Ever since I’ve visited Amsterdam for the first time about 4 years ago this has become one of my favourite cities to visit for a day trip (I live about a 2 hour drive from Amsterdam). People who know me will know that New York City is my favourite city in the world, but Amsterdam is the closest thing to it within driving distance for me.
Going by car for a day? I like to park at the ‘Piet Hein Garage’. It’s a secured parking garage within walking distance from the city center and you’ll pay about € 35 for a day.
Having a (long) layover at Schiphol (AMS)? It might be worth a quick visit to the center of Amsterdam! There are direct connections by train that’l take you from the airport to the Amsterdam Central Station in just 15 minutes. You can make it even more interesting by following Casey Neistat’s example and explore Amsterdam by skateboard during a 3 hour layover! (Just make sure you don’t break your hand while doing so!)
Going for a couple of days? It might be more interesting to drive to the nearest Dutch train station, park your car there and take the Dutch Railways. The trains in the Netherlands are really nice (and on time!) and parking at these train stations is probably more affordable then in Amsterdam itself. I tend to pay about € 5 a day.
Where to stay?
So far I’ve stayed at 2 different hotels in Amsterdam, both of them equally awesome! One of them is the Sir Adam hotel situated just across the river from the central station. There is a free connection by boat that’ll take you to and from the hotel.
The other one is the W Hotel, situated in the center of the city. It’s a 2 minute walk from Dam Square. The hotel is situated on 2 sides of the road in a renovated telephone exchange building and a former bank building. The interior and rooms of the hotel are still showing details from it’s history. The hotel restaurant, ‘The Duchess’ also happens to be a Michelin star restaurant. Wait, I guess I can say I’ve eaten breakfast in a Michelin star restaurant! 😁
What to visit?
For now I’m just going to keep this part of the post as a list of places with a short description for some. These are all places I have personally visited and obviously thought were good enough to recommend them.
- Red Light District
- The Rijksmuseum
- Museum Square
- The Jordaan (Neighbourhood)
- Dam Square
- The Begijnhof
- The 9 streets (Very nice boutiques and way less touristy)
- Apple Store (situated in a really nice building at the end of the Leidestraat)
- Looking for the luxury shops? Head to the ‘Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat’
Food and drinks
- Café de Paris (My favourite brunch spot! Not recommended for dinner.)
- De Luwte (Highly recommended for dinner)
- Stout! (Great burgers)
- Cannibale Royale (One of the best burgers! Don’t forget to make a reservation)
- Hard Rock Café
- In de Buurt
- Rooftop bar at the W hotel (very nice at sunset)
- Bocca (Very good coffee)
- Old sailor (very authentic bar in the red light district)
- Mr Porter (Very, very good steak but $$$)
Oh, and watch out for the bicyclists! 😉