(I look like I am really thinking about my mistakes in this photo)
It seems that everyone and their Mum is going to Amsterdam in the next couple of months (well like 3 people, including me) Yep! I am going back to Amsterdam soon. I loved it there and definitely want to go back and hopefully have just as much fun as I did in October. I made some real mistakes in Amsterdam and thought it would be a good idea to not only go over them to myself but also let others know! It isn’t like a ‘regular’ holiday but I guess that’s what I like most about it!
Don’t pack everything but the kitchen sink
I made the biggest mistake by taking a suitcase the size of Scotland to Amsterdam. It was packed to the rim and was full of clothes. When I went to Amsterdam I basically lived in a jumper, my camel long coat and Topshop trainers. I packed things for when ‘I was going out for dinner’, there was no way I was going to wear a jumpsuit around Amsterdam. It was far too cold in October and I spent most of my time there walking. Be realistic and pick clothing that is going to keep you dry and comfy.
Buy a bum bag
Otherwise known as a ‘fanny pack’ in America, the bum bag is the best idea for keeping your phone and money safe when you are out and about in Amsterdam. I made the mistake of carrying around two bags and ended up nearly getting pick pocketed in McDonalds. Just like anywhere, there is a lot of thieves in Amsterdam and it’s best to pack light for your day out. I guess it really lowers your stress levels as well and stops the constant check for belongings.
Do your research
I didn’t get to do everything that I wanted to in Amsterdam as I didn’t have plan beforehand. I basically winged it when I went and done most of my research online the night before. Next time I am going to aim to go to everything that I didn’t get to go to last time and really do my research to find out whether it is worth it or not. I went to Anne Frank’s house and I can’t emphasise to you how commercialised it was. It was so commercialised that it had wifi called ‘Anne’s house’, nope.
Go to The Red Light District at night
I played it safe and went to The Red Light District at about 11am and 2pm. It wasn’t very interesting at all but as I nearly got pick pocketed and brought too much stuff, I felt safest going then. Apparently The Red Light District is full of pimps and really interesting people. When I went during the day, I might as well have just watched paint dry.
You will find the best coffee shops in Amsterdam down the side streets. They are much cheaper, less busy and more interesting than the highly commercialised ones. I really recommend The Dolphins Coffeeshop which is a complete mind fuck. You basically feel like you are underwater getting high with the massive dolphin above your head and other sea creatures. Also, Hill Street Blues is ace and definitely one to check out.
It felt like a real struggle to find decent food in Amsterdam. It was either really crap or really expensive, but never just what I was looking for. Unfortunately, the waffles really hurt my stomach and I was constantly on the look out for American style pancakes. Pancakes in Amsterdam is basically crepes and not really what I was looking for. The Nutella Ice Bakery is heaven, but can be hell when you have the munchies.
Look out for cars/bikes/trams/people constantly
You know when you learned to look left and right when you were a little person? Well, bring that back in Amsterdam and in full force because if you don’t there is a huge chance that you are either going to get knocked over by a car, a bike, a tram or a person. Most likely a bike because their cycle paths look identical to their pedestrian paths.