No trip to Europe is complete without a stop in the capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam. We’re sure you’ve heard of a lot of stories about the chill city and the places you can visit—their elaborate canal system, countless museums, bridges filled with parked bicycles, and, yes, the “coffee shops.” While language is not a problem since the Dutch consider English as their second language, other dilemmas might arise if you don’t plan properly. So if visiting Amsterdam is on your travel bucket list, here are a few things you should keep in mind.
1. Everything closes early!
Shopping is in every fashion girl's itinerary, so if you want to shop, we suggest you wake up early. Try going on a morning run to take in the beauty of the old city and be done with breakfast by the time the stores open. Why? Because unlike here in the Philippines where the malls close at 9pm on weekdays and 10pm on weekends, in Amsterdam, everything closes at 6pm (save for the coffee shops). If you’re spending just a few days there, be sure to hit the shops on a Thursday because they close a bit later. If you’re lucky, some boutiques stay open until 9pm.
2. Pack scarves and coats.
When it rains in Amsterdam, it pours, and when it’s windy, well, it’s mightily windy. As in it can turn your umbrella inside out. Be sure to check the weather forecast before your trip so you can properly pack your OOTDs. We suggest a different scarf for each day and a trusty photogenic coat that will work well with different looks.
3. The best way to see the city is by bike.
Yes, there is Uber in Amsterdam, but ask anyone who has been to the city and she will tell you that you cannot leave without renting a bike. When we got to Amsterdam, we took a cab to our hotel from the train station and the driver told us that everyone in Amsterdam rides bikes. From children, students, workers, and even presidents and big shot CEOs need the exercise. And you know what they say, do as the locals do.
4. Visit all the museums.
If you visit during the winter season, you can even ice skate in the frozen courtyard of the Rijksmuseum.(Michel Porro, Getty)
Type “things to do in Amsterdam” on Google search and the top answers will be to visit the museums. They have it all! Check out art from the Van Gogh Museum, the Rembrandt House, and the popular Rijksmuseum. Get your culture fix from the Anne Frank House and National Maritime Museum, and then end your day with fashion and hit the Diamond Museum and the Museum of Bags and Purses. Hey, if you love Heineken beer, you should also check out the Heineken experience to see how it's made. Get fresh beer as well as a boat ride around the canal, inclusive of the entrance fee!
5. You can’t leave without trying the Dutch pancakes called Poffertjes.
(Michael Berman, Getty)
If Belgium is known for their waffles and chocolate, the Dutch have great cheese and pancakes. Poffertjes are basically baby pancakes smothered with powdered sugar and butter. So good, you won’t be able to stop eating them from breakfast to dinner.
6. Every spot is IG-worthy.
(Jorg Greuel, Getty)
We’re sure you’ve seen countless photos of tourists posing on one of the many canal bridges with a bike. But once you have that photo nailed, go around the historic city and you will see more sites to visit. The windmills, museums, boathouses, old buildings, and the millions of Holland tulips that bloom in the spring are all double tap-worthy.
Main image from @beaalonzo on Instagram