Starting this post I find myself wondering one thing – what was I thinking having a scenic photo taken while wearing a cross body bag? Why have I set it as my ‘featured photo’? Multiple answers, all of which I will now briefly answer:
- This post isn’t a serious, career defining piece aiming to change your entire view of the world.
- I will not subject this piece to sixteen proof reads and spell checks, this piece will be far from perfect.
This piece is to share my experience of Amsterdam with my friends, members of the public and hopefully a few travelers too. Coming from the perspective of a rather simple minded nineteen year old who just happened to be whisked away last week for valentines day with a three day mini break (courtesy of the boyfriend). I’ll also insert a handful of photos to really share the experience with you all. *Below will be the first photo to nab your interest*
Everybody knows the first three things that spring to mind when somebody mentions those two dreaded words in one sentence – teenager and Amsterdam.
Smoke, sex and rain.
Now, I’m not going to disagree with this. Of course, I’m referring to the smoke from the countless coffee shops as it is common knowledge that in Amsterdam it is legal to go into recorgnised coffee shops and buy soft drugs. The Dutch try to decriminalise drugs, Dutch drug policy is directed by an idea that every human being may decide about the matters of their own health blah blah blah. Basically, Amsterdam is cafe culture central.
Then, there is the sex. Do I really need to say anymore than the Red Light District? We’ll get into that later – a promise to hopefully keep you hooked.
(The rain part is pretty self explanatory)
However, Amsterdam isn’t solely these three things, I need to stress this explicitly. Amsterdam is canals, museums, culture (other than just cafes) and it is beautiful. Admittedly yes the other draws to the city are fun but they do not define the place.
What to do…
So, here’s a quick list of things I did while in ‘Dam’ and short reviews/prices
Muse Du Sexe
A wonderful, funny experience. Basically, four euros each for maybe one hour of giggles and a few blushing faces. The museum was packed, a very popular attraction but still easy to move around inside. The queue was only twenty minutes (given times may vary on different days) which was the shortest queue out of all the attractions myself and my boyfriend visited.
Full of wildly provocative photographs, statues of large penises, moving models and decades of sexual equipment/outfits. This attraction was right in the city centre. Would recommend to anyone who visits Amsterdam as it was a cheap and easy way to have a lot of laughs.
This attraction was less to experience Holland but more for the pure thrill of being scared. Pretty self explanatory but a brilliant attraction. Though the queue was over an hour it was worth it and twenty euros a pop not too pricey either. The dungeon featured six live shows while being directed round in a group of twenty. Would certainly recommend!
Canal / Boat Tour
Most tour businesses within Amsterdam offer a similar deal so I will summarise. Most offer a twenty euro deal where you can access the companies relatively constant services that tour around the city stopping at the main tourist attractions while offering audio information. Well worth investing as the area can start to look quite ‘samey’ so it can be hard to pin point where you are – also the information is really interesting and point out things you otherwise might not have noticed!
A little out of the city centre but well worth the walk (most tours will drop you off outside the entrance via bus)! Queue time is approx two hours but inside is a fantastic experience with countless interactive games including Play Station, advertising games linked to football, a simulator experience and to those of the legal age two free beers are supplied with every ticket. Dom (my boyfriend) happened to also treat me to a personalised beer that was made and printed the very same day and we left with the gift when we left the attraction – a lovely and sweet souvenir!
Red Light District
Of course! What Amsterdam trip is complete without trip to the district? The place where just about anything is legal. We visited the area twice. Firstly, during midday when I hastily decided to come back in the evening to get the ‘full experience’. However, do not get too excited – this experience was merely from a bystanders view point. Words cannot describe the absurdity of witnessing women (many of whom seem normal members of society) dressed in only underwear (or other sexual outfits) waving the public into their ‘windows’ for sex. Paid sex. Obviously, everyone knows the women are prostitutes and because this is so unusual to most people a lot of the people in the area were members of the public just having a look. The street was also packed with sex shops and ‘live sex shows’ asking for thirty euro entry. I feel like a short list of typical items inside the shops would be of interest to any of you reading this (as I know I was amused and interested to see what was behind those closed doors): bondage items, ‘fisting’ equipment, whips and many items that I even had to read the label to understand what they were aimed to do. The casual lifestyle is incredible. The legality of such absurd behavior baffled me but also interested me.
Another ‘must experience’ for anyone planning to visit Amsterdam. Smoker or non smoker the experience is compelling. The legalisation of soft drugs confined to small cafes normalised behavior that most people would normally shun. But, interestingly the controlled enviroment made it safe to practice the use of drugs safer than (in my opinion) the use of illegal drugs back in the England that are sourced from unknown areas without much information as to what is actually in the drugs. Whereas in Amsterdam you didn’t feel unsafe or pressured to try anything or be around those who were using cannabis, instead the normalisation seemed to make it safer than the environment of drugs in England – I would like to stress this is merely my opinion.
The drugs were sold like anything else on the menu, casually. Special ‘weed of the day’ was also a featured thing in many cafes.
The main attraction of Amsterdam to me were the beautiful streets and canals. A review of this cannot explain the simple, elegant and old fashioned beauty of the city so I’m going to leave it up to these photos taken by myself and my boyfriend to show you just how beautiful it is.
The Hard Rock Cafe
A popular and iconic franchise all over the world. Of course, we didn’t only eat their we bought the top too. The restaurant didn’t disappoint – loud rock music, an outfit worn by Miley Cyrus hung up and funny staff who really made the experience memorable. The food was big but so was the bill. Brilliant and fun place but not so good when you’re keeping to a budget – but we should all splash out sometimes!
Anyway, I hope my review hasn’t been too chit-chatty but I know many of my friends have been looking into this destination to travel to in the Summer so I thought a quick blog post would help paint the picture of the place I have fallen so deeply in love with after just three days. The capital of the Netherlands is beautiful, obviously no review would be complete without a tip of the hat to its famous architecture and of course of those damn bicycles.