Amsterdam is the capital of The Netherlands and is more than meets the eye of its famous coffee shops and Red Light District. With less than 48 hours, you'll have just enough time to discover all that makes this a great charm that you'll be happy to check off your travel list.
If you plan on any late night partying or partaking in the legal recreational activities, and have an early departure flight, book an airport hotel. This will allow you to roll out of bed and into the airport without missing your flight.
If you decide to stay in the center of the city, the airport is only a 15-minute train ride. Once in the city, cycling is key. There are more than 881,000 bicycles in Amsterdam. That's four times the number of cars. With numerous bike paths, you can easily see the whole city.
If you plan on visiting multiple museums like the Van Gogh Museum or Anne Frank Museum, purchase the I amsterdam City Card. You'll save money on entry fees. This card also serves as a metro card and canal tour. Travel Tip: You must book your entry time slot a few weeks in advance for the museums.
Amsterdam is also known for its 165 water canals. Besides providing a stunning backdrop to the city’s historical center, using your I amsterdam City Card for a canal tour floating down Amsterdam’s canals is one of the most romantic ways to discover the city's sites. Most of the canal cruises take about an hour where you'll learn interesting facts about the city.
Dam Square is the center of the city. You can reach the Red Light District, Coffee Shops, and most walking tours from this square. Travel Tip: Download a free walking tour podcast. My favorite is Rick Steve’s. You'll learn about historical buildings and interesting facts as you explore the city.
After a long day of sightseeing, visit the W Hotel for a sexy vibe, great cocktails, and great daytime city views. There are 2 right across the street from each other. Just enter the lobby and ask if it's the right location with the rooftop bar. Only one location has it. During the day, you have people dressed casually from touring the city. Towards the evening, you have locals dressed to impressed. Or as my grandmother would say, with their Friday night tight jeans on.
As the evening approach and the neon red lights come on, visit the Red Light District. The area is open during the day. However, the 300 windows with workers won't be displayed until around 11:00 pm. This famous area hosts brothels, coffee shops, sex shops, and museums. The RLD spans several blocks. You'll see young European ladies posing in the windows. Also a block away, you’ll see the black older workers in the windows. Don't feel ashamed to visit this tourist attraction. You'll see all ages and groups visiting this area. You'll also see patrons entering the rooms. You won't see any of the action actually taken place. You would need to visit a sex club for that. The two most important things to know are the atmosphere and friendly and safe. Also, it is strictly forbidden to take pictures or film women behind their windows.
Have you ever been to Amsterdam? What are some of your favorite things to do and see? Looking to visit soon? I'd be happy to answer questions you may have.