Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the capital of The Netherlands or Holland. This orange country is heaven for youngsters. The weed is legal, the climate is awesome during summers & is one of the prime locations for expats. So, if you are confused to shortlist a place to visit this summer (May to July). Amsterdam should be on that list as summer is probably the best time to visit the city & to enjoy the canal rides, lush green gardens & many more attractions. So, here is Amsterdam Solo Travel Guide to help you plan in a better & efficient way.
Amsterdam Travel Guide Mark My Adventure

Amsterdam Visa:

Amsterdam is in the European Union. Thus, the tourist is required to have a Schengen Visa. Schengen Visa should be applied for the place where one intends to stay for the maximum number of nights.

How To Reach Amsterdam From India:

Amsterdam international airport is approx 9 Km from the Amsterdam central. Schiphol Airport (Amsterdam international airport) is one of the busiest airports in Europe (Why wouldn't it be). One can find numerous flights to Amsterdam. But, if the flights are too expensive to Schiphol Airport, then try some other destination in Europe as an entry point & then move to Amsterdam either through interlinking flights or via train. There are direct flights from Delhi, Mumbai to Amsterdam.

From Trains:

A popular mode of transport in Europe. Railway connects all the major cities in Europe & it hardly takes any time to travel from one country to another. Trains usually run without much of a crowd. Thus, finding a ticket on the spot is pretty handy. There are many popular sites to book train tickets & GoEuro or Eurorail is one of these. If applying for Schengen Visa, the embassy asks for the inter-country travel. So, booking train tickets in advance will be a good option.

From Bus:

Europe has a fantastic road network & like rail network. All the major cities are connected via road networks. If one is not short on time, then traveling via buses is a good option. As this provides an opportunity to enjoy ever beautiful landscapes. The bus can be booked via Flexi-bus.

If buses are too expensive, there is one more option of sharing a ride via bla bla car app. This app is logged in through Facebook, thus secure & reliable. On a good day, one can find cheap rides to the destination city. One can try this app once before booking bus, train or flights.

Things To Do In Amsterdam:


Amsterdam is a city for youngsters. The vibrant colors, cloud-free sky (during summer) & favorable drug policies. Amsterdam seems to be constructed for experiences, which is hard to replicate anywhere else in the world (maybe Barcelona can one alternative of all the places I visited). Amsterdam is perfect for 3 to 4 days of travel. But, if you are short on time, then choose activities wisely. So, here are the best things to do in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam Nightlife:

This is first on the list solely for one reason, everyone sees Amsterdam as a party place. Whatever you have listened about the place. It is true. The place starts to fill up after midnight & lasts till wee hours. Spending night partying is one of the options to spend a night. There are dedicated party places like Leidseplein & Jordan which are great places to hang out.
Amsterdam Canal Mark My Adventure
Hop On Hop Off Bus Mark My Adventure
Famous Amsterdam Site Mark My Adventure

Amsterdam Museums:

Main attraction of Amsterdam is its museums. There are plenty of them here from History museums, Van Gogh museum, Rijksmuseum & a unique sex museum. Shortlist the museums you want to cover & take a tour. As it takes 3 to 4 hours to cover one museum. I personally enjoyed Van Gogh museum. His famous painting of sunflower is crowd attraction. It is worth a visit & even if you are not interested in the arts. This museum might change your view. There are admission charges in all the famous museums. A minimum price is 7 Euros applicable. But, if you have a city card, some of the museums can be visited for free.

Canal Trip:

The city is constructed around the canals & there is no better way to explore the city than Canal Trip. The boat will take you to unexplored corners of the city. This one hour tour touches all the major points in the city. Canal trip is a nice way to look around the city. The cost of the trip starts at 16 Euros. An audio guide is available in different languages to help you learn about the place in a better way. It is a must do activity to learn about the history of Amsterdam.

Cycle Tour:

One of the famous modes of transportation in the city is a cycle. Rent a cycle & roam around the roads. A right-hand drive may create a problem at the start of the trip. But, you will soon get used to it. A dedicated lane is made for cyclists. It is easy to rent a cycle. The charges start from 10 Euros per day. So, rent a cycle & roam by yourself, there are plenty of places to explore & plenty of pictures to be clicked here.

Heineken Experience:

This is a must visit for beer lovers, a guided tour to different steps of manufacturing & what all it takes to deliver this massively successful product. An admission charge of 18 Euros is applicable. If you are really interested in the process then only visit this place. Else you can skip this. This will take 3 to 4 hours to complete.

Red Light Area:

The dark side or may be the most famous site of Amsterdam is worth a visit. A dedicated red light area is an adult area where one can shop for sexual wellness. There are lots of fancy items available to shop. The place lit ups during the evenings & is in full mood till the time clocks midnight. There are lots of shows available & lots of shops to provide sexual wellness.

Parks:

Tired of all the hustle bustle of the city. Head toward parks. Vondelpark & oosterpark are two such parks. Unwind yourself at these locations. The lush green fields & a sunny day is perfect to visit these places. It is easy to find people partying, playing, practicing, smoking etc at these parks.

Jordan:

A neighborhood of the Amsterdam, this is a delight. The place is known for cafes & restaurants & its food. Roam on foot & enjoy the architect. Good for a half day tour.

Zoo:

Traveling with kids, the zoo is the best place to be in. It is easy to spot animals & birds at this zoo. There are many animals in the zoo & it is a good outing with kids. The whole tour will hardly take any time. Entry charges are applicable which usually starts from 21 Euros. Some city cards allow free admission to zoos.
Amsterdam Central Mark My Adventure
Amsterdam Station Mark My Adventure
Dancing Buildings Amsterdam Mark My Adventure

Anne Frank House:

I have never seen any house as famous as Anne Frank House, there are long queues for the entry. It is advisable to book tickets prior to the visit, as finding a ticket on spot during peak time is nearly impossible. So, it is better to book the tour prior to avoid any hassle. An admission charge of 9 Euros is applicable.

Coffee Shops:

The coffee shops have a different meaning in Amsterdam. The usual coffee shops serve coffees, however here weeds are served. Coffee shops are very popular in the city & visiting it once won't harm you a bit. Visit it to get the feel of the city.

Cafes :

Canalside cafes & coffee shops are highly famous in Amsterdam. The beauty of the canal is great to watch & there is no best way to spend evenings other than sitting in some cafe & enjoying the beauty of nature.

Rotterdam Travel Guide

If looking for something new, travel to Rotterdam it is approx. 1 hour from Amsterdam & can be reached by train. The cost of a one-way ticket is 17 Euros. If you have ever seen a cube house. This is the place where the cube house is located. Rotterdam can be covered in a day's time & if you plan to visit the place. Don't miss on the vintage train which is a delight to watch.

Amsterdam Budget

Europe is costlier than any part of the world. The cost of basic amenities is on a higher side compared to South East Asian countries. But, one can still manage the costs.

Accommodation:

There are plenty of youth hostels available. The cost varies largely depending upon the location of the hostels. Generally, prices start from 25 - 30 Euros per night for a bed in a dorm near the Amsterdam Centre. But, the price of hostels will reduce considerably if you are willing to stay at some distance from Amsterdam Central. Stayokay hostels are a famous chain in Amsterdam.

Food:

I personally didn't like the food. The food is quite different from Asian cuisine. The food there was cold & excluding spices. Vegetarian will find it difficult to find good restaurants, as there are hardly any options. So, if you are hardcore Indian food lover do pack some food in your bags. Wok to walk is one of the food chains which somewhat fulfills Asian taste. Maoz Fries are local delight it is must try along with the bakeries which are really a high point in Amsterdam. Food in good restaurants will cost around 2 Euros per me

Commutation:

The best mode to commute is either through rented bike which will cost 10 Euros for a day or city cards (which allow free commutation). If not interested in either of the two a cost of ticket starts from 2.90 Euros for an hour ticket. But, the best would be to buy city cards. It allows free & unlimited use of public transport. I did the same & it was very helpful.

Site Seeing:

Most of the major attractions in the city charge admission fees. The minimum price needs to pay for such attractions is 7 Euros which can go up to 30 Euros. However, if the time is limited choose options wisely. It will help to save time & also the money.
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Shopping:

Some of the brands are pretty cheap in Amsterdam if compared with India. Budget trips usually are excluding shopping. But, those who want to shop can shop a lot here.

I would suggest a daily budget of INR 4500- 5000 (50 - 55 Euros) considering that stay would in youth hostel & you eat & drink wisely. Else, there is no upper limit to spend money here. 😀

Best Time To Visit Amsterdam

Without a doubt, summer is the best time to visit Amsterdam. In fact, the whole of Europe is best during summers. So, plan accordingly. The flights fare will be high during peak season, so if you are planning for a summer trip. Book everything in advance.

Is Amsterdam Worth A Visit?

A city on the canal, perfect landscapes, great infrastructure & openness to sexual wellness & drugs. Why wouldn't people would want to explore this place? If you are young & want to live life. This is one of the places which can help you with that. A great place & it is definitely worth a visit.

Money Saving Tips:

Hostels: Book hotels in advance & if possible away from Amsterdam Central. This will save you lots of money. The cheapest hostel can also bite your budget.

Cook Your Own Food: It is better to buy things from a supermarket & cook your own food. If not too fond of cooking while traveling then buy packaged food which requires a minimum of preparation.

Buy City Card: A city card is must, they offer free unlimited travel inside the city, free entry to some of the top attractions in Amsterdam. So, this is the best way to travel inside the city & it saves a lot in both money & energy. There are options of 1 day, 3-day & 5-day card available.

Supermarket: Buy things from the supermarket. The prices are pretty cheaper compared to eating outside.

Happy Hours: Drinking in pubs & cafes are too costly in Amsterdam, so drink during happy hours which lasts till mid-night in most of the clubs. Also, there is a charge to use washrooms in nearly every pub. So, make sure you have some coins for them.

Rent Bicycle: Although city cards are pretty cheap. Some people want to explore the narrow streets of Amsterdam via bicycle. So, renting a bicycle is a great option. The charges start from 10 Euro per day. Rent a bicycle & explore this beautiful town.

Couchsurfing: Europe is very open to guests. There are many people who are willing to provide free accommodation in return for some travel stories or cultural exchange.

Handy Resources:

Below are the few resources you should check before making an itinerary.

Agoda: Best place to book hotels of your liking. Agoda provides the best solution & great offer while booking a hotel.

Skyscanner: Skyscanner compares various sites & sort the flights based on the rates. A great way to check flight cost. Although the only drawback is that rates are flexible. Hence, the cost might change while you are making the payment.

Jetradar: Jetradar is a comparing site which is just like Skyscanner. But, is much more accurate & much more handy in use.

Booking: Best place to book hostel rooms. There are plenty of options available & with so many properties booking becomes much easier.

Couchsurfing: Best place to find free accommodation. It is as easy as filtering people & messaging. If you will get lucky you will find free accommodation in local resident house.

Travel Insurance: There are numerous options available to get one. So, you can choose anything which suits your requirement. Make sure you read the terms & conditions before buying one.
If you like the way I write. Feel free to comment & subscribe to my blog. It will be a big boost to me. Also,A trip is incomplete without the pics. During the time of this trip, I used an iPhone 6s which clicks awesome pics. So, I would recommend you buying a great camera phone to take some breathtaking pics.

Apart from a phone camera, I use GoPro an adventure camera to shoot video & click photos. The product is pretty handy & captures mind blogging videos. GoPro is easy & handy to use, which makes it a must buy.

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