- Unless you want your tombstone to read “Mauled by a Bike While Leisurely Crossing the Street,” look both ways, twice, before you walk in any direction in Amsterdam.
- Most of the city smells a bit funky. That unique air freshener is called marijuana. Whether you love it or hate it, we’re just letting you know it’s there.
- If it says it’s going to rain, bring an umbrella and impermeable shoes. Walking around with rain slobbering on your face, making your mascara and eye liner smear all over like deranged clown makeup is good for no one. I’m pretty sure I scarred at least one child for life with my post-downpour, sad drag queen makeup.
- Be flexible. Of all the endless hours of research and planning, our favorite adventure ended up being the night we got lost. We wanted to check out a bridge that was only five minutes from our hotel. Well, we took a wrong turn and ended up walking in a circle… for an hour! But in that hour we fell in love with a city whose charm was nothing short of magical on that rainy, winter night. *wistful sigh*
- We love watching travel videos on YouTube before visiting a new city to learn basic phrases in the native language, discover random things to do, and get great advice from locals and other travelers. Watch our YouTube video and some of our other favorite Amsterdam videos in the links below.
- 15 Hidden Secrets & Best Places in Amsterdam
- Street Food Around The World – Amsterdam
- CityFilm Amsterdam
- Basic Words + Phrases for Travelers
- Amsterdam Cheese Company: TripAdvisor / Yelp
Super knowledgeable and patient staff. They were super nice while we tried literally every cheese in the shop. And let me just tell you, their cheeses are incredible. From now on, if a cheese says “Dutch,” I’m buying it. We ended buying a aged goat gouda that was divine and devoured the very next day.
- Blue: TripAdvisor / Yelp
Fantastic 360 views that will delight fellow Instagramers, decent food and homemade ginger ale (very gingery) and fresh lemonade (very lemony).
- De Bakkerswinkel: TripAdvisor / Yelp
We stopped for scones and tea. Amazing guayaba jam! If they had sold it in smaller, airport-friendly containers, I would have bought a handful.
- Eet en Bierencafe de Beiaard: TripAdvisor / Yelp
Delightful view of the canal (if you sit in the sun room) and decent food. It was a great farewell lunch on our last day.
- Il Primo: TripAdvisor / Yelp
So good, we went back twice. Delicious lasagna, pizza (try the buffalo mozzarella with pesto – yum) and the nicest servers we have had in all of Europe, so far.
- Latei: TripAdvisor / Yelp
Hipster / artist vibe. After much debate, my cousin voted this as the best apple pie. Great lattes and quirky aesthetic. Everything inside is for sale!
- Manneken Pis: TripAdvisor / Yelp
I didn’t think I’d fall for the hype, but a small bucket of TRUFFLE MAYO had me going back for more.
- Singel 404: TripAdvisor / Yelp
We voted that this the best apple pie we had during our stay, and we tried a lot. As concerned foodies, we asked if it was traditional Dutch Apple pie. The server, looking a bit confused, said, “Well, we make it here from scratch and we are Dutch, so I guess so.” I knew then we had made the right choice, and I was not disappointed.
- Villa Zeezicht: TripAdvisor / Yelp
Cute place, decent pie and coffee. I’m not sure if the food codes are relaxed in Amsterdam, if there is a rat problem, or if people really just like cats, but I saw cats in several food establishments, including this one. As someone who is very allergic to cats, I was not thrilled. But if you like cats, you may find this an endearing trait.
- NH Carlton: TripAdvisor / Hotwire
Fantastic location within walking distance of pretty much everything. Our room looked nothing like the photos we saw online, but we loved the big window, the heat worked and the bed was comfortable, so we were pretty happy.
We absolutely fell in love with Amsterdam while walking along the historic canals,
creepily admiringly peering into the windows of the beautifully adorned homes. Despite it being a cold and rainy night (two things I dislike), walking along the canals in Jordaan was absolutely magical. Few cities have stirred such longing and left our hearts aching to return – but hopefully we will return during warmer, drier climate, because while love may be delightful, it doesn’t keep you warm!