The well known, canal-city, capital of The Netherlands, libertarian, home of football giants Ajax, and always teeming with life, Amsterdam!
3 trips, 3 different experiences, 3 amazing stories!
Experience 1: Guys out!
It was 2017 and it was the second episode of The Tradition that I started with my best pal a year earlier. I got on a plane from Timişoara to Eindhoven and a FlexiBus from there to Amsterdam Centraal. First thing I noticed? The bikes! Never in my life have I seen so many cyclists in one place at the same time. Never will I again!
So, two twenty-something guys in the World Capital of Do Whatever the Hell You Want!
To be honest, that whole trip is a little fuzzy on my memory, but it was one of the best weeks of my life for sure! Party after party, no care in the world, asking a cop to light my joint, drinking on the streets, I did it all in that week!
We were the typical idiot-tourists that had no other plan than getting wasted every hour of every day! You know, the kind that is the main reason the locals want to limit the number of tourists in the first place! Sorry about that!
The whole trip was about us walking, and partying! We walked for at least 20km daily because that city is that great to see on foot. From the infamous Red Light District to the architectural beauty that is Amsterdam Johan Cruijff ArenA, we paced through the entire city, bewildered by its beauty, contrasts, originality, and, especially, diversity!
Experience 2: The double date!
In the fall of that same year, I had the opportunity to return to Amsterdam. This time, along with my girlfriend and another couple of great friends. We stayed outside the city, at an AirBnb, in a more tranquil location.
This journey was a more relaxing one, with more sightseeing. We had the advantage of mobility since we travelled by car. It is how we got to one of the most beautiful villages on Earth, Holland’s own Little Venice, Geithoorn. It might not be Hobbiton, but it’s the closest thing to it that I ever laid my eyes upon. Simply brilliant!
I’ve never seen houses so old and so well preserved, and, they are still inhabited. It’s a living village, not a museum! It also is the best proof that you are doing well for yourself! I mean, what other testament do you need aside from the fact that people are travelling half of the world to take pictures of where you actually live! Only downside: same as in Barcelona, too many tourists!
Because it was a short city-break, we opted to just enjoy a quiet vacation, with long talks in small coffee shops, restaurants, or simply on a bench, by the side of the famous, UNESCO Heritage acknowledged, Amsterdam Canals.
Experience 3: Love birds stroll!
Third time’s a charm!
It sure was, being that I travelled with my girlfriend for a romantic city-break. Even if we were staying at an AirBnB in Eindhoven, of which I’ll write another time, we still made our way to the Capital. That’s the great advantage of small countries, the proximity of everything. Combine that with clockwork public transportation and you can virtually visit an entire nation in just a couple of days.
This trip was a lot more intimate. We took the time to visit the Van Gogh Museum, a must-see for any art lover. We made photos with celebrities in the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and we had the pleasure to listen one of the most memorable piano concerts in the open air in the Town Center.
A personal favourite place is the Botanical Garden. Also, all the canals, the parks, and wildlife are absolutely splendid! I mean, I never saw foxes running freely in the middle of the city before. Or so many species of birds! I was fascinated! It’s a phenomenal mixture between men and nature that comes along in perfect harmony!
Amsterdam in a matter of costs:
I’ll just leave my expenses for the first trip, as it was the longest:
We stayed for 8 nights at Ibis Budget Hotel and it was perfect for us! We’re not the kind of guys who want luxury suites with fancy liquors in the fridge and private pools on the balcony. If you’re searching for that, well, the “Budget” in the hotel name should tell you loud and clear that you will not get it there.
We had a simple, small, twin-bed room, very clean and with a private bathroom. For the time we actually spent in it, it was more than enough. It was cheap, around 400 euros for the whole stay, so 200 apiece! For Amsterdam, and for the way the room looked, honestly, it was a bargain.
Add another 100 euros for transportation and you get a total of 300 euros per person for a week stay in one of the most notorious cities in the world.
Prices in the city range from a 2-3 euros draft beer, to 10-12 euros in the City Center. You can get a fast-food meal starting at 10 euros. At a restaurant, I’d say that you need at least 20-25 euros for a decent dish with a beverage aside.
Taxis are expensive as Hell. To get an idea, I paid 40 euros for a 7-8km ride with night tariff. It’s much cheaper to buy passes for public transport. A 4-days ticket costs about 20 euros.
From there, what you want to spend extra is up to you. You can go low-cost as we did, and manage an 8 nights vacation with just over 800 euros per person (including rent and transport). Or, if you have the financial power, you can spend tens of thousands a day! That’s really up to you and what you can afford. Point is, you can have a low-cost vacation in Amsterdam if you want to. I’m certain that it’s possible with even less than we spent.
Amsterdam is the place for you if:
You’re looking for hardcore partying, or to organize a Hangover-level bachelor party!
Want to spend quality time with close friends and drink awesome beer in fantastic pubs.
Go on a romantic city-break with your spouse and gaze upon world-renowned pieces of art, or simply stroll downstream by the canal side ending up in a magnificent park!
Amsterdam is NOT the place for you if:
Honestly, no reason at all! I don’t see why anybody wouldn’t want to visit this awesome city!
I would understand why one wouldn’t want to live there, being that the cold and the wind aren’t for everyone, but just to visit, there is no real reason not to!
Until next time, Adventurers!