASTIC FISHING COMPANY IN THE WORLD

Did I already mention how Dutch people are brilliant? Plastic Whale is a movement that collects people (crowdsourcing) who love creating and doing a greater good. You can join the movement of fishing for plastic along canals of Amsterdam on boats made from plastic and help these people to collect, recycle and turn plastic into furniture and more boats.

PRO TIPS:

ENRICH YOURSELF WITH A HISTORY IN TROPPEN MUSEUM

Amsterdam is the most multicultural city in the world with over 180 nationalities. Troppenmuseum wonderfully shows that diverse world of cultures, located in one of the most impressive museum buildings in the whole country. 

PRO TIPS:

GO SIGHTSEEING THROUGH AMSTERDAM FROM THE WATER

Amsterdam is much more special from canal point of view. The city has 165 canals and 10 of them were placed in UNESCO’s World Heritage list. On each canal there are interesting and historic sights, some of them you can only see boat’s point of view. (Reguliersgracht-7 bridges)

PRO TIPS:

Boat under the bridge in Amsterdam canals
Photo by @claudialorux

DIVE INTO FLORA AND FAUNA OF THE OLDEST ZOO IN EUROPE – ARTIS

ARTIS ZOO (Artis Amsterdam Royal Zoo or Natura Artis Magistra in the past) is opened in 1838, being one of the oldest zoo parks in the Europe. Interesting, the Zoo first had only few monkeys, parrots and a cat from Suriname which was Netherlands colony. (That explains a lot!)

And whatever your opinion may be about zoos, you have to admit that ARTIS is truly a captivating place, nicely decorated and the best part, it keeps expanding as much as it can, in order to offer more space to the animals. (The oldest zoo in Europe is in Vienna)

PRO TIPS:

ARTIS Zoo Amsterdam aquarium
Photo by @kookylovestotravel 🙂
Monkey from ARTIS zoo in Amsterdam
Photo by @jangemerle

MEET A LOCAL PERSON IN THE BIGGEST MARKET IN EUROPE

Albert Cuyp Market is actually a long street, originated as a market in 1905 and it represents the hot spot for locals. Here you can taste authentic dishes, stroll over more than 260 market stalls, dozens of shops, experience Dutch humor and “gezellig” (a Dutch word which means “fun”, “coziness”, “great”) vibe in the streets.

Don’t be shy to start the conversation, Dutch people are extremely friendly and interesting plus their English is great! (In case someone doesn’t approach you first)

PRO TIPS:

  • Market is open on Monday-Saturday from 9am to 5pm and closed on Sunday.
  • Make sure you don’t come late because sometimes it closes earlier especially if it starts to rain
  • If it’s rain during the whole day, double check their website for opening hours
A stand in Albert Cuypmarket
Photo by @ronnieovergoor1

SNEAK PEAK INTO THE HOUSEBOAT MUSEUM TO SEE HOW LIVING IN THE BOAT LOOKS LIKE

Amsterdam has more than 2500 houseboats and this cute little museum allows you to see what living inside a houseboat looks like. Head over to houseboat museum on address Prinsengracht 296k and enjoy in short and self-guided tour.

PRO TIPS:

  • Go early to avoid the crowds
The view from a bridge over Amsterdam canal
The view on Amsterdam canal and houseboats

ENJOY IN CULINARY CULTURE IN DE FOODHALLEN

This place used to be a tram station until creatives turned it into a venue of 21 stands with fresh and unique dishes. In Foodhallen you will find local Dutch treats as well wide range of other foods from all over the world. I highly recommend you to visit this place and surprise your palate!


PRO TIPS:

  • It’s a bit further from the city center so bike your way there
  • WORKING HOURS: 11:30 AM to 11 PM, from Sunday to Thursday & 11:30 AM to 1 AM Friday to Saturday

TREAT YOURSELF WITH DUTCH SWEETS IN SOME OF THE COOLEST SPOTS IN AMSTERDAM

You will notice that Amsterdam has a ton of cute, cosy, modern or even rusty little cafes and places to have a bite. As I already mentioned in my previous article, ⇨Where to Eat in Amsterdam⇦ Dutch cuisine is full of snacks and sweets. In almost every café, you can taste famous Dutch apple pie. However, if you want to eat something more, I will share some of the cutest places that you shouldn’t avoid ↓

PRO TIPS:

  • Bagels and Beans – wide range of interesting foods, organic drinks, mushroom coffees etc.
  • The Avocado Show – everything is made from avocado
  • Little Collins – quality food from local markets, an unconventional way of preparing classic dishes
  • Vegabond – a cosy, vegan place with an unique interior
  • Winkel 43 – best apple pie and hot chocolate (beware of the huge lines, but totally worth it!)
  • Van Stapele – best chocolates
Small Ducth flags on pastries
Dutch people love their little flags 🙂

TAKE A WALK ALONG 9 STREETS

The 9 Streets are a must shopping alleyways situated in the Amsterdam canal belt, just behind Dam Square. “De 9 Straatjes” is the ideal place to get deeper into the Amsterdam vibe and explore vintage shops, hidden restaurants and small bars.

For that true taste of A’dam. Nine little streets that are big on personality. (National Geographic)

PRO TIPS:

  • Once you’re there, explore three main magical Amsterdam canals: Herengracht, Prinsengracht and Keizergracht
Photo by @kelvinyup

EXPLORE ELCTRIC LADYLAND – THE FAMOUS FLUORESCENT LIGHT MUSEUM

Electric Ladyland is also the final studio album from Jimi Hendrix and the name of the first museum of the fluorescent art. To be frank, I haven’t been here yet, but many of my friends did and they loved the concept. It’s very unique, a kind of “Participatory Art” where you as a visitor, take place in the creation of a piece of Art, not just viewing it.

How cool is that!? 🙂

Museum offers a guided tour with a small fee and includes demonstrations of wide collections of Fluorescent Minerals from all over the world.

PRO TIPS:

  • You can visit this unusual museum BY MAKING AN APPOINTMENT ONLY (Wednesday – Saturday  2:00 PM – 6:00 PM) 

 

TASTE A DUTCH LOCAL BEER IN THE ARENDSNEST TASTING ROOM

This place is so authentic because it offers more than 50 beers on tap and more than 100 on bottle, all from The Netherlands only. (There are 400 breweries in the country!)

PRO TIPS:

  • If you are visiting Amsterdam with friends or family, try group beer tasting paired with food. I did it once and absolutely loved it. Beer tastes much better if you pair it with proper food plus, you learn the history about beers and a right way to taste them
A glass of Grolsch beer
Photo by @jeancarloemer

DO A CYCLING TO IJBURG AND EXPLORE IJMEER LAKE AND DIEMENPARK

IJBURG is a beautiful neighborhood, yet still under construction. The area is located on the IJmeer lake, on six artificial islands. The area obviously has many bridges with some being the biggest in Amsterdam. I went many times with bike here on a sunny day because the path is beautiful with plenty flora, fauna and gorgeous views along the water and greenery.

PRO TIP:

  • Crossing over the bridges with a bike can be challenging, but the views are rewarding
  • Sometimes during the warm days, you can spot art performers in the bushes
Photo by @faithej1

STROLL THROUGH UNIQUE PARKS OF AMSTERDAM: VONDELPARK, WESTERPARK, BEATRIXPARK, AMSTELPARK

AMSTERDAMMERS (people who live in Amsterdam) love to spend their time in nature and parks are the hot spots during the sunny days. Beatrixpark is the least known and Amstelpark is being the furthest. Vondelpark and Westerpark are very popular, especially Vondelpark which breaks records each year in number of visitors.

PRO TIPS:

  • If your time is limited, see only the famous Vondelpark
  • My favourite park in Amsterdam is Amstelpark (if that means something to you) because it’s beautifully decorated, it even has a windmill and a labyrinth

GO ON A CANOEING OR HORSE RIDING IN AMSTERDAM FOREST (AMSTERDAMSE BOS)

Kayaking in Amsterdam Forest
Kayaking is one more activity in which you can enjoy in Amsterdam Forest

Amsterdamse Bos is an enormous man-made park/forest, approximately three times the size of Central Park in New York City. It is situated in both Amsterdam and Amsteelveeen muncipality.You can enjoy in many sport activities in Amsterdam Forest or just take a walk and discover all the art and monuments.

Hire canoe from 6 euros per hour and a pedalo too from 10 euros per hour. I must say, the entire place looks like Amazon from the water. ➜Explore more about horse riding in Amsterdamse Bos.

PRO TIP:

  • Avoid visiting Amsterdamse Bos when it’s rainy especially if you don’t have a good, long boots – it gets nasty!
Driving pedalo on the green water surface in Amsterdamse Bos
Driving pedalo in Amsterdamse Bos
Duck in greenery on Het Nieuwe Meer Amsterdamse Bos
Ducks in Het Nieuwe Meer in Amsterdam Forest

THE HORTUS BOTANICUS AMSTERDAM

Dutch people love plants and guess what; Amsterdam has its botanical garden too! The Amsterdam Hortus dates back to 1638 and it has various cultural activities throughout the whole year plus of course, many remarkable plants. If you love nature, put this place on your bucket list!

PRO TIPS:

Amsterdam purple tulips Holland
Photo by @jareth21st

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TOP 5 REASONS WHY the PEDAL BOAT IS BEST WAY TO EXPLORE AMSTERDAM CITY CANALS!

Dutch people are truly geniuses when it comes to building and making.

Amsterdam is a proper example of a a city built on water in every sense of the word.

In this article, I will explain you all the good sides of pedal boats and all the bad sides in comparison to Amsterdam Canal Cruise.

In the end of this post, I hope you will have a clear imagine of what’s best for you!

ABOUT AMSTERDAM CANALS

There are 165 canals in the city and 10 of them from 17th century are placed in UNESCO’s World Heritage list. On each canal there are interesting and historic sights, most of them you can only see and experience fully from the boat’s point of view. (For example Reguliersgracht-7 bridges)

The city is just something else; much more special from canal point of view. That’s why taking a canal cruise is really a must when in Amsterdam.

However, keep in mind that Amsterdam Canal Cruise is the most popular tourist attraction in the country with over 200 tour boats and 3 million passengers a year. You can find all kinds and varieties of canal cruises of almost every form of entertainment that this city offers. But, you will find much crowd too.

Regardless to a huge choice of canal tours, I would always choose a pedal boat.

WHY?

You are about to find out!

Sooo, let’s get cruisin’! 🙂

Canal view under one of many bridges in Amsterdam
Canal view under one of many bridges in Amsterdam

1. THE MOST AFFORDABLE WAY

Amsterdam is the no. 1 cycling city in the world and you can even cycle through the canals. Since 1984 you can explore canals with mentioned pedal boats also known as pedalos, water bikes or even canal bikes. There are 100 of pedal boats around the city.

The cost of renting a pedalo for 1 hour is only €10 or €9 if you book it online. If you want to have it longer, you have to pay a bit more. Beware that upon arrival, a €20 deposit is required. You can even return your pedal boat to another location but in that case, but €10 will be deducted from your deposit or even €20 depending on the company.

When you compare the price to any other way of exploring canals, pedalo is the leading for being the cheapest.

Stromma pedal boat cruise around Amsterdam canals
Stromma boat renting company (photo by @dzo.da)


TRAVEL TIP: Last departure is at 16:00 hrs but depending on the weather operating times may vary so make sure to be there as early as possible. (opening at 09:00). Please check the official website for possible changes of working hours etc.

Canal cruising nexto to house boats in Amsterdam
There are around 2,500 houseboats in Amsterdam
(photo by @dzo.da)

2. YOUR OWN PEACE

There’s nothing better than freedom, right? You can go exploring canals by pedalo with your friend, partner or even group of friends and family. Most pedalos are equipped to catty up to four passengers. That means, no unwanted passengers, noise or anything like that. Plus, you can choose your own tour and paths where you want to go.

Canal cruise in peace

TRAVEL TIP: As part of the rental you’ll be given advice on how to ride safely among canal traffic, a free guidebook including a map of the best routes through the city and the major attractions. I’ve read on the official website that stuff is giving you a rain hood if the weather turn unpleasant while you’re out on the water. We didn’t get it (it was a clear, summer sky), so make sure you ask for it if necessary because you’ve read it on their site.

You don't need a map, you have it on your pedal boat
You don’t need a city map, you have it on your pedal boat

3. IT’S HEALTHY FOR YOU

Okay, I know that many of you forget about healthy diets and way of living when you’re on vacation. But why not merging good with the useful?
Pedal boat is like free gym but also you don’t have to go fast. Pay a bit more, and cycle slower while enjoying the views.



TRAVEL TIP: It is true that pedal boat will be harder for people who are not in such a good shape, but if you go in group of three or four persons, you can always switch while others are resting.

I am resting here, while guys are cycling. :)
I am resting here, while guys are cycling. 🙂

4. YOU CAN TAKE NICE PHOTOS

Don’t get me wrong. You can take nice photos from any city, canal cruise but you will probably be bothered by the windows. I took once canal cruise with that long, red city boat for €14 accompanied with plenty of people. I got a seat next to a window but it was a window. A dirty window. The boat did had open roof but I couldn’t do much with it.


However, later I’ve seen other canal cruise options like semi-open boat cruise, dinner cruise, hop on-hop off bus + boat tour that are having less windows or none like private boat tour or electric, open boat tour, but they are all more expensive than pedal boat.

The views from boat in Amsterdam canals are amazing
The views from boat in Amsterdam canals are amazing

TRAVEL TIP: Get Amsterdam Pass if you want to see more attractions around the city because it will save you plenty of money!

Clog boat spotted in the canals of Amsterdam
It’s all about the clogs: clog boat


5. SUSTAINABLE AMSTERDAM CANAL TOUR

Personally, I think it’s very important to preserve the splendor of each city whether you are local or just visiting. That’s why almost all boats that are offering canal cruises are equipped with electric engines or are solar powered.

However, pedal boat doesn’t have an electric engine but it does have your legs that are ready to do some action! 🙂
Zero-emission!

TRAVEL TIP: Don’t get discouraged, you can do it! 🙂

The view from the boat on tram crossing over the bridge

The view from the boat on tram crossing over the bridge

BAD SIDES OF PEDAL BOAT

  • NO COVER: In case of rain, you are most likely to get wet if you don’t have a rain hood, rain suit or at least an umbrella
  • NO AUDIO GUIDE: While other city canal cruises are offering audio guides and headphones with up to 19 languages, in pedal boat you are your own guide. Unless you know a local person that will come with you or you can always rely on Google.
  • FREE DRINKS: Some city canal cruises are offering free drinks, but usually those are much more expensive. On the other hand, if you choose pedal boat and departure between 9-12 am at Stromma Leidseplein (Leidsebosje 2) it does include a free coffee or tea! Other Stromma pedal bike locations:  Stromma Shop Rijksmuseum, Stadhouderskade 520 & Stromma Shop Westerkerk, Prinsengracht 279.

Mokum is another name for Amsterdam (Mokumboot-Amsterdam boat)
Mokum is another name for Amsterdam (Mokumboot-Amsterdam boat)

Another impressive view from boat while cruising via canals
Another impressive view from boat while cruising via canals

In summer time, canals can get bit busy so make sure to start your cruise early
In summer time, canals can get bit busy so make sure to start your cruise early
Kayak people and bird on canals of Amsterdam
Or…maybe a kayak in Amsterdam? 🙂



To conclude, I was cruising Amsterdam canals with city-cruise boats, private boats and pedal boats so I wrote this article based on my impressions and a bit of exploring.
I hope this article was helpful for you to decide with what to cruise along canals of Amsterdam.

ARTICLES ABOUT AMSTERDAM THAT YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:


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PHOTO WALK: A DAY IN AMSTERDAM 2019

Hello world, it’s me again! 🙂

The spring is getting closer!

Flowers are starting to smell as well as the scent of new adventures.
Besides, spring is perhaps the best time to visit Amsterdam, until the King’s day (King’s night) when the streets are becoming way more packed with people.

That’s why I will write next few posts about Amsterdam to complete a full guide around the city so you can be sure that you’ll explore Dutch capital properly – as a local. Even better than local!

Actually, in today’s post I’m not going to write anything else. I will just share some awesome photos that will make you book your trip to Amsterdam right away! Or, at least to start following my blog right away! 🙂

So just sit back, relax and enjoy a digital walk around Amsterdam.

Best Amsterdam view on IJ river and EYE film museum
Hotel in Amsterdam: Movenpick during the sunset time
Window reflections during the sunset time in Amsterdam with the view on Amsterdam LOOKOUT
Amazing sunset view over the IJ river in Amsterdam and Amsterdam LOOKOUT
Pink and red colors of sunset in Dutch capital Amsterdam
An amazing red sunset in Amsterdam looking over Central Station and IJ river
Sunset view and a boat on IJ river looking on Amsterdam North
Urban art graffiti and NEMO museum in Amsterdam during the sunset
One of the canals of Amsterdam and houseboats in it
Sunset view on Dutch windmill and a bird
Stay tuned out of focus sign and a sunset colors in the background

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15 THINGS YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT AMSTERDAM

The cosy and unusual vibe of Amsterdam is one of the reasons people from all around the world have fallen in love with this city – including me. In fact, I decided to spend even four years of my life in it – pretty long for a wild soul like me! 🙂

But somehow, Amsterdam was always enough interesting and wild.

With this post, I would really like you to feel the magic and peculiarity of this city. I will show you some details that are not in plain sight especially during a short visit.

If you want to read more about Amsterdam and my life in it in one of my previous posts you can read it here.

Read on to learn the weird and interesting things about this city!

An amazing sunset colours in Amsterdam
An amazing sunset in Amsterdam West

1. CATSLAND

Cats are holding a special place in the heart of the Dutch people. You probably didn’t know that almost all major cities have one cat cafe (the Kattencafe in Amsterdam).

 

A cat sleeping on a huge teddy bear seen from a window of a optical store in Haarlemmerstraat
Optical shop in Haarlemmerstraat
Beautiful cat called Mini who is 15 years old

A lovely cat called Mini-15 years old!

2. STREETS ARE FULL OF UNUSUAL VEHICLES

To be frank, traffic in Amsterdam is my favorite part of the city. It’s super lively but also fun and exciting. Each day you can spot many insane vehicles and when I say that I mean literally: from improvised futuristic ones, old timers to Lamborghini.

 

A red old timer cabriolet captured on the streets of Amsterdam West
Old timer
An interesting three-wheeled motor vehicle spotted in the streets of Amsterdam
Three-wheeled motor vehicle
Unknown and interesting vehicle that reminds me of a Mad Max movie
This reminds me of a Mad Max movie vehicle
An interesting three-wheel vehicle from Byondo delivery company
Byondo delivery service vehicle
Yellow retro van/camper captured on the streets of Dutch capital-Amsterdam
Retro van/camper
Graffiti painted car with a sign: ''Bring it on'' captured on the streets of Dutch capital-Amsterdam
600Graffiti painted car

 

3. MOVABLE BRIDGES

Amsterdam not only has more than 1200 bridges but 61 of them are movable! The process of opening and closing one bridge takes from 2 to 8 minutes, and this can cause some congestion problems in the traffic. However, it always goes more or less smooth and it’s really fun to watch – only first time, later you get bothered because of waiting. 🙂

Also, many of the bridges hide amazing art underneath so don’t miss to watch it; if you are lucky enough to actually encounter this happening!

Beltbrug - movable bridge Westerpar Westerpark Jan van Galenstraat x Tweede Hugo de Grootstraat
Beltbrug – movable bridge Westerpar Westerpark Jan van Galenstraat x Tweede Hugo de Grootstraat
The view from the Beltbrug on Mollen de Otter (The Otter Windmill)
The view from the Beltbrug on Mollen de Otter (The Otter Windmill)

Movable bridge in Amsterdam with art underneath
Movable bridge with art underneath

4. ART IS LITERALLY EVERYWHERE

No matter where you wander around the city, you’ll always see something artistic: graffiti, posters, outdoor house decorations, statues, sculptures, stickers…even people! The city is full of artists and no wonder there are dozens of museums and galleries around!

A former shipyard NDSM with graffiti: Make art not Euros
A former shipyard NDSM is always full of graffiti
Cute and romantic graffiti art in NDSM are in Amsterdam
Cute urban art in NDSM

 

Graffiti art of Tiktoy
Graffiti art of Tiktoy
Tyler Street Art of a soldier holdin a heart baloon in Prins Hendrikkade in Amsterdam Dutch capital
Tyler Street Art in Prins Hendrikkade

5. THE SUNSETS ARE SPECTACULAR

Amsterdam has moderate sunshine of 1662 hours annually-around 69 days a year. That’s not much, of course, but when those days appear, hurry up outside to get some rays and to witness some pure magic! When it’s sunny, the city starts to shine in very vivid colors together with smiley faces of people. 🙂

Beautiful colours of the sunset in Nassaukade street, Amsterdam West
The sunset in Nassaukade street, Amsterdam West
Colorful clouds during the sunset time captured from the Buiksloterweg ferry in Amsterdam city
Sunset from the Buiksloterweg ferry
One more sunset from my previous apartment in Nassaukade, Amsterdam West
One more sunset from my previous apartment in Nassaukade, Amsterdam West
Woman sitting next to a Amsterdam canal and enjoying the sunny day
When it’s sunny, everybody is outside and enjoying the sun literally wherever they can

6. ROOFTOPS & TERRACES AS A WAY OF LIVING

Once you’ve seen all the street-level sights, it’s time for rooftops as they offer unique experience unlike any other in Amsterdam. And if you are lucky knowing a local person, you can enjoy some panorama views of the sprawling streets and canals below from house terraces. (Dutch people love terraces!)


Some of the best rooftop places are: SkyLounge Amsterdam, Twenty Third Bar, Canvas, Floor 17.

The view on the roofs of Amsterdam houses
The view on the roofs of Amsterdam houses
Rooftop view on Flower market in Dutch capital Amsterdam
Rooftop view on Flower market
Rooftop view while eating Dutch stroopwaffel
Rooftop view while eating Dutch stroopwaffel

7. 300 FESTIVALS A YEAR

Amsterdam’s festival agenda covers all tastes and genres. Indisputably, there’s something for everyone here. The range of festivals is broad and diverse no matter which time of the year. If you want to check the festival agenda for 2020, you can do it here.

Indoor festival in Amsterdam and lightshow
600Festivals in Amsterdam are really impressive; both indoor & outdoor
Girl dancer in one of 300 festivals in Amsterdam
Girl dancer in one of 300 festivals in Amsterdam

8. PEOPLE ARE PLANT FRIENDLY

In the whole country, outdoor spaces are carefully and nicely decorated. Dutch gardens have traditionally been an orderly affair and their gardens today are at the forefront of modern landscape design. You will probably notice how each house has many plants outside and inside all well taken care of.

Beautiful flowery houses of Amsterdam
Beautiful flowery houses of Amsterdam

9. MARIJUANA IS EVERYWHERE

Cannabis in the Netherlands is not legal, but decriminalised for personal use. Recreational consumption of the drug is tolerated, and it’s available in coffee shops.

However, locals don’t partake much in that activities relate to marijuana as much as the non Dutch residents and tourists do. On the other hand, the city is full of cannabis vehicles, posters, stickers, clothing, signs…you will be amazed where all you can see it!

You probably did know that people here are very open to soft and even hard drugs. On the other hand, you probably didn’t know that Dutch people often advertise on street posters and boards every time a fake or even more dangerous drug arrives on the streets!

A perfect example of a tourist fraud: Grow your own weed
A perfect example of a tourist fraud. This is not weed and you can’t grow anything from this
Street sign in Leidseplein: White heroin sold as cocaine in Amsterdam Dutch capital
Street sign in Leidseplein, Amsterdam

10. ARCHITECTURAL PARADISE

The whole city is a real eye-catching pleasure for anyone, especially architects. Fascinating architecture mixture of innovative and futuristic projects, luxurious canal houses from 17th century and charming gabled facades. Add to all that numerous Dutch geniuses built a city out of nothing and-voila, the paradise is born!

 

Frog's perspective from a pedal boat in canals of Amsterdam
Frog’s perspective from a pedal boat in canals of Amsterdam
Another example of a fascinating Dutch, modern architecture
Another example of a fascinating Dutch, modern architecture

An impressive and modern building of Amsterdam Dutch capital
An impressive building of Amsterdam
Extraordinary and Dutch modern building as an example of brilliant architecture
Extraordinary and innovative Dutch architecture

Modern part of Dutch capital Amsterdam
Modern part of Amsterdam

Very impressive Dutch architecture and its modern buildings
Dutch architecture never stops to impress me…

11. NEW YEAR’S EVE IN AMSTERDAM LASTS THE LONGEST

Each year, the celebration of the New Year lasts longer and longer. In fact, fireworks on New Year’s Eve in 2018 were lasting periodically until 3 in the morning! The biggest firework goes from midnight to one in the morning. I can remember that my boyfriend was picking me up from work soon after midnight and our trip back home was nothing but a pure luck. Seriously, it seemed like a war.

If it was your first celebration of this kind in the Netherlands, you might have been a little shocked by the chaos and commotion on New Year’s Eve. Hopefully-you survived. According to interest association Pyrotechnics Netherlands, people in the country collectively shelled out 77 million euros worth of fireworks in 2019!  

 

Fireworks on New Year's Eve 2018 from Nassaukade, Amsterdam West
Fireworks on New Year’s Eve 2018 from Nassaukade, Amsterdam West
Amsterdam's Canals decorated with lights in December
Amsterdam’s Canals in December

12. CAR SHARING

Forget about public transport and taxis-they are expensive. Bikes are handy, but it’s not handy at all cycling in winter time especially during rain and snow.

CAR2GO is the world’s first free-floating car sharing service. All you need is a payment method and your driver’s license. Just install the app and use it to find the nearest Car2Go. It’s electric and you don’t even pay a parking spot-which is bloody expensive in Amsterdam!

Besides, you have an option for scooter sharing with Felyx company and bike sharing with Hello-Bike.

Car2go smart electric car while charging
Car2go while charging

 

13. QUITE COLD WINTERS

In winter time, there are plenty of days when you will wake up and see ice on the streets, plants, your bike…everywhere! And if the wind blows, it gets even colder. Try to book your trip during the warmer months and if you can’t, at least make sure you have enough clothes.

Frozen morning in Amsterdam captured ice on grass
Frozen morning in Amsterdam
Snowy day in Amsterdam streets and roofs full of snow
Snowy day in Amsterdam
Frozen canal of Amsterdam
Frozen canal of Amsterdam

 

14. SEX AND SUGAR

Sex work of many kinds is legal in The Netherlands. Mainly in the Red Light District (The Wallen) you will see window businesses, brothels, clubs, escort agencies and even a theater! There are many sex shops that work 24/7 and they are nothing stranger here than a regular grocery store.

Window of a sex shop in Amsterdam Dutch capital of the Netherlands
Window of a sex shop in Amsterdam

On the other hand, if you are sugar addict (which we all are a bit) you will certainly enjoy in Dam. The city provides wide range for all the folks that are attacked of the munchies, whether stoned or not. However, I advise you to seriously be careful what you eat, where and how fresh it is.

My advice is to avoid city center as places there work much on quantity not quality.

Window of a candy store in Amsterdam, Dutch capital
Cakes and biscuits are all around Amsterdam
Window of a candy store in Amsterdam, Dutch capital
Candy store in Amsterdam

15. BIKE FISHING

Amsterdam is the bicycle-friendly place with 40% to 60% of all trips within the city made on bikes. It has 165 canals and unfortunately some of the bicycles from time to time end up getting wet. Some…the number reaches from 12 000 to 15 000 bikes a year ending up in the canals!!

It is generally assumed that vandalism is behind these numbers and bicycle thieves that want to quickly dispose of evidence. Besides, strong winds can be the reason too because people often forget to tie their bicycles to something. Amsterdam’s local government has to regularly dredge up these discarded bikes in order to keep the city’s canals clean, safe and accessible. I hope you will be lucky to see this way of ‘fishing’ because it’s truly interesting experience!

If you are still curious how Dutch people are pulling bikes from the canals of Amsterdam, make sure to check MY INSTAGRAM PROFILE and look for AMSTERDAM in HIGHLIGHTS SECTION!

Dutch way of fishing for bikes in canals of Amsterdam
Dutch fishing for bikes

Given these points, I think Amsterdam already became one of the most interesting and entertaining cities in the whole world! Well, at least it is for me!

However, I still haven’t been everywhere, but is on my list. 🙂

If you liked this post, maybe you would like to read some more tips about Amsterdam!? Below you can explore some of my previous posts↴

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the best things about AMSTERDAM 2020

The view from Amsterdam bridge over the canals

Amsterdam lives and breathes creativity. One moment you walk into a building from the 17th century, and the next you find yourself in a hub of creative start-up companies.

— Marcel Wanders
The view from the fence over canals of Amsterdam and a boat with a Dutch flag

HOW DID IT ALL STARTED?

I was dreaming of Amsterdam already as a little girl.

About 4 years ago, my wish came true. Staying in Croatia didn’t give me a bright perspective, so I simply packed my suitcase and went away. Moreover, finally I realized I’m not a tree.


I remember the first thing I thought when I came to downtown Amsterdam was: Wow! This city is so symmetrical! Every building and house looked the same to me. It took me even three months to actually stop looking for hours every night my apartment where I was staying.

In this article, I will share with you some interesting & general information about Amsterdam from a local point of view. I hope you will enjoy reading it.

Amsterdam houses and roofs from the terrace
Rooftop view over Amsterdam city
Typical Amsterdam canal houses

 

You see, it makes a big difference to visit Amsterdam and to actually live in it. First and foremost, if you live in Amsterdam, you will not find yourself crushing into bikes all the time while walking and you will less likely be a part of traffic accidents – several times a day. 🙂 These unfortunate situations are happening to tourists and visitors very often. The reason is that after a certain period of living here, you acquire a culture of cycling.

The once long and somber strapping of a bicycle with heavy and thick iron chains, you replace with the ease of same strapping, feeling like Lara Croft. Lara Croft sumo – dressed in layers! 🙂

A guys with a bicycle sign on his backpack
Street photography in Amsterdam on a traffic light while watching the rainbow

 

Yep, Amsterdam is a really cold city. For one person from Croatia, especially Dalmatia, getting used to the weather really took a while. In fact, I never even got used to it.In brief, always wear extra clothes, because at some point you will definitely need it. Raincoat or umbrella too. It rains very often.

The climate is sub-oceanic, humid and rainy, influenced by the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, so the winters are cold but also quite cold summers. The wind blows frequently and is extremely intense, especially from November to March. Nonetheless, it’s not perfect anywhere, is it !?

There are good and bad sides everywhere.

Amsterdam Damrak at night

 

I fell in love with Amsterdam primarily because it is very vibrant, alive and extremely liberal. It has almost perfect urbanization too and 180 imperfect and different nations of the world. How cool is that!?


Amsterdam is not as big or bustling as London or New York (unless you are slow-cycling, scared tourist that has just arrived), but it has a great and infectiously good vibe. Whether you are riding a bike and singing out loud or dressed in a Yoda costume, absolutely no one will mind you.

Typical Amsterdam canal houses

 

The special charm of Amsterdam is the freedom to interact people. There are not many places in the world where you will sit by one of the 1281 bridges, and at least three people will ask you how you are because they really care, wish you a good time, ask if you need help, just give you a compliment or try to make you laugh.

I don’t allude to the fact that such situations are present only in Amsterdam, but my experience has shown that they are most common here. That’s why I love Amsterdam the most.

Hotel De L'Europe in Amsterdam in the time of Gay Pride

 

This exceptional city has more bridges than Paris, the most famous bridge being the Magere Brug or the Skinny Bridge.The “Venice of the North” as people call it, consists of 165 channels, even more than Venice! Seventeenth-century Amsterdam canals, located in the heart of the city, were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in August 2010. They consist of the eponymous areas: Singelgracht, Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht, which I highly recommend for visit.

Many of the homes in these canals date from the golden age – 17th century – and are one of the most beautiful and oldest – although many of them have been upgraded and restored.

Canal in Amsterdam with a windmill and a boat

There’s a good reason why Amsterdam’s houses are so tight – money. You see, back in the 17th century, locals were taxed by the breadth of their estates, which aroused great interest in narrow houses.Many of these houses are cleverly designed to be narrow and not so wide at the front but wider and longer at the back, giving the false impression of being small.

 

A typical Amsterdam house

 

 

A typical Amsterdam narrow street
Frogs perspective on Amsterdam while driving the bike

 

The history of Amsterdam dates back to around 1250, when Amsterdam was a fishing village. Today it bears the title of the world’s most important center for finance and trade, called a global or alpha city.The name Amsterdam comes from Amstelredamma, which indicates the origin of the city around the dam in the Amstel River. Since 1983 it has officially been the capital of the Netherlands, nicknamed Mokum, which is derived from the Hebrew word ‘makan’, meaning the city.

The history of the first canals in Amsterdam were excavated for water management and defense. The store exploded – guess when – in the 17th century, in the aforementioned golden age, and was completed around 1660.By then it had grown up to 4 times larger, and today it is considered to be the most agile and efficient waterway system in the world, built on as many as eleven million columns.

Rooftop view on Amsterdam houses
Rooftop view on Amsterdam and its surroundings
Amsterdam by the canal at the night time

It’s the most watery city in the world and it’s located about 2 meters below sea level, just like one third of the Netherlands. The lowest point is 6.7 meters below sea level while the highest point is about one thousand meters above sea level.Perhaps this can give you a better idea of ​​what the landscape in the Netherlands looks like – totally flat!

Aerial view on Amsterdam urbanism
Amsterdam urbanism from above

There’s one more thing that’s very much Amsterdam like – bikes! There are more than 881,000 bikes in this city that rarely sleeps. Believe it or not, that’s four times the number of cars in it. According to 2015 statistics, there are more bikes than people, which are making the number of only 821,752.

However, Amsterdam has more inhabitants at the end of this year than ever before! It is estimated that there are now 873, 200 inhabitants – still less than number of bikes!The reason of so many bikes is probably the brutally expensive public transport, which is 32% more expensive here than the average cost of public transport across the whole Europe.

It is also interesting to say that the city draws between 12,000 and 15,000 bikes each year from the canals.

Fishing for bikes in Amsterdam canals

 

Fortunately, today the water in the canal has been cleansed more than ever before. Twenty-four of the city’s 16 existing watercourses are closed three times a week, so that clean water can flow from the great lakes of IJsselmeer. Specialized cleaning boats with large shovels and nets often patrol to clear the surface dirt from the canals.

Since 2005, all houseboats in the city have been connected to the sewer system. Pure water has also attracted many wildlife and birds such as ducks, herons, seagulls…Even 20 different species of fish and crustaceans live a healthy life under the water surfaces of the city!

Red Light District in Amsterdam
Heron bird in Amsterdam
A colorful duck in Amsterdam

 

Certainly it’s interesting to experience Amsterdam cruising across the canals or over night in one of the boats for rent. Funny fact is that back in the old days, when canals were still used to transport dresses, living on a boat in Amsterdam was a sign of poverty, while today living on boat is a sign of wealth. All of today’s ships you can see are pretty old. The oldest was built in 1840 as a fresh drinking water boat and is located at the Prinsengracht-Amstelveld site.

The view under the bridge in Amsterdam canals
A boat in Amsterdam canals
Canal view in Amsterdam

 

If you are an art seeker, Amsterdam is the right city for you! It’s a home to over 70 museums, many of which are well known around the world. The city has more than 7000 monumental buildings too, 40 parks, 38 markets and 55 theaters and concert halls, so there’s a plenty of activities and places to enjoy!

Amsterdam house with many details
Amsterdam museum
Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam
Architecture of Amsterdam in Holland

 

And although I call Amsterdam my home, I will always follow the motto: HOME IS A FEELING, NOT A PLACE.

 

A sunset from the window in Amsterdam Nassaukade


Let me know in the comments what would you like to know more about Amsterdam, as well as any suggestions if you have one.
I may include some of your questions in my next post.
Any feedback from you means a lot to me. 🙂 Thank you for reading!

Tot volgende ker!
(On Dutch which means, “until the next time”)
🙂

READ MORE ABOUT AMSTERDAM IN ONE OF MY PREVIOUS POSTS ⤵

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🇬🇧 WHY AMSTERDAM?⠀ _⠀⠀ ⠀ Did you know that Amsterdam is a home to more than 180 nations, being the most diverse city in the world? ⠀ ⠀ Besides, it's declared as the most cultural city in the world too offering the biggest number of cultural attractions per capita.⠀ ⠀ I was lucky to have a job in the city centre near Central Station in Amsterdam for almost 2 years where I was meeting a minimum of 300 people a day. Yep, I even counted few times.😁⠀ ⠀ Working near Central Station surrounded by coffee shops, Red Light Windows and smart shops meant one thing: being able to meet lot of wild and interesting folks; many sex workers, their boyfriends and loud English people who were majority of Amsterdam tourists.⠀ ⠀ But also, I've met some influential and incredibly rich people, businessmen and on the contrary, a poor guy from Switzerland who won the jackpot two days before, a 11 year old with tattoos and a piercing who was a cocaine addict and many more people especially from the African countries I didn't even know they exist. ⠀ ⠀ I was speaking at least 3 languages each day and I was trying to learn 7 more. Or, at least a greeting from each.⠀ ⠀ Working in hospitality for years, got me realized my brain is expanding and my perspective is multiplying with each new soul I meet.⠀ ⠀ There was no money that can make me rich like a new friendship from other part of this planet.⠀ ⠀ I got hooked up to people.⠀ ⠀ I was an addict of meeting new, different and foreign. I still am and I will always be.⠀ ⠀ "My name is Valentina. Pleasure to meet you."⠀ ⠀ 😊❤⠀ ⠀ ____________________________________________________⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ #theviewfromhere #peopleareawesome #people_and_world #people_infinity #ig_respect #loves_people #travelblogging #travelstories #travelgirls #travellog #travelstory #iamatraveller #splendid_people #faces_of_our_world #humanity_shots_ #worldtravelers #snap_people #ok_people #water_perfection #waterreflection #visitamsterdam #amsterdamworld #amsterdamlife #gramthedam #ig_energy_people #ig_muse #featurecollective #great_captures_people #great_captures

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