Amsterdam is a strange city, but strange things are not strange at all because they are rooted from the most civilized ideas. A city in which you should not be surprised to see a warning: “You will be not arrested for using drugs in Amsterdam. Call 112 for medical assistance”, which means you will not be considered guilty if you use drugs. Or another special thing is that there is a separate neighborhood for prostitution, yes it is a government-approved job to operate normally like any other profession. It is a civilized country with a high sense of every citizen.
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So, is Amsterdam worth visiting? Let’s discover one of the most beautiful destinations in Europe through our Amsterdam travel blog (Amsterdam blog) with the fullest Amsterdam travel guide blog (Amsterdam city guide, Amsterdam visitors guide) for a wonderful trip to Amsterdam on a budget for the first time from how to get there, where to stay, best places to visit and what to do… in Amsterdam below to find out the answer!
There are many other interesting things, of course there are many beautiful museums, the signature canals that only the Netherlands has and the habit of taking bicycles as a daily means of transportation of Amsterdam people. We can explore them slowly.
Amsterdam city guide: When is the best time to visit Amsterdam?
This depends on each person, some people like to go in the summer from May to August because it is the tourist season, the weather is not too hot as other Mediterranean cities and this time Tulip flowers also bloom. But some people like to go in the spring because you will avoid crowded scenes if you go in the summer, and spring is the season where the flowers at Keukenhof flower garden bloom from mid-March to mid-May, and the flowers garden also only open during that time.
In Amsterdam there is usually rain all year round but usually is drizzle and only rain in the evenings. However, if you intend to travel here, you should bring a jacket or a cold coat to prevent storms and unusual cold winds. Because of such weather, most of the hotels here are not equipped with air conditioning, but instead have a fireplace in the room. From December until January, the coldest time, dense snowfall, everything seemed to freeze. However, it is rarely frozen, so you can not play ice skating on the canals like in the movies you often see.
If you have a chance to come to Amsterdam in the winter, it is extremely noticeable because the Netherlands is in the sea climate region adjacent to Northern Europe, so the winter here is super cold, you will just want to remove your hands from the pockets a little bit, try to press button to take photos and then have to put your hands back into pockets immediately. It’s so cold, so remember to bring really warm clothes, until May but in Amsterdam, the temperature is still around 10 degrees Celsius, how do you feel?
Amsterdam travel blog: Getting around Amsterdam
Generally Amsterdam has all kinds of public transport like many other cities, such as Metro, Tram, Bus and especially people here love to ride bicycles. Bicycles have become Amsterdam’s distinctive cultural feature, simple, improve health and protect the environment.
The single ticket (Single Journey) price for all means of public transport is €2.80 and you can use all types of public transport within 1 hour, unlimited daily tickets cost €7.50. In addition, there also is OV Chipkaart card is cheaper if traveling a lot, just like EZ Link card when you traveling by MRT in Singapore. Bicycle rental prices range from EUR3-10/day.
Amsterdam blog: Where to stay?
There are 2 options for you to stay in Amsterdam, you can stay in the city center, convenient for traveling and more bustling, but the room rates is quite expensive. For backpackers, it is advisable to choose suburban hotels to save costs. In the suburbs you should choose the hotel near Metro station to going into the city only takes 5-10 minutes by train is also very convenient, but in the evening will not be bustling. To find such hostels you should find on Hostelworld.com or Airbnb.com will have more options and cheaper prices than regular hotels. The room rates at Hostelworld.com, Booking.com or Agoda.com are basically the same, but Hostelworld.com gives you more options on the type of hostel rooms.
In the city you may consider some of the following areas:
Central Station: This is the spot that will be very convenient for you because usually going from the airport to the city or taking a train from other cities in Europe has an end point at the central station. There are many hotels, hostels for you to choose from, restaurants, eateries or cafes around a lot, nothing to criticize, of course, the price will be more expensive than other remote areas. You can book hostel Budget Hostel Heart of Amsterdam with room rates from $23/night (Agoda.com or Booking.com) at a good price, only a 10-minute walk from the station and located right the Dam Square.
Rembrandtplein: This area is located not far from the central station or Dam Square, but there are many luxury hotels, bars or restaurants. Staying in this area you can go to the Royal Palace and the National War Memorial very close. The good hostel at a nice price in Rembrandtplein has Stayokay Amsterdam Stadsdoelen with room rates from $25/night (Agoda.com or Booking.com), just a few steps away from Metro, flower market.
In addition to the above areas there are some other areas you can find on Booking.com or Agoda.com, that is Red Light district, also quite interesting if you want to try, this area does not have many hotels or hostel, the evening is not bustling with restaurants, cafes but only things that everyone knows!
Below are some best cheap, budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
XO Hotels Couture (Address: Delflandlaan 15, 1062 EA Amsterdam, Netherlands / Phone: +31 20 881 2595), a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $62/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Lloyd Hotel (Address: Oostelijke Handelskade 34, 1019 BN Amsterdam, Netherlands / Phone: +31 20 561 3636), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $51/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
XO Hotels Park West (Address: Molenwerf 1, 1014 AG Amsterdam, Netherlands / Phone: +31 20 262 9263), a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $62/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Ambassade Hotel (Address: Herengracht 341, 1016 AZ Amsterdam, Netherlands / Phone: +31 20 555 0222), a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $273/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Hotel Estherea (Address: Singel 303-309, 1012 WJ Amsterdam, Netherlands / Phone: +31 20 624 5146), a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $111/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Radisson Blu Hotel, Amsterdam (Address: Rusland 17, 1012 CK Amsterdam, Netherlands / Phone: +31 20 623 1231), a top rated 4-star hotel with room rates from $161/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Hotel2stay (Address: Tempelhofstraat 2, 1043 EC Amsterdam, Netherlands / Phone: +31 20 229 6345), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $108/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Amsterdam Teleport Hotel (Address: Heathrowstraat 5, 1043 CE Amsterdam, Netherlands / Phone: +31 20 210 3535), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $75/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
NH Collection Amsterdam Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky (Address: Dam 9, 1012 JS Amsterdam, Netherlands / Phone: +31 20 554 9111), a top rated 5-star hotel with room rates from $184/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Amsterdam Centraal Station (Address: Oosterdoksstraat 4, 1011 DK Amsterdam, Netherlands / Phone: +31 20 530 0800), a top rated 5-star hotel with room rates from $219/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Hotel Casa (Address: Eerste Ringdijkstraat 4, 1097 BC Amsterdam, Netherlands / Phone: +31 20 665 1171), a top rated 3-star hotel with room rates from $60/night. (Check rates and reviews on Agoda.com or Booking.com).
Amsterdam travel guide: What and where to eat?
If you want to saving on eating and drinking in Amsterdam for Amsterdam on a budget trip, it is best to avoid restaurants in the center, just go to the supermarket to buy bread and sausage to eat, in Europe I used to saving costs like that. It only took about 10 euros a day while eating a meal in the restaurant you have to spend at least 15 euros. But if traveling without trying to discover some of the signature foods in that city, it is really flawed. Here are some traditional dishes or unique foods in Amsterdam that you can try.
Stroopwafel biscuits consist of two layers of thin baked dough made from butter, flour, sugar, eggs, water, yeast, cinnamon with caramel filling in the middle, dded honey, hazelnuts, jam, ….. depending on the chef’s improvisation and the request of the guests, that selling quite a lot at Albert Cuyp market.
In addition to being a popular street food in Amsterdam, Stroopwafel is also used for breakfast, dinner meals of Dutch people.
Dutch French Fries
The dish is of Belgian origin and quite popular in the world, however, only potato chips in Amsterdam are enchanting and voted as the world’s best potato chips.
Drop by the stalls and cafes on the streets of Amsterdam, and you’ll easily buy a “paper funnel” filled with crispy golden fries and a special sauce layer to eating on the street. There are more than 22 types of sauces served with fries such as chicken egg sauce, peanut sauce, vegetable sauce, spicy sauce … Depending on your preferences, you can choose your own sauces.
One of the best dishes to come with a cool Heineken bottle. Bitterballen are deep-fried meatballs and are often served with mustard.
Appeared in 400 BC, with delicious, attractive flavor, cheese has become one of the most delicious, famous food in the Netherlands and also the largest cheese export country in the world. Therefore, any traveler when traveling to the Netherlands wants to enjoy cheese in this country. With a unique recipe, according to the long-standing traditional recipe, this cheese has created a delicious, new flavor, which makes diners love it.
This is a dish made from potato wrapped kernel inside and then fried. Today this dish becomes more common and popular in street food. There are over 100 different kinds of kernels made from meat, fish, vegetables, tubers, cheese … and used as an appetizer for luxurious parties, meals, holidays, …
The truly Dutch-style croquette must be soft, crispy outside and special flavor due to the skillful hands of Amsterdam chefs.
Surprised? Is the name of the fascinating street food in Amsterdam related to Vietnam?
This dish has been around since the 1980s, with the first name being Loempia. Because of similar the Indonesian Loempia dish, the Dutch changed their name to Vietnamese Loempia to make it easy to distinguish.
This dish is similar to spring rolls in Vietnam but the ingredients and processing have changed to suit the Dutch. The outer shell of the cake is thick and yellow is similar to Vietnamese Hollow donuts (hollow bread) cake, the kernel is made up of a mixture of shrimp, meat, carrot, pepper, … This dish served with mayonnaise, tomato sauce or chili sauce.
Herring is not only a delicious, attractive dish in the Netherlands but this herring fish is also a familiar dish, popular with the people here. The dishes made from herring are very diverse and rich, each dish has its own unique flavor, but the best is still herring salad dish. The fishes were bought will be processed cleanly, filtered out the bones only to take the lean meat, then marinated with spices, salt and pepper and leave it for 1-2 days to be used. Make sure, when you enjoy this dish once, you will want to come back and enjoy it for the second time.
Kibbeling (Deep fried battered fish pieces)
If another specialty: Herring salad does not make you feel attractive, surely Kibbeling – deep-fried cod pieces will definitely seduce you right from the first bite.
Fresh fish is battered and deep-fried. This is a famous specialty of Amsterdam people in particular and in the Netherlands in general, and I am passionate about this dish. This dish is sold in many places, but it is best to go to seafood markets, restaurants near the coast to enjoy.
A delicious Dutch dessert. This mini and hot pancake is sold in many restaurants around Amsterdam but nothing can win against a hot pack of poffertjes just bought at a roadside stall. Poffertjes are made from simple ingredients such as yeast, buckwheat flour, sugar, butter… that are pureed, mixed together, then deep fried, create a very attractive flavor that makes diners will be impressed.