A latin guy visiting Amsterdam for a week! The adventure begins!

And that’s how everything started, a lot of excitement, a terrible flu and feeling sleepy as hell. But none of that matters, because it’s time to travel 🙂 I had to be at the airport at 4 am, after sleeping for 30 minutes only (why I keep doing that kind of things when I’m almost 30 is an unsolved mystery), and taking a couple of planes that would make me land 19 hours later in Amstedam.

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You’ll feel the flight pressure way more if you’ve got a cold. Obvious tip: TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF BEFORE TRAVELING! The pro: the body recovers way faster during a trip. At least that’s how it has always happened to me.

There’s a train station in the same complex of the Amsterdam airport. If you want some details about the transportation in Netherlands you can check this link. From there, I got to Science Park (a university campus) where a friend had offered to host me (thanks Fabián and Manu!).

The beautiful canals in the Dutch capital - Amsterdam, Netherlands
The beautiful canals in the Dutch capital – Amsterdam, Netherlands

After I got there, it was time to rest due to the flights, lack of sleep and flu. During the afternoon, it would be time to explore around, including the Flevopark, one of the multiple parks that decorate the city of Amsterdam. After a couple of hours working, my stomach was asking for food non-stop. It’s a natural thing, when you only got the breakfast from the plane and skipped lunch since you were sleeping.

The Turkish restaurants are some of the cheapest places you can find, if you want to eat and you’re traveling on budget. A spicy chicken hamburger, fries and drink for just 5 euros.

Flevopark during the sunset, one of the many that embellish Netherlands - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Flevopark during the sunset, one of the many that embellish Netherlands – Amsterdam, Netherlands

When I got home, I met some of the Latin American friends from the guy who was hosting me, and they invited me to the *event host voice* FIESTA MACUUUUMBAAAA (Macumba party), a Latin American party with all the elements to feel at home: the guys who could dance were looking to hit on girls, the ones of us who can’t dance were “dancing” with a group of friends (if they were not hitting on someone or being hit on), someone spilled a beer in my pants, and a fight almost started between a couple of drunk people 😀 it’s funny when you realize some things don’t change even after crossing the ocean.

It feels almost like home, being surrounded by Latin American people, FIESTA MACUUUMMMBAAAA - Amsterdam, Netherlands
It feels almost like home, being surrounded by Latin American people, FIESTA MACUUUMMMBAAAA – Amsterdam, Netherlands

Points of interest in Amsterdam

Getting back to Amsterdam typical stuff, there’s a lot to see: the canals that can be found in several parts of the city, some of them in neighborhoods with beautiful architecture such as Jordaan and Grachtengordel.

I compiled a list of places of interest, and they’re ordered in a way that you can walk the shortest distance (if you visit them in order). Since I’m traveling on budget, I only saw the museums from the outside (I’ll make the investment in Italy and France, in England many of them are free):

  • Natura Artis Magistra Zoo (I excluded it from the trip because of the time and feeling exhausted)
  • Rembrandtplein (Square)
  • Rembrandt House Museum
  • Nieuwmarkt (Market)
  • Oude Kerk (Church)
  • Dam Square
  • Amsterdam Royal Palace
  • Westerkerk (Church)
  • Bloemenmarkt (flower market)
  • Grachtengordel
  • Leidseplein (Square)
  • Stedelijk Museum
  • Van Gogh Museum
  • Rijksmuseum (Museum)
  • Vondelpark (Park)
  • Heineken Experience
  • Sarphatipark (Park)
  • IJburg: a neighborhood made out of artificial islands, I didn’t visit it since I didn’t have enough time
Museumplein, where you can find the Van Gogh, Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk museums - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Museumplein, where you can find the Van Gogh, Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk museums – Amsterdam, Netherlands

I visited the flower market at the end of March. According to what I’ve read, the best moment to visit it is mid-April. If you go at a different time (e.g. I went too early in the year), you might see much more seeds, bulbs, souvenirs, etc. During mid-April, you should be able to see the market at its best.

If you want to see windmills instead, you can take a look at this article.

Tourist passes or cards

If you want to go into the museums and other attractions in a cheaper way, you could look for some of the tourist cards. Ideally you should decide beforehand which attractions you want to visit, and add the individual costs. If the cost of the card is less than that, then it will work for you. Plan for realistic times to visit each place, eat, move between them, and have some time to rest. If you end up visiting less places than you planned, you might lose the economic advantage of the card.

Some of the more popular cards are:

  • Amsterdam City Pass: It has no time limit, but it doesn’t include public transportation
  • I Amsterdam City Card: It has a time limit, but it gives you free Access to public transportation
  • Holland Pass: It includes a month, with tickets which you can change for free pass to certain places, and discounts in some others. It doesn’t include public transportation
I was really there :) - Amsterdam, Netherlands
For the people who said I couldn’t Photoshop myself in a picture! – Amsterdam, Netherlands

Once again, whether it works or not will depend on each person, so analyze your situation, and leave a comment or send me an email in case you have any questions 🙂

The red district from Amsterdam

Of course, Amsterdam also has options to offer to people looking for entertainment of a different nature. There are coffee shops all over the city, where it’s legal to buy and consume marihuana, and the red neighborhood is maybe one of Amsterdam’s most known attractions. I was in there during the day, visiting places, and didn’t even notice I was in the red neighborhood. During the night it’s pretty obvious instead…

Prostitution is legal in the red district. The windows have a convenient color coding, red lights in the windows with women, and blue lights for transgender. I imagine it’s useful to save drugged or drunk people from making mistakes 🙂

Live sex shows are also pretty common in Amsterdam. There are places where you can go all night, and see different shows, for 40 to 50 euros. There are also some cabins, where you can enter for 2 euros and watch live sex for a couple of minutes, and keep adding coins for extra minutes.

One of the several gorgeous women, offering services in the Windows of the red district - Amsterdam, Netherlands
One of the several gorgeous women, offering services in the Windows of the red district – Amsterdam, Netherlands

By the way, it’s forbidden to take pictures of the windos in the red district. DO NOT try. You’ll get yourself into a SERIOUS mess. The place is surveiled by CCTV, so help yourself from trouble. That’s why I didn’t try, and the previous photo is just a joke and will never load 😀

I have to admit that I went into one of those cabins for morbid curiosity. It’s a very personal opinion, but I’m very glad I just spent 2 euros and not 50. Although I imagine that the enthusiasm of the performers varies in a show from 2 to 50 euros. However, the lack of emotion is evident, and it shouldn’t be a surprise, considering they do it for work every day.

The nightlife in the red district ends pretty early, and THAT was a surprise to me. I visited it on Thursday, at 1 am most of the bars and coffee shops were closed, and the live sex shows were closing by 2 am. After that time, I could find a few bars opened, and LOTS of places to eat. Just to compare, the FIESTA MACUUUUMMMBAAAA finished around 5 or 6 am (I left earlier of course, you know, it’s the age).

In case you didn’t realice I love the canals :) - Amsterdam, Netherlands
In case you didn’t realice I love the canals 🙂 – Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Dutch food

Let’s get back to the day to day business. The Dutch food is far from being my favorite. However, you can find a lot of international restaurants, the Turkish places are some of the cheapest I could find, a close second places goes to the fast food restaurants.

Some of the typical dishes in Netherlands are:

  • Herring: It’s raw fish, I still have mixed feelings about it 😛
  • Bitterballen: It’s kinda hard to describe the texture, but it’s a little like meatballs. You can look up some images so you’ll have a clearer idea, or just try them 😀
  • Stroopwafel: It’s like a cookie, composed by two layers of a thin dough with some caramel syrup in the middle, worth to try 🙂
  • Stamppot: Similar to mashed potatoes, but using more vegetables, sometimes served with meat or sausage
  • Patat o frites: Two popular ways to call the fried potatoes, that are served in a paper cone, with one or more sauces that you can choose
Dutch fries, although the typical ones can be found on street stalls - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Dutch fries, although the typical ones can be found on street stalls – Amsterdam, Netherlands

I hope you enjoyed about this Amsterdam review. As usual, I’d love to see your stories or questions in the comments. I’ll write in the future a review about some other places I visited in Netherlands: Utrecht and Meppel, to contrast the life in the capital versus another big city and a small town. Thanks for reading, and if you like it, click on Like, leave a comment or share! And if you want to buy a ticket to Netherlands, you can do it through this link.

Some links in this page are affiliate links. This means I’ll earn a small commission from your purchase, at no additional cost to you. If you liked the article, please buy through these links and support Just One More Place.

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