Are you planning for a romantic rendezvous but haven’t made up your mind about the place to visit? Amsterdam is the place to be. Its winding waterways, green parks and gardens, picturesque historic sites, and proximity to the beach makes it the best romantic getaway for you and your partner. What’s more, Amsterdam is ranked as one of the top safest cities around the world. This handy guide explains fun activities you can do in Amsterdam.
1. Cycling around the Winding Streets
Cycling is a way of life in Amsterdam. It’s easier to explore the region’s attractions on a bicycle than any other means of transportation. The city has a flat landscape and network of cycle routes that make cycling even more enjoyable. And with more than 800,000 bicycles, you’ll be hard-pressed not to find a bike to visit the best places in Amsterdam.
2. Find a Perfect Souvenir at the Nine Streets
Romantic getaways are all about creating memories, and what a better way than to buy a souvenir from Amsterdam’s famous market. This popular shopping destination is lined with well-curated galleries, boutiques, and cafes straddling the city’s scenic canals.
A day at the Nine Streets will have you taking breakfast at Pancakes for different versions of Dutch crepes. Next, pop in at the Mint Mini Mall to buy a few trendy accessories and dresses. There are male-friendly boutiques too.
Concrete Matter, for example, has a collection of stylish vintage pieces for men. If you’re big on buying crafted items, be sure to visit Eddy Varekamp gallery for handmade stencil prints and linocut.
3. Explore the Artsy Jordaan Neighborhood
Jordan is one of the most charming districts in Amsterdam. Primarily a working-class area, the neighborhood is dotted with antique shops, art galleries, bars, and restaurants. Jordaan exemplifies the peaceful Dutch lifestyle; ditch the map and explore its quaint streets.
A food tour should get you exploring most of its streets while learning this city’s rich culture and history. If visiting on a Saturday, head to the market to enjoy this city’s fresh fruits and veggies. The organic food market called Noordermarket happens then.
If visiting on regular days, be sure to visit the district’s popular museum-Electric Ladyland. It’s the world’s only fluorescent light museum that takes you back to the 1970s using the glowing, light sculptures. The Anne Frank House Museum also makes a great place to visit when exploring the Jordaan. However, it’s located a little farther from the district.
4. Take a Puff in Amsterdam’s Coffee Shops
If you and your partner are big on recreational cannabis use, Amsterdam coffee shops make the perfect avenues for you to puff without a worry about getting arrested. Be sure to look up the laws and find out if there are any legal implications for smoking marijuana in Amsterdam. Check out Veriheal for cannabis education and news.
While cannabis use is legal in Amsterdam, the government has some restrictions. For example, there are designated areas where tourists can smoke weed-coffee shops, not cafes. Also, you can only own 5g of weed.
Places with the best weed options are Bulldog, the Red Light District, Jordaan (Spirit), and Leidseplein. If looking for more private areas to enjoy your puff visit these coffee shops:
- Grey Area
- Tweede Kamer
- Easy Times
- The original Dampkring
It’s essential to understand the protocol when visiting coffee shops. While they still sell beverages like coffee and soda, their main business is selling weed. As such, you want to visit the marijuana counter before ordering a puff. After buying your puff, you can enjoy it in the central area, patio, or order a private room.
5. Visit the Dam Square
It’s one of the most popular tourist sites in Amsterdam, and for a good reason. Dam Square is home to the famous 17th century Royal Palace. It was home to the Dutch royal family, and today it hosts royal functions.
The vast public square has become a popular tourist attraction generally lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants. You can also buy souvenirs here as it’s packed with vendors selling artistic items.
6. Try the Raw Herring from a Haringhandel
Your Amsterdam trip isn’t complete without trying the raw herring, the city’s famous staple. There are many herring carts around the city, but you’ll find the best on the Singel canal. The canal boasts decade-old fish kiosks. Order the ‘broodje haring’ to get fish served with onions and pickles. And if you’re visiting between May and July, you’re in luck because herring is tastiest then.
7. Visit the Scenic Countryside
If your romantic getaway lasts a week, you have more than enough time to explore the city’s diverse attractions. A few miles from the city is a rich landscape of its beaches, countryside, historic towns, and windmills, all accessible from Amsterdam.
The picturesque city of Haarlem, the beautiful stretches at Zandvoort aan Zee and the pastoral Zaanse Schans landscape are some of the best places to visit out of town. It’s best to explore these sites by train.
8. Cruise the Scenic Waterways
The city’s waterways host the best hotels in town. The Dylan, a famous luxury boutique hotel, is located in a building that dates back to the 17th century. Set along the widest canal, Keizersgracht, it’s a great spot for romantic couples.
Inside the canal are Vinkeles, the Michelin-starred restaurant, and the Bar Brasserie OCCO that serves high-end wine varieties. Nearby is the Pulitzer that spreads out to the 17th and 18th-century townhouses between Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht. The water views are breathtaking from Putlizer’s Bar, but you can board the hotel’s classic boat to better take the water views.
9. Navigate Amsterdam’s Canals by Boat
Amsterdam has more canals than Venice, and the best way to explore all such sites is from the UNESCO-protected canal belt. There are numerous boat rental options, too, if looking for a more intimate ride.
It’s an unbelievably beautiful sight after sunset as the bridges are lit up with fairy lighting. A guided tour helps you take in the beauty of this scenic site while learning lots of fascinating facts about the city and the canal. For example, why the tilting homes along the canal are called dancing houses.
Now you’re ready to visit and explore Amsterdam. The city makes an excellent destination for romantics year-round, but it’s best to visit during April and May or September-November.