There are probably a million amazing, fun, beautiful things to do and see in this picturesque city. Because of that, there are probably a million different amazing itineraries out there. Being a frequent flier out of the Amsterdam airport, I realized I had never really seen much of the city itself.
My sister and friend were flying into Schiphol for a week-long visit with us, and although they knew they would be jet-lagged and exhausted, we all agreed we wanted to spend a few hours in the city before making the little trip back to our home here in Belgium.
OUR DAY IN AMSTERDAM:
(see below for map and addresses)
- IAmsterdam Sign
- Canal boat tour
- Walking tour (by ourselves)
- Xtra Cold Ice Bar
Picking my sister and friend up at the Schiphol Airport, it was really easy to get that infamous photo of the IAMSTERDAM sign, because there is one located directly outside the airport. There is also another sign (it sometimes changes locations), but we made use of this one because we found it first!
From there, we headed to the center of the city. Originally, we had planned to see the Anne Frank House; but that didn’t really work out. See, because I was such a Travel Rookie at the time, we hadn’t ordered our tickets online. BIG MISTAKE! I had tried to order them a few days in advance, but none were available for the days we were going to be there. After speaking with a woman who had been in line for 3.5 hours and was only in the middle of the line, we decided we didn’t have time to do it.
- TIP; If you’re booking the Anne Frank House tickets online (which you should, to avoid long lines); book at least a few weeks in advance. Only a certain number of tickets are sold online per day.
We were all pretty sad about missing out on the Anne Frank House, but we decided to try and salvage our afternoon anyways. We had parked close to the Anne Frank House, so we decided to walk along the canals for a pretty fair distance. Seeing the infamous Netherlands architecture, the beautiful canals and stopping at a really great restaurant; we took our time strolling through the city. Snapping photos of the houses, the canals and each other; it was really relaxing to walk at our own pace as far along the canals as we wanted.
Eventually we neared a canal tour operator (there are a lot of them, usually one every couple of blocks). We purchased tickets (8 euro/person) for an hour long canal trip around the city. It was everything one would expect…more adorable little houses, adorable bridges and a really funny tour guide who gave a lot of information about the city.
Our best activity of the day was the only thing we hadn’t planned on doing. Because the Anne Frank House was a no-go, we stopped at one of those informational booths and looked through a pamphlet of activities around the city. The one that caught my attention was the Amsterdam Ice Bar; which actually ended up being my favourite stop in Amsterdam (and not just for the liquor!)
For a really inexpensive 17 euro per person, you get admission to the bar and 3 tokens which get you 3 alcoholic drinks of your choice once inside the bar. A chilly minus 9.5 bar room welcomed us; we sat on ice-carved benches covered with bear skin rugs, and drank our vodka OJs out of little ice glasses. We took pictures, we laughed, and we drank; it was a pretty wonderful and relaxing end to our afternoon. READ MORE ABOUT OUR TIME AT THE AMSTERDAM ICE BAR HERE.
Our Map for the Afternoon:
Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (IAMSTERDAM SIGN)
Anne Frank House…Prinsengracht 263-267, 1016 GV Amsterdam, NL
See Amsterdam Tours…Hoogte Kadijk 87-2hg, 1018 BG Amsterdam, NL
XtraCold Amsterdam Ice Bar…Amstel 194-196, 1017 AG Amsterdam, NL
**Post previously published on Travel Pray Love (as An Afternoon in: Amsterdam)