Sure, you’ve planned this vacation for the longest time now, and you just can’t wait to set foot in what you think is one of the best vacation destinations ever – Amsterdam. And in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of preparations, it’s going to be fairly easy to get lost in all of it. But (and at this point, you should really be paying close attention), getting lost in all of it sometimes gets the better of you, and when you actually get to Amsterdam, you tend to act more like a tourist, which then pretty much sucks the life out of the vacation.
You see, being too tourist-y just makes you a target for unpleasant things – getting overcharged for services and fees, getting lost (because hey, you’re new), and basically just being in a perpetual state of not knowing what to do. To avoid becoming too much of a tourist and to enjoy Amsterdam like a local, take your hint from these tips. And maybe, when you’re done with your own vacation, you can add your own tips to this list.
Amsterdam, Through the Eyes of A Local
One of the things that wil strike you about Amsterdam is its city streets that always seem to be full of life. The problem with tourists is that some of them are too limited to their own immediate surroundings, their own immediate street, for example, that they can’t seem to enjoy the other streets that Amsterdam has to offer. Take “De Negen Straatjes”, for instance. Literally Nine Streets, this tourist destination is located right in the heart of Amsterdam’s canal district. Leading you away from the stress of city life, these streets happily give you your much-needed fill of art galleries, vintage shops, and designer boutiques that are a far cry from the world you had probably gotten used to.
If you’re a meat person and are always craving for a slab wherever you are, then you’re in luck. Amsterdam boasts of one of the best steaks in the world, from “Black and Blue”. You can find it in downtown Amsterdam, but the better treat is the fact that in Black and Blue you’re bound to find yourself surrounded with locals, all willing to give you insider tips on where to go and what to see in Amsterdam.
If you’re traveling with your own kids, there’s no need to think of them as hurdles to your personal enjoyment. You can very well take them to the NEMO Science Museum, which will allow your children to experience a tour that’s both educational and entertaining at the same time. Oh, and get this, your kids won’t be the only ones who won’t want to leave the Museum after seeing it. Chances are, you won’t want to leave, either.
You’ve also got to try the Albert Cuyp Markt, which is a huge open-plan marketplace, dominated by Amsterdam residents. Breathe in the local air and have a more authentic experience of the local culture by trying out each stall, each cafe, each shop (TIP: You must absolutely try the traditional red herring). You may also want to pick up some souvenirs along the way, just so you can get a little reminder that you are, after all, still a tourist on vacation.
If you think about it, it’s still best to see Amsterdam from the eyes of a local, paying attention not only to the grand, sometimes overrated things, but also to the little things that may mean so much more in the end.