One of the main stops on our Busabout Europe summer journey was Amsterdam and I’m so happy we decided to stop here for the week!
Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most popular cities, it’s a city of 1500 bridges, endless canals and even more bikes – somehow there are more bikes than people in Amsterdam (I’m not joking – there are 850,000 bikes in Amsterdam, which outnumbers its population of 800,000).
Bikes aside, there is so much to see and do in this beautiful city. Whether your interests lie with galleries, museums, history, art or getting high in a coffee shop you will find something that peaks your interest!
The city of Amsterdam is centred around the UNESCO-listed Canal Ring, where three canals form a horseshoe shape around the old town. It is really walkable city too, we were able to pick up a free map from our hostel ClinkNOORD and managed to walk everywhere we wanted to go. If you aren’t keen on walking then you can join the locals and get on your bike – you will find bike rental shops all over the city. There’s also Uber, taxis, ferries and a really reliable public transport system.
To get your bearings and learn a bit about the city’s rich history, I recommend looking into a free walking tour where you tip your guide. We started a three hour tour with Sandeman’s New Amsterdam Tours which leaves from the National Monument in Dam Square several times a day. If you are travelling with Busabout like we did, then you can get your spot booked on these tours whilst you are on the bus! You can also book a heap of other tours or activities through your guide while on the Busabout buses such as canal cruises, bike tours, comedy shows, sex shows and pub crawls.
Here are 5 reasons why I think Amsterdam should definitely be on your Europe bucket list:
1. It’s just so beautiful
I mean look at the photos, it’s just insane…
2. There is so much rich culture, art and history (and pretty flowers!)
Amsterdam’s cultural and social life is very cool, there are world-class museums, restaurants, theatres, markets and concert halls all over the city. Also if you are a plant/flower lover like I am, then you will love all the gardens and flowers around the city.
3. Food and alcohol here is affordable (and delicious)
Amsterdam is really affordable when it comes to alcohol and food – we ate food from supermarkets, markets and restaurants and didn’t blow our budget. In Amsterdam you can taste cuisines from all over the world. My favourite spot for local food is the Albert Cuyp Market, here you can get delicious stroopwaffles, poffertjes, bitterballen and croquettes (all for under $2 AUD). The Albert Cuyp market is also located in the hip De Pijp district, perfect for bar hopping or finding vintage shops.
Also if you love cheese then you are going to be in heaven, the cheese here is so yummy – they also have a museum dedicated to cheese!
4. Also you like beer then you have to come to Amsterdam and check out the Heineken Experience (Brewery)
The Heineken Experience is really cool (and I don’t even like beer that much!). Here you can explore the history of the beer giant in a former brewery, with a Heineken tasting to finish.
5. The houses (especially along the canals) look like they are out of a fantasy book
Some are very crooked and narrow, I was told by our Busabout guide that it it because the soil underneath them is like a swamp, and buildings must be built on long poles that dig into the ground and prevent them from sinking.
You can experience this location on the Busabout Hop-on Hop-off Europe network. Check out the Busabout website for more details.
Please note: The Wild Hideaway travelled as partners of Busabout, we are spending the 2018 European summer blogging about all of our exciting experiences and adventures with Busabout. As always anything you read here is my personal and honest opinion.