10 Reasons Why Amsterdam Should Be On Your Bucket List

by Nainisha Mehta
10 Reasons Why Amsterdam Should Be On Your Bucket List

Besides legalised marijuana and the red light district, there are more reasons to head to Amsterdam. The art, the history, the culture, the architecture all blend in to make this Dutch capital a must-visit.

1. Row, Row, Row Your Boat

The city has 165 canals! Boats are an integral mode of transport in this city. Amsterdam was flourishing in trade and commerce in the 17th century and hence, to facilitate wealthy merchants, the canal belt kept increasing on the outer limit. The historic belt has been declared as a UNESCO Heritage Site. Besides its historic significance, the canals in Amsterdam are a sight of pure beauty. There are other modes of transports, but ferries and open-air boats come with the best views. If you can’t get over the beauty of these canals, you can buy a floating house too and make the waters around you permanent!

Canals of Amsterdam
The Canals of Amsterdam. Source: Crosswalks to Nowhere

2. Tipsy Buildings

The city is 1000 years old. It goes without saying that buildings have a range of medieval, renaissance and modern influences. The leaning buildings along the canals have their own charm. Crooked or convenient? There are many stories about why these structures look like they can fall face-flat anytime. Some believe it to be the swampy land and wooden stilts on which the entire city was built on, whereas some say that they were purposefully designed to lean forward. Buildings in Amsterdam have hooks rising from the roofs that make it easier to rope in heavy goods.With leaning buildings it’s less like that the items will hit a wall or a window. The narrow, side-to-side buildings give it a compact feel, but it’s unlike anything else!

Leaning Houses
The leaning crooked buildings along the canals of Amsterdam. Source: whereintheworldisdeb

3. Van Gogh’s Home, Art Lovers’ Paradise

Not precisely Van Gogh’s birthplace, Amsterdam is where he studied and now the city has the biggest museum dedicated to his work. Besides the tortured artist’s work through life, Amsterdam is also home to some of the finest art museums. Rijksmuseum packs works of great artists like Rembrandt and Vermeer in its 1.5km long stretch of galleries. The Stedelijk Museum is where the works of Picasso, Mondrian and Warhol reside. If you have ever been curious about the Golden Age, this is the place to be. If history and specifically art-history is not your strong pursuit, you’ll finally get a glimpse of what the hype is about. You can also watch artists make masterpieces live in action at Kunststad where the shipbuilding warehouses are filled with artist studios!

Also Read: 5 of the Most Unique Museums in the World

Van Gogh Art Museum
The Van Gogh Museum. Source: Widewalls

4. Museums can be fun too!

Those who don’t want a regular history class, Amsterdam has a quirk angle to museums too. Out of the 400 museums, there are some non-conventional museums dedicated to the strangest things. The Museum Vrolik is where you can find enormous collections of human mutations. Yes, an entire space which stores anatomical abnormalities found in humans through years. Towards a more morbid end is the Torture Museum. Interesting torture devices are displayed in dark rooms. The Guillotine, skull crusher, the flute of shame, judas chairs are some of the few items for visitors to see. The infamous sex museum is where you can find hedonic presentations, collections of objects related to sex, china figures, and a wax statue of Mata Hari. The Marijuana and Hemp museum is dedicated to cannabis, its modern uses, products made from them, and their growth cycle. KattenKabinet or the Cat Cabinet is for cat lovers that houses feline-themed paintings, cat collectables, canals and more! There’s also a museum dedicated to bags and purses with historic handbags and luggage on display. The Mircopia is the only zoo in the world that stores microorganisms. For psychedelic lovers, the Electric Ladyland is where you can find fluorescent art and naturally luminescent objects.

Vrolik Museum
Vrolik Museum displaying mutations.

5. Chug & Cheese!

Netherlands has given the world Heineken and yet the best brews are found in the local beer cafes. The Proeflokaal De Prael, IJ Brewery, Butcher’s Tears, Oedipus Brewery are some of the best microbreweries that give you a taste of the Dutch ale! For the more traditional Dutch item, cheese is what you should be going for. The national capital has cheese and cheese vendors in abundance. They love cheese so much, that they have an entire museum dedicated to it! They teach you all about the techniques and you get to sample some of the finest produces. Several cafés, restaurants and local vendors let you sample cheese too! With so many varieties on offer, do not forget to get a bite of their nation’s pride – Gouda. The Dutch have been in the cheese making business for 2,000 years. They know what they’re doing and they take it seriously. It’d be a shame if you don’t get a taste of all the great cheeses the country makes!

Also read: 20 Countries That Allow Indians To Visit Without A Visa

Varieties of Gouda in Amsterdam. Source: airlinemilesexpert.com

Also Read: Beer & Cheese Come Together at Lower Parel’s New Pop Up

6. ‘Coffeeshops’ where coffee is not the best item on the menu
Marijuana is legalized in Amsterdam. That’s one major reason tourists flock to this city. However, what’s fascinating is that the legal trading of marijuana is done at coffeeshops. Not cafes or coffee houses, just coffeeshops. These coffeeshops are permitted to sell cannabis to visitors and come with menusPre-rolled joints, space cakes, pure joints to hashish varieties, the menu features all items with their price and their effect. You can only buy 5gm from one shop, but with so many establishments across the city, you definitely can increase your quota. If you’re looking for coffee, head to a café.
coffeeshop menus
Menu at a coffee shop in Amsterdam. Source: coffeeshops menu
7. Food? Dutch Food.
How can you have a travel piece without talking about street-food? If you’re heading to a place, you need to know what you’d be gorging up. And Amsterdam does not disappoint. The city has 12 Michelin star restaurants. Lovers of fine-dine, you know where to go! Looking for something local and way cheap? The streets are your best bet. The must-have is definitely the stroopwafel. Amsterdam’s speciality, stroopwafel is two waffles stuck together with a layer of sweet syrup. You can find this delicacy in any market or street. Poffertjes or mini pancakes are next, followed by the apple pie!
Delicious mini-pancakes found on the streets of Amsterdam. Source: anita eat

8. The eye-soothing sight of blooming flowers

Amsterdam is the only city in the world with a floating flower market. An olfactory delight and pleasing to the eyes, the flower market is one colourful attraction. You can find various colours of Tulips, Geraniums, Narcissus and several arrangements of bouquets, buds and single flowers. The spring is the best time to see the city in full bloom. The Flower Strip of Amsterdam is another major attraction. Beautiful stripes of colours make the landscape vibrant each season. Pink crocuses, varieties of tulips, yellow daffodils cover acres of this garden. No one wonder it makes for one of the best photogenic locations.
Flower Strip
Colorful tulip field in front of a Dutch windmill. Source: hello foros

9. For the wild nights!

After walking through galleries, museums and flower fields, you sure you need to experience the dazzling nightlife of Amsterdam. Dam Square, Leidseplein and Jordaan are iconic spots where you can find the hippest clubs and bars in town. Whether you fancy craft beers or chic cocktails, Amsterdam gives you the best of both. The many talented DJs keep the dance music scene lively. For a wilder excursion, a must visit is to the infamous Red Light District. This area leaves nothing to imagination. Women in glass windows, sex shops and erotic museums – Red Light District has it all. But it strictly prohibits photography.
Red Light District
The infamous Red Light District of Amsterdam. Source: conde nast traveller india
10. Ridin’ Solo
The city is best explored on a bike. The city takes its cycles as seriously as its cheese. Everyone cycles. Young children or oldies – the lanes are safe for everyone. It’s believed that the number of cycles in the city outnumbers its population.
Image result for amsterdam cycle
Explore the city on a bike


Average Ticket Price: ₹ 25,000 (one-way)
Best Time To Visit: March – Early May

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