Amsterdam Through the Eyes of a Local

Mon, 10 June 2019

When thinking about Amsterdam and backpacking there are certain words that might pop into your mind: drugs, partying and sin. Today I am going to show you a different side of this beautiful city that is rich with history and will have you book your next flight to the Netherlands!

Personally, I would visit during Spring or Autumn as these are the less “touristy” seasons and when having to choose which is best, it is definitely Autumn. There is something magical about Amsterdam during Autumn, as the leaves fall slowly, the streets are empty, the days become shorter and the city feels like a second home. Moreover, the city is a great place for first time solo travellers as the majority of people speak English or are internationals themselves.

Let’s start in the morning, roll yourself out of your bed around 7ish in the morning and make your way to one of the canals (there are 165 canals so there must be one close to you). Don’t forget to dress yourself for cold weather and rain because the weather changes as fast as you can blink. Take a moment to watch the sun rise slowly changing the sky into the same colours as the leaves on the trees and the silence of the city still being asleep. Ok you are probably starving by now, so time to get some breakfast. I would suggest trying to find a small local café for a simple breakfast. Want something a bit more fancy? Try, they have 4 different locations spread across the city and they serve, if the name wasn’t clear yet, some brilliant Dutch and American pancakes. boats on river between buildings

Time to grab a bike and start exploring! The best way to go around the city is indeed with a bike, but please be careful. If you have never cycled before just simply stick to the rules, stay right, give a sign, try to not get hit by a tram and you will be just fine! Cycle your way to the Amsterdam Forest for a little adventure, this forest is 3x as big as Central Park in New York and is filled with beautiful flowers, ponds, and even free-roaming Highland cows. After all this exercising in the cold weather you must be a bit knackered, so is there anything better than curling up in one of the many brown bars and ordering a warm piece of apple pie and a hot chocolate? (don’t forget the whipped cream on both of them to make it extra Dutch)

Looking for a bit of a thrill? Around 6pm try to make your way to A’Dam Lookout. On the roof of the building is Over the Edge, Europe’s highest swing which swings you on 100 meters height across the edge of the A’Dam Tower for an absolute wicked experience. You can book the swing for 20 minutes and if you plan it right, you can swing as the sun is setting above Amsterdam. Not that big of a daredevil? They also have a 360-degree sky deck overlooking the city.

Night time, fun time, right? Amsterdam has some special events organised during Autumn. If you are visiting in October, then you better be ready to dance the night away. For five days (16/20 October) Amsterdam becomes the dance capital of the world with Amsterdam Dance Event! Thousands of DJ’s and music fans make their way to the city to dance all night at one of the 120 venues taking part. If you're going in November, the first Saturday of November is the Museum Night Amsterdam when around 50 museum in the city are open between 19:00 and 02:00 and have special events and performances. You do have to buy tickets for these events, but they are definitely worth the money.

Hopefully, all these inside tips were a bit helpful and made you want to visit Amsterdam! Feel free to follow me on the backpacking app Alpacr and share your travel experiences:

- Trish

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