Netherlands

When

  • Amsterdam in December 2011 for four days

Places

Amsterdam

  • Free walking tour to get your bearings and to check out Amsterdam’s main sights including the Red Light District, the Jewish Quarter, Royal Palace, the Anne Frank House, the Widest Bridge and Narrowest House (click here for the website of the free walking tour I did);
  • Heineken Factory is a must do and you get two free beers at the end – I didn’t even like beer at the time but enjoyed the factory;
  • Red-Light District – interesting. There is quite a lot of hype at this place and there are a lot of moments where you just don’t know where to look!! There are different shaped and sized girls at every windowsill displaying their ‘goods’
  • Anne Frank House is another must see. It is interesting and there is a lot of information there which describes what Anne Frank went through. My first impression of it though was that it was bigger than I had thought after reading the book;
  • The canals here are stunning and there are bikes everywhere, and I mean everywhere. You need to watch bikes than you would cars. The bikes are chained up everywhere and to be fair is a very convenient way to get around;
  • We did a City Bike Tour with Mike’s Bike Tours which went for about three hours and took us through Dam Square and past the Royal Palace, through the Red-Light District and a few other sites;
  • Coffee shops are something that must be visited daily;
  • The ‘I Love Amsterdam’ is a good place for a snap or too;
  • You will notice that there are wheels of cheese and tulips everywhere – very typical for The Netherlands;
  • Get yourself to a windmill for a snap or even a day trip out of Amsterdam;
  • Vondlepark was cool and I did go for a run around here one morning – helped that the hostel was just across the road.
Windmill!!
Windmill!!

Accommodation

  • Flying Pig Uptown in Amsterdam was nicely located opposite from Vondlepark and did have a good feel about it
Vondlepark
Vondlepark

Language

  • Dutch but English is widely spoken and you will not have any issues
  • Hello: Hallo
  • Thank you: dank je
  • Good bye: doei
  • Yes / No: ja/nee

Visa

  • Visa not required for Australians for a stay of up to 90 days

Money

  • Euro (0.73 EUR = $1 USD)

Food

  • Cheese!! There are wheels of cheese everywhere
  • Stroopwafel – I ate so much of this stuff. A thin waffle cookie layered with syrup
  • Typical Brabantian “worstenbroodje”, made of soft white dough and filled with a grounded meat sausage
  • Dutch pea soup
  • Various varieties of bread
  • Of course a pint of Heineken at the Heineken Factory
Sooo much cheese to try!!
Sooo much cheese to try!!

Tips and tricks

  • Fun fact: reflectors in the corners of buildings so males cannot urinate in public = splashback!

Netherlands blog posts

Fun at the Heineken Factory..
Fun at the Heineken Factory..

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