I have had the most amazing time travelling to various cities over Europe in the past few months. The semester has even been coloured in with different ways of travel: solo travel, cross-country backpacking, a bus to alps trip and of course Italian day- and weekend trips.
Although I could go on and on about the Nutella crepes in Salzburg, the Musee D’Orsay in Paris, the bikes in Copenhagen or the snow in Turin; a city that holds a special place in my heart is Amsterdam. Outlined in this article are a few ‘do’s’ and ‘don’t’ of Amsterdam with some of my photos I took over my weekend trip there.
*Sunflowers, by Van Gogh.
Photo source: VAn Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.
Amsterdam hosts a few of the most famous and important museums and art galleries in the world. I visited the Stedeljik-, Van Gogh- and Rijksmuseum. You can time-travel between hundreds of years of important art pieces. (Remember that you can get a student ticket for the Stedeljik here)
- DO book your tickets to the museums beforehand. They tend to sell out quickly and you might not be able to get tickets even a few days before your visit.
- DO take your time to slowly walk through the museums and learn as much as you can.
- DO check to see if the museums have apps. The Rijksmuseum, for instance, had a free app (identical to the audioguide you could hire there for an additional price).
Amsterdam is known to be the city of bikes and bridges. Embrace dutch living by renting a bike or alternatively getting a city-transport pass for the duration of your trip. Amsterdam also has an app which opts as a route planner for public transport metro, tram and bus options. You can find it here.
- DO some research beforehand if you plan to rent a bike. Most hostels/hotels have bikes that you can rent directly from them, but they are often fully booked by the time you get there. Email your hostel/hotel beforehand about their policies or look for the closest bike renting shops and their prices online.
- DO respect the local biking rules and other bikers and
- DON’T walk in bike-lanes or forget to lock your bike.
There as so many beautiful streets with little boutiques and cafe’s which makes for wonderful exploring. Take your time to walk around these streets and pack yourself a picnic lunch to enjoy on a bench next to a canal.
- DO download an offline map of the city on your google maps app to navigate yourself if you get lost and to save your favourite places.
- DO not miss the ‘Jordaan’ neighborhood and an area called ‘de 9 straatjes’ (more about it here)
- DO consider going on a day trip from Amsterdam if you feel you have seen enough of the city and have more time. Places like Haarlem, Rotterdam and Utrecht and easily accessible and affordable to visit for the day via train.
- DON’t forget where you parked your bike!
Ciao, Carla xxx
Carla de Beer is an Applied Illustration Design major from South Africa, currently studying at SRISA for the Spring 2019 semester. She is also the founder of LUCA, an illustration-based online store. Check out www.lucaillustration.com or follow her on instagram @luca.illustration.