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Amsterdam: Non-museum itinerary


The iamsterdam sign is not there anymore – What now?

The classic touristy sign in front of the Rijksmuseum has been removed. But if that’s what you really want, you will find a replica of the letters right in front of the exit gate at the Schiphol airport.

The letters are since moving in and around various cities in the Netherlands to put lesser known and smaller cities into the spotlight.

But you’re here now and if you are not the one to visit albeit the best museums in the world, this my friend, is your Bible!

1. ”This is Holland”

It is highly likely this place may not even have come up in most of the other blogs you checked. But you see why this is top on my list? A must visit! Experience Holland in a 4D magnificent theater located in Amsterdam North. Experience the wind and the water as you fly over the seas to Rotterdam and be enchanted by the fragrance of the tulips over the tulip garden. (Also highly recommended by the locals). Must Do! This is one of the best things I have done in Amsterdam.
Price per person (last checked) – 16 Euros.
Where – Amsterdam North. See https://www.thisisholland.com/nl/home/

The best way to explore the whole of Netherlands – Highly recommended (image credit-anwb.nl)

2. Amsterdam North

If you decide to go to ”This is Holland”, you are already on your way to the North. There are three amazing things you can do here:
a) Enjoy the free ferry ride from Amsterdam Centraal to Amsterdam North
b) Panoramic view of Amsterdam from the Amsterdam look out Tower. If you are brave enough, also check out the Swing for 5 Euros
c) If your trip falls within the dates, Amsterdam North hosts the largest flea market in Europe once every month called ”IJ-Hallen”. For 5 euros, you have access to this HUGE flea market which sells both new and second hand items.

The free ferries to Amsterdam North (image credit – amsterdamtips.com)

3. Red Light District

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Amsterdam is the city’s Red light. Located at the center of the city, it is advisable to visit the area in groups in order to avoid certain seedier characters lurking behind you. But please respect the sex workers and do not take pictures. There is ample security with 24*7 surveillance and if you demand it, you’ll be well detained. Also, be aware of pick pocketing.

De Wallen streets (Image credits – nltimes.nl)

4. Zaanse Schans

If you’re in Amsterdam, take a 30 minute bus ride from Amsterdam Centraal station to Zaanse Schans (Take the escalator to head to the bus station from inside the Amsterdam Central station and look for Bus number 391). Zaanse Schans will give you the Dutch Experience in one place – Go inside the windmill and climb on the top for the best view of Zaanse Schans – makes for some amazing pictures (for 5 Eurs), experience Holland’s best cheese and also witness how clogs (Dutch shoes) are made. Walk around to see some beautiful scenery, farm animals and enjoy the country side as close as it gets. Make sure you are within the opening hours of Zaanse Schans. (Read more here – https://www.dezaanseschans.nl/en/plan-your-visit/ )

Your perfect picture background is right here (Image credit – blog.headout.com)

5. Albert Cuyp market

Every Amsterdammer’s weekend to-do. One of the nicest places to buy souvenirs, food and knick knacks. Must try: ”Original Stroopwafels” stand – their stroopwafels are to die for. The closest landmark to finding this place is to look for a long line of people somewhere – that’s where you should be headed. Other things to eat at Albert Cuyp would be poffertjes and herring (fish) (One of Amsterdam’s favourites)!

Buy everything you need here (image credits – amsterdamtips.com)

6. Go to the neighboring cities -Geithoorn, Rotterdam and Denhaag

Geithoorn – Popularly known as Venice of the Netherlands. Here is where you need to take a canal ride. About 1.5 hours away from Amsterdam.
Rotterdam – About an hour’s ride away by train, Rotterdam has so many free things to do. Take some stunning pictures against the backdrop of the Markthal, Cube houses and of course the Erasmus bridge.
Denhaag – The Hague – The International Court of Justice is located at the Hague. Visit the Peace Palace, Clingendal and the beach (if you’re visiting in spring/summer).

Check out Venice of the Netherlands (image credits-iamexpat.nl)

7. Vondelpark

This is a personal favourite and therefore will be biased. The most famous park in the Netherlands is the best place in the city for people and dog watching. There are various play areas if you are with kids too! This is the perfect place to unwind, relax and enjoy nature.
If you’re visiting in the summer, this park will hoard tourists and locals alike. Good luck finding one patch of green! The entry is of course free.

Vondelpark – People watch and relax – or savour some nice delicacies in the restaurants there (image credits -parool.nl)
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