Amsterdam tips

Recommendations by a local

You can view this map on your phone while you’re visiting and use it to find a nice cafe near your location at that time

Walkable and compact

My lovely home town Amsterdam has about 865,000 inhabitants (and is growing by 10,000+ per year). It feels like a big village, easily covered on foot, by bike, or by tram/metro/bus, but has all the amenities of a metropole. As long as you avoid being pickpocketed and walking in bike lanes, the city is also very safe day and night.

View from Westerkerk church tower

City with a reputation

Some visitors only see the inside of a cannabis ‘coffeeshop’. Most Amsterdammers don’t even smoke weed.
Many tourists also go and gawk at sex workers behind red lighted windows. This tiny part of Dutch culture might be fascinating for some. But please be aware that at least 10% of the sex workers are modern-day slaves, lured in under false pretenses and debts. And do you think the other 90% dreamed of this job ever since they were children? Feel free to visit as a customer, but please don’t go only to stare at them like they are monkeys in a zoo.

cecile_obertop_IMG1033Beyond the clichés

For those of you who want to look beyond the stereotypes and get to know the many, other blissful sides of Amsterdam: here are my personal recommendations for museums, sights, viewpoints, quirky cafes, good restaurants, beautiful areas and more. Enjoy our lovely city!


On these pages you can find:


Do not use
Do not use!

Do not use Euronet ATM’s or other small, stand-alone tourist ATM’s! They charge extra fees that go straight into the pocket of Euronet (some crook in the USA), and also use highly unfavorable exchange rates.

Find ATM’s run by ING Bank, ABN/Amro Bank, Rabobank instead. 


I’d love to hear how it went. You can leave comments below.

Spanjer & Van Twist cafe (close to Anne Frank House)

14 thoughts on “Amsterdam tips

  1. Love all your suggestions on Amsterdam. When looking at your suggestion of the Purse Museum I see that it’s closed on April 27 for King Day? That’s exactly when I’ll be there – Apr 26-28, flying home on the 29. Is King Day a big deal? Will lots of museums be closed? Will people have the day off from work and therefore the tulip gardens will be even more crowded? Ant Special events that might take place that would be fun for visitors to attend? Thanks for any thoughts you might have on Kings Day.


    1. Hi Sandy, lots of museums are open on King’s Day but apparently the Museum of Bags and Purses is not. King’s Day is a nation-wide party and holiday. In Amsterdam it can get very crowded, but I think museums will be quieter. You don’t need to focus on specific events, just wander around and follow your nose. Read more here:
      The tulip gardens are mostly visited by foreigners and are busy every day.


  2. Hanh

    Dear Cecilia

    Im Hanh, from Vietnam.
    I and my friend is planning to visit Amsterdam from 20-Oct to 23-Oct, so could you plz advice me on what hostel/homestay should we stay?
    We’re 2 ladies, will arrive Am on 11:00PM 20-Oct, and we’ll check in around 11:30PM, then leave on 23-Oct morning.
    Our budget is about 90Eur/per nite, and I’m looking for a room near central for easy moving.

    So I’m really appreciated your support & looking forward to hearing the good news from you soon..


    1. Hi Hanh, welcome to Amsterdam! Since I am a local I don’t know much about hostels and hotels here because I never need them. You can try for reviews and rates. And see my page about where to stay for info about the districts. Have fun!


      1. Hanh

        Hello Cecilia

        Thanks alot for your advice — i have just booked the room.

        Since we only have full day on 21-Oct to visit Ams, could you plz suggest me which places we should visit to?

        Thanks you alot.


  3. janda piantes

    I just returned from my 5th time in Amsterdam and absolutely loved it. We stayed on a houseboat in the Pijp. It was perfect. We had stayed in the Jordaan on previous stays but we are so glad we chose the De Pijp area. It was so fun sitting outside watching the 100’s of bicycles going by. The subway stop was a short walk away with only 4 stops from Central. We love the Albert Cuyp market for souvenirs and the coffeeshop Katsu. The canals and architecture are so beautiful and i really appreciated all the old glazed tiles in doorways. My favorite church is St Nicolas and i love just sitting in there. I see it as a jewelbox. So many diverse and special things to see in Amsterdam. I cant wait to return.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amber

    Hello 🙂

    Thank you for all of the great information! I will be traveling solo to Amsterdam in just a few weeks but also want to go to a few other cities/countries while I am in Europe. What are your top 5 suggestions that I could get to by high-speed train?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, thank you for your comment! It depends on what you’re looking for and how much time you have. My suggestions for daytrips are on this page:

      In other countries I’d suggest Paris (France), London (UK), Ghent (Belgium), Münster (Germany) or if you have at least 5 days, Berlin. Not all have high speed train connections. More info about trains, the travel times, where to book tickets etcetera on


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: