Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Five things to do in Amsterdam

The most tourist friendly city of all- Amsterdam was everything what I hoped for. It was a bright rainy day and we were not carrying an umbrella. The raindrops felt fresh and touched us barely yet there was a whole lot of city to be explored and we made our way to the Red Light area. This is where you find the most tourists in the area and it almost feels like a stroll in the park (only its late night) where you can see dolled up prostitutes posing, waiting to earn their keep for the night. Photography is not allowed and respect towards the prostitutes is always maintained. If you are not into it and are only looking for some fun then you can check out the sex shops where quirky souvenirs will remind you of the movie Queen.  And the crowd (I found many Indians) making a way through the crowd, glancing ideally at the sex toys as if used to it every day, considering the ban on them in India. Moving on, you can watch live sex shows with a glass of wine complimentary as you enjoy the view. If you are lucky and spontaneous, you will be asked to participate in their segments.
The night was still young for some as I saw many college groups and couples, enjoying and mostly scandalized as they made their way back to their hotels.
Waffles and strawberry syrup

Amsterdam Dungeon:

To add lots of fun and fear to your stay in Amsterdam, you have to try Amsterdam dungeon. You will enter the dungeon and the employees act as people from the times of pirates and plague- the times when Amsterdam was getting rich and how the other side were being treated. Along with learning the history of Amsterdam, you learn to enjoy it too. It is funny and a little scary and purely wicked on so many levels.

Heineken Experience:

The man who told us how beer is made

A few more pints left
How beer was made
If you are a fan of beer, then have the best beer in town- Heineken. This was were we spent the better part of our day. We took our tickets for 16 euros with complimentary souvenirs and two drinks on the house. The beer brewery started some decades ago and you can have the entire history laid out for you. Even the medals they got for being the best in the business. The people working there seemed to me the happiest in the planet. They were open to taking pictures and sharing online and even giving a free class of how to pour a beer. After have a tad too many (free) drinks, we got our souvenir bottle with our names enbedded in it and we made our way to the cruise- happy and drunk.

Small Boat Cruise:

Dancing houses (boat cruise)
A more personalized way of seeing Amsterdam is going through the canals where you can see houses so close to each other that no air could go through them. But then this is the way of their life and the Victorian houses gives you a nostalgic view of the times that must have been. Our captain was quiet informative as we went through many smaller canals where the bigger boats couldn't fit in. Interesting bits like - a man making a house on a garden he just bought because there is a serious shortage of housing in Amsterdam, Houseboats now permanent residence of many locals, a man who refused to sell his house had a five star hotel build around it now (maybe his children will sell it one day). It did stand stubbornly around the grandness of the Victoria Hotel near central station.

The Ice Bar

We truly had our day packed as we headed lastly to the Ice Bar. There were two complimentary drinks and we were given really warm coats and gloves as we entered the little room made of ice. It reminded me of a Bond movie with glasses made of ice as we sipped cool liquids that warmed us as we stood deliberately getting the cold to us. In any other warm day this would have been a great option but Amsterdam was already cold and rainy for the day, so after 45 minutes of feeling cold and stamping our feet, laughing at ourselves because we couldn't feel out fingers because we had to take our gloves out to take pictures,  it was still something I would do despite all that.

It felt like Amsterdam was the best place to be where you could take a day pass and take any trams and buses anywhere. There are night trams too so if you are a wanderer and love late nights then this is the place to be.

Ice Bar


  1. Amsterdam also has lovely Tulip gardens ,Cheese factories, and windmills besides the attractions beautifully portrayed ,Sonia:)

  2. Rahul, yes. But this post is entirely on my experience out of Amsterdam in a day. And its from a tourist point of view i guess. Maybe next time...i sure missed out on the tulips :)

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