by Chloe Green (@SharedBucketList)
Amsterdam is famously known as 'the Venice of the North' and, after spending four extraordinary days there recently, we can definitely see why. On practically every street you wander down, there are beautiful canals and narrow boats gliding under bridge archways, delicious bakeries, bustling bars, insightful museums and other very unique tourist attractions. We always knew the 'Dam was a popular city but we were surprised just how quickly we fell in love with this European hotspot - especially with its reputation as a place of drugs, drink and sex.
If you're looking for a destination for your next couple's getaway, we would highly recommend Amsterdam. (Astonishingly, we're less inclined to recommend for stag/hen dos as we felt its romantic elements far outweighed any of the sleaziness we anticipated!)
Below, we've listed the top activities we'd suggest for a 4-day trip, some tips and links to other relevant websites, where you can find out more about each of them:
A'dam Lookout and Over The Edge (Europe's Highest Swing) Not for the faint-hearted or those scared of heights! However, if you are up for a bit of an adrenaline rush, this tower is well worth a visit. It's so reasonably priced too. We loved spending the day here. Definitely book to do the swing; it's also nice to have a drink at the Lookout bar, as the views are amazing.
Body Worlds A strange thing to say we enjoyed as it's a museum about the human body (and contains real body parts) but we honestly did. The concept behind it was fascinating and a great reminder of why we need to look after ourselves in order to live a fulfilling and happy life.
Canal boat cruise Whether you're looking to spice up the romance or release your inner hedonist with a booze cruise, there are many different options available in Amsterdam. Bonus if your boat has a roof, in case of bad weather.
Just having a day to yourselves to explore - we know how basic this sounds but, genuinely, eat, drink and appreciate the beautiful surroundings. You won't regret it!
Anne Frank's House - top tip: book early (tickets sell out rapidly; book six weeks in advance!) Sadly, we didn't get to visit this tourist spot. Obviously, it's not your typical exciting attraction but definitely an important one and somewhere we have heard is very emotive and impactful. We were gutted when we realised it was sold out for the full duration of our stay. So, learn from our mistake.
The Red Light District - we believe the key with this one is to remember that you haven't got to participate in anything you don't want to. A simple stroll down the street is something we'd recommend for any couple, just to see it while it's still there. (Rumour has it that it will soon be taken out of Amsterdam so it would be a shame to miss it completely, if you get the opportunity!) It's certainly not a 'normal' experience but one that is memorable and unique.
Where did we stay? Hotel Motel One Amsterdam-Waterlooplein (excellent location and easy to travel to from airport; walking distance from main attractions and Amsterdam Square)
How costly was the trip overall? ££ - Accommodation is pricey, especially during popular months. Food/drink is also standard for city breaks - rather inflated!
Would you go back? It's a lovely place (one of our favourite Europe destinations) and we'd quite like to see the Anne Frank House if we ever did go back but, equally, we feel we've exhausted all there is to do there and four days was enough.