Why 'I amsterdam'?
10 reasons why you should include Amsterdam in your bucket list:
The first thing that comes to mind when most people think of Amsterdam is its famous cannabis cafes. Known as it is for its open availability of cannabis products, ranging from chocolates and cookies to body lotions and shampoos, there’s more to the city than that, and here’s 10 reasons why Amsterdam should be on every backpacker’s list:
- Cycling: Popularly known as the cycling capital of the world, Amsterdam tops the list of biking friendly cities almost every year. The flat terrain, dedicated cycling lanes, small city size, and ubiquitous bike racks, make cycling the best mode of transport to explore the city. Owing to widespread tourist demand, you have a number of bicycle operators with branches throughout the city offering bicycles for as little as 10 euros for two days.
- Food: With tiny, quaint cafes and eateries lining the cobbled streets, Amsterdam has a lot to offer in terms of food. Cheese connoisseurs can head out to the Cheese Museum, which also has a whole range of cheeses on sale. Some of the must have foods here include stroopwaffles (tiny syrupy waffles), poffertjes (tiny fluffy pancakes) and Dutch fries. Don’t forget to try patatje oorlog with your fries though. The thick creamy sauce, with generous amounts of mayonnaise, peanut sauce, and chopped onions is delicious and melts in your mouth.
- Day trips close by: The best part about Amsterdam is that it’s very close to other Must-go-to destinations like the picturesque fairy tale town of Bruges (3 hours away), the world famous Keukenhof tulip gardens (45 minutes away), and the quaint little windmill town of Zaanse Schans (30 minutes)
- Museums: If you’re an art buff, the Museum Square is a must visit. The museum complex houses three different museums and a concert hall. The Van Gogh museum, houses the largest collection of the legendary artist’s works and the Stedelijk museum displays modern and contemporary art, including works of renowned artists like Jackson Pollock, Kooning, and Andy Warhol. The Rijskmuseum on the other hand houses objects of both art and history.
- Anne Frank House: The Anne Frank House, or the Secret Annex is the house where the young diarist Anne Frank hid with her family during World War II. The museum is a treat for those who have read the book, for the house is preserved to remain in the exact same condition. The place has a certain gloom about it; be prepared to get all philosophical and ponder about humankind’s brutality after you walk out of the museum.
- Red light district: Located close to the bright and happening city center, lies the slightly shady, and famous Red Light District, which lives up to its name and has a variety of options ranging from sex shops and brothels to peep shows, and a sex museum. Located in the oldest part of the city, this area is also home to Chinatown, a Buddhist temple, and a bunch of interesting restaurants.
- Canals: Contributing to Amsterdam’s name as the Venice of the North, the more than hundred kilometres long network of canals are arranged in concentric belts around the city. A visit to Amsterdam is supposed to be incomplete without a canal cruise across the city. Picturesque as they are by the day, the beauty of the canals gets heightened after sunset when they’re lit up by warm yellow lights.
- LGBT tours: Frequently voted as one of the most LGBT friendly cities in the world, Amsterdam is a must visit for LGBT travelers. It also houses the homomonument, which commemorates the homosexuals who were persecuted and killed during World War II. From gay tours exploring the LGBT history in the city, to LGBT information kiosks, this city has a lot to offer, both to the LGBT community in particular and the world in general.
- Vondelpark: Vondelpark, the biggest and most famous city park in Amsterdam is located bang in the centre of the city and is very close to the museum centre. Filled with sculptures, birds, play areas, birch trees, and an open air theatre, Vondelpark is the perfect retreat after a long day. Cycling through the park, with the wind in your hair and the fresh evening air in your lungs is the best way to recover from Museum fatigue.
- Bridges: With more than 1200 bridges dotting the city, the beautifully lit bridges are a sight to behold after sunset. You can park your bike close by, and sit on one of the emptier bridges, marvelling at the beauty of the city, with its canals, bridges and cycles. Apart from the usual brick and mortar bridges, you should also watch out for the Skinny bridge and the Python bridge.