Amsterdam was the one destination where we didn’t do a ton of prior research. We just landed there and went with the flow. We checked into our hotel, sanitized the room, dropped off our luggage and called a driver to take us straight to the "Red Light District" Hahahahaha! Now you know, you can’t talk about Amsterdam without acknowledging the infamous Red Light District…there's just nothing like it here in the states. My husband stayed behind with our daughter as I walked through. There were ladies in windows on display wearing lingerie, people stumbling out of bars drunk, tons of marijuana cafes and you wouldn't believe how normal it felt, specifically for the locals, it was just like a regular day for them. Crazy, right? Walking around and people watching was truly an experience in itself.
We were only in Amsterdam for two days, so we didn't get to explore as much as we wanted, we ate some great food, hung out at a few of the marijuana cafes, hung out with the locals and met some amazing people that we plan to connect with the next time we are there (next time we'll be kid-free ).
Amsterdam is definitely a sight to see lol. Not a place for prudes.
People were offering cocaine , ecstasy all kinds of sh!t. I was like, nah we're good, let's just stick to the liquor and trees . Apparently taking photos in the red light district is prohibited, so I will not be posting pictures of the ladies. If you ever visit Amsterdam and you're interested in learning more about this profession you can sit down with a prostitute for an hour or two and learn about what and why they choose to do this. Some of their stories are hilarious.
If you plan to visit the Anne Frank Museum, I highly suggest that you get your tickets ahead of time, sometimes it can be very difficult to just go the day of and walk in.
Things to know before traveling to Amsterdam:
Best time to Visit: Peak season is June-August, the weather is great and this is a good time to do some bike riding. Keep in mind that it can get very crowded on those very narrow/tiny side walks. We were in December right before Christmas and it was very cold, but comfortable enough for us to sit outside the cafes bundled up, we even went to the ice skating rink. This would be a good time to come to avoid the crowds, but the weather probably won't be on your side. March-May is tulip season, so it's also a very popular time (plus, weather is getting warmer). September-October is another wonderful time to visit if you want to avoid large crowds and explore on a shoulder season.
Don't forget to pack: Comfortable walking shoes, a light jacket for layering, an umbrella or rain coat and good vibes!
Language: Dutch, Papiamento, Frisian, but English and German are also widely spoken
Getting Around: The Tram literally goes almost everywhere and pretty easy to use. We used Uber while we were there but you can also get around by bike or just walking.
Don't forget to pack: Umbrella, comfortable walking shoes, scarf or light jacket for layering
Amsterdam is a perfect destination for families, solo travelers, couples, groups, cultural travelers, foodies and even those looking for a little adventure. I can't wait to return.