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One Day in…Amsterdam, the Netherlands

One Day in…Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Traveler Profile: Ashleigh, 36, USA 

Location: Amsterdam 

Time of Year: July 

Traveler Goals: Learn about the city’s rich cultural heritage 

I meticulously crafted my itinerary to ensure I didn’t miss out on any of Amsterdam’s top attractions, and indeed, it didn’t disappoint.

Dutch Art and Culture

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Dennis van de Water

The first stop I had in my carefully planned journey through Amsterdam was a visit to the iconic Rijksmuseum. There, I was amazed by masterpieces of Dutch masters such as Rembrandt and Vermeer. There was so much detail in the art it is truly unbelievable. The centuries-old history and ming-blowing artistry on display there can’t be explained with words. 

Fellow Traveler Tips: Amsterdam has so many world-class museums, such as the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, that pre-planning your visit is a good idea. Consider purchasing tickets online to skip the lines, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Historical Inspiration

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Ivica Drusany

After appreciating the Dutch art, I felt like I had traveled back in time with my next stop. It was a visit to Anne Frank’s house that hit me with a blast from the past. While there, I walked through some of the same rooms where Anne and her family hid during World War II. 

It was a profoundly surreal experience. Before my visit here, it had never occurred to me how the region’s history might still haunt it today. This place stands as a reminder for us all. 

Skipping the Cafes

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Steven Bostock

Amserdam is full of cafes where you can consume marijuana in mulitple different ways. I decided, not to partake, at least not this trip. There are plenty to choose from though, and I may just have to see for myself what all the hype is about next time I’m here. 

Fellow Traveler Tip: Cannabis is legal in Amsterdam, but the authorities expect you consume it responsibly and in designated areas such as licensed coffee shops. Look up and know the local laws and customs regarding cannabis use.

Exploring Amsterdam’s Canals on Foot

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Yasonya

During my visit to Amsterdam, one of my favorite memories from all I did was exploring the city’s canals on foot. The meandering waterways were lined with buildings and charming houseboats, creating a quirky little neighborhood scene. I walked along the cobblestone streets parallel to the canals, checking out the city’s vibe.  

Until recently, houseboats were allowed to dump waste into the canal. It was only just in 2018 that they finally ended that. Since then, the waterways have become cleaner, and I was grateful for it. I couldn’t imagine how it must have been before that rule. 

Each of the canals had a name like our streets do back home, but most had names I couldn’t spell or pronounce. Kloveniersbirgwal and Brouwersgracht are two prime examples of just a couple of those names.     

Fellow Traveler Tip: Exploring Amsterdam’s canals is a must-do activity. Go on a guided canal cruise to learn about the city’s history and architecture while enjoying scenic views from the water.

Daily Dutch Living

Image Credit: Shutterstock / RossHelen

On the street, I got a little glimpse of some of the daily life in Amsterdam. There was a mix of locals; some cycling past with bouquets in their baskets, some at busy cafes spilling out onto the sidewalks, and some walking along the elegant bridges arching over the waters below. As I wandered, I thought the whole place was just quaint and adorable. It also had such a laid-back atmosphere that I felt right at home.  

Fellow Traveler Tip: Amsterdam’s public transportation system offers multiple options and is efficient and easy to navigate. 

The Royal Palace at Dam Square

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Travelpixs

Next, I walked down Damrak, which took me to the Royal Palace at Dam Square, which is one of the most well-known spots in Amsterdam. This was a quick stop but still a must-see when visiting Amsterdam. The next spot on my list was Heineken’s oldest brewery, which had been converted into a museum. It was interesting, but it just made me want to get a drink.

A Quick Bite to Eat

Lunchtime had almost passed me by, so I paused to find a spot to eat lunch like the Dutch and sip a glass of wine. I found a little place that served bread, cheese, and cold meats. I ate those foods served in a style similar to tapas. 

Walking the Red Light District

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Jaroslav Moravcik

After eating, I took a guided tour of the infamous Red Light District for the final guided tour in Amsterdam. I know it’s a bit cliche, but I was curious. So after meeting with the tour group, I started on a 2-hour walking tour. My professional and knowledgeable guide shared all kinds of fascinating tidbits about the origins of the neighborhood and the unique legal status of prostitution in the Netherlands. I actually learned more about the oldest profession in the world than I’d have ever thought possible.  

I walk along Warmoesstraat and passed by landmarks like the Condomerie. I learned about the different attractions in the area, like the Sex Museum and the Erotic Museum. However, due to regulations, I couldn’t go into the Red Light District itself, but I still wandered around its outskirts and learned about its significance.It was surprisingly very interesting.  

Afterward, the tour continued to Chinatown, where I saw the largest Buddhist temple in Europe. That was the end of the tour.

Perfect End for the Trip 

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Artur Bogacki

After all that walking I was already pretty hungry again. I had one last thing I wanted to experience while I was here, and that was a dinner cruise through the canals I had walked during the day. I caught a cab up to the boat cruise where I enjoyed my pizza and listened to the guide tell more about Amsterdam’s history and culture. It was a relaxing end to an active day.

Tourist Information:

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The post One Day in…Amsterdam, the Netherlands first appeared on The Green Voyage.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Nikolas_jkd. 

For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

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