How To Do Amsterdam In One Day | TRAVEL

9 Jun 2017

Travel is food for the soul, it forces you to embrace other cultures, learn about and see things you'd never get sitting on the sofa in your home and develop your own self reliance.  Whenever I come back from a trip to another country I feel peaceful and full of inspiration, so I try to do it whenever I can afford to do so.  The practicalities of that mean that if you work a full time job you're limited to the amount of days annual leave you can take, you can be earning a good wage and afford to go on a holiday every week if you so wished but you're bound by your commitments at home.  For this reason, I love short trips and weekend breaks are the perfect way to get 24 hours in another country to fix that travel buzz.
Recently I booked a mini-cruise to Amsterdam to spend 24 hours in the Dutch capital, and I tried to cram as much in as possible to make it worthwhile.  I spent a bit of time researching on my favourite travel blogs and YouTube channels what was an absolute must to see and came up with an itinerary for our trip.  So, here's my perfect way to spend 24 hours in Amsterdam!

9AM - Breakfast
Start the day with a Dutch breakfast, pancakes are a speciality around here so make sure you grab some with your morning coffee.  There are cafes in Centraal that sell these, but I prefer to grab some from a food stall and eat on the move as it's cheaper and more time efficient! Snaffle these down whilst you head on over to a tram ticket kiosk and buy the 24 hour tram pass for €7.

10:30AM - The Anne Frank House Museum
Take a short walk through Dam Square to get to the Anne Frank Museum and enjoy the most popular museum in the country.  Known for diary writings, Anne Frank's story is one of sorrow and cultural importance, pay the €9 entrance fee and see where her Jewish family hid away from the Nazi's during the War before she was found.  It's a moving exhibition and not one to be missed, the experience should take you around 90 minutes to get around and 15 minutes to queue if you've pre-booked.  Make sure you pre-book your tickets, you can't rock up on the day and get in before 2PM and it's been known to have  long line daily.  Pick them up here.

12:30PM - Canals
Coming out of the museum you will notice you're right by a canal, so delve deeper into the streets and discover!  Amsterdam is packed with canals and it's safe to get lost in the back streets, the Dutch are a friendly population and willing to help you if you need direction... but my favourite part of travelling is getting lost.

2:30PM - Lunch
As you're in the area, it would be rude not to try out out some delicious Dutch food for lunch.  You can either pop over to the food halls in the Jordaan District or nip into one of the many cafes in the backstreets of the canals.  We opted for a cafe not far from the tram line (so we could slowly walk back with full tummies afterwards) and chose to have traditional Dutch lunch - bitterballen and kroketten.  Bitterballen are Dutch meatballs in a breadcrumbs, traditionally served with a dip and some pickles, whilst kroketten are a type of croquette with veal and potato served with breads and pickles.  Both were blinking delicious and washed down with a perfect coffee!  We sat in the cafe for a while and admired the interior, which looked someone's living room in the 1800's.

4:30PM - Riijksmuseum & IAmsterdam Sign
The Riijksmuseum boasts an impressive collection of Van Gough, Rembrandt and Vemeer and is one of the most visited museum in Western Europe.  If you're into your art and only have time to visit one place then I recommend paying the €17.50 entrance fee to get in, however if you're happy with some photos of the building for your Instagram then I suggest moving on.  The museum has one of the city's 'IAmsterdam' signs, which is part of the tourist board's marketing campaign, so make sure you get a shot of this before moving on.

6:30PM - Heineken Experience
One thing my partner wanted to do whilst we were in the city was visit the Heineken Experience, which is a short walk away from the museums.  For €16.50 you get two drinks and the interactive experience as your ticket, which is well worth the cash!  I wasn't overjoyed at the thought of this as I don't drink beer, but went along with it as a good sport, but I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it and I learnt how to drink beer properly so now I don't mind the taste of it at all!  
The experience has lots of interactive activities to get involved with, including photo booths and green screen video to take away with you, finishing up with a drink in the subzero bar afterwards.  Don't miss this, it was fantastic!

8:30PM - Red Light District
Finally, it's not a trip to Amsterdam without checking out the Red Light District so hop on a tram to get across the city.  Photography and filming are strictly prohibited here, so put away your mobile phone and cameras unless you want one of the security chaps to start an argument with you.  We found it a really bizarre experience to see women advertising their services in the windows but it was certainly interesting, I recommend grabbing a drink and people watching.  

Finally, when time's up, grab a tram back to your ferry or train and flick through your photos on your phone before planning your next trip here with a longer amount of time.  There is so much to do in Amsterdam that you can't get bored, the above is literally a whistlestop of the highlights but there is so much we just didn't cover so another trip is on our cards!

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