Labelled one of the romantic cities in the world, Amsterdam is the perfect destination for a Valentine’s (or Galentine’s!) weekend away. Whether you’re wanting to splash the cash on luxurious hotels and fine dining or explore the trendy hostels and street food, Amsterdam can provide you with both.
The beauty of Amsterdam is that even two or three days in the city is enough, with the 50 minute flights available and the small size of the city, just a few days gives you more than enough time to explore. It’s difficult to liken Amsterdam to any other city, it’s uniqueness allows you to wander through the streets getting completely lost but stumbling across hidden cafés, weird and wonderful museums and bizarre shops- you can’t get bored. As a student myself, I didn’t want to be breaking the bank on my trip and I soon learned that I didn’t have to. A great way to see Amsterdam is by bike. The one dry day we had in Amsterdam meant that we could hire bikes and cycle through the city all the way to Vondelpark, a great spot for a drink or a nice walk. At first, the idea of cycling through the city was petrifying however on every road there is a separate cycle path so it felt so safe and is a great way to see the city and venture little further afield. We found a bike hire shop who charged just €20 for 2 bikes all day but some hotels offer free bike hire so it is worth asking.
Amsterdam is famed for its sex museums and Red Light District but be prepared for crowds and queues. As touristy as they are, they guarantee hours of laughs and are a definitely must-see. One of the best sex museums to visit, Venustempel, is located on Damrak 18 (the busiest street in the city!), and is the world’s oldest sex museum and at just €5 admission fee it is definitely worth a visit- even if it is just to get the famous Instagram pic with the giant penis! However, if you aren’t comfortable with crowds, perhaps give this a miss or visit one of the other similar museums further out of the city. The Red Light District is worth a visit but to see it at its best, take a walk through at night. It’s great to wander through after dinner where the street’s windows are illuminated and the famous peep shows are open, although pretty busy, there’s a great atmosphere in the evenings.
Another activity to add to the list is the A’dam Lookout which, although a little pricier, is a great romantic day out. If going, try to choose a day with good weather in order to get the best views. The sky bar in the tower has panoramic views over the stunning city to enjoy over a cocktail or lunch. Entry tickets to the tower are €14.50 each however there are premium tickets and lunch tickets available online to make your trip more special. Whilst in the tower it is definitely worth a go on the swing experience. If heights aren’t for you, give this a miss! The swing ‘Over the Edge’ experience is located on the rooftop of the lookout tower and lets you swing together over the city. At just €5 each, this is an amazing thing to do, but certainly not for the faint hearted!
Most importantly, food spots. Food is a massive part to a trip and if only visiting for a couple of days, finding the best food is important! If you’re after some trendy brunch spots you will be spoilt for choice. Some of the most well known and Instagrammed being Factory Girl, Staring at Jacob and Sticky Fingers- perfect if you’re just after a snack too. Another place you must try is Van Wonderen Frieten who do the best loaded chips to take away as you explore the city. Before going to Amsterdam, have in mind some places to go for dinner as we made the mistake of spending most of our evenings wondering round spoilt for choice! You will never be lost for somewhere to spend your evening however here are a few recommended restaurants. A great vegan option is The Dutch Weed Burger Joint, which has an exclusively plant-based menu and fantastic reviews (please note: the weed used in the food is actually seaweed!). Another dinner date spot is Louie Louie bar with a varied Mexican menu and beautiful decor located slightly away from the bustling city centre. Finally, if you’re looking to treat yourselves to a romantic evening of fine dining, De Planage is really special with its fairy lit decor and beautiful menu.
Feature Image Credits: RalfGervink from Pixabay
Last modified: 9th February 2020