So you’re probably here because you’re planning to visit Amsterdam soon. And why not? It is one of the coolest cities to be in. The minute I stepped out into the city, I absolutely fell in love and I cannot wait to go back already. Here’s what you can expect along with some basic Amsterdam travel tips to prepare you for your upcoming holiday to the city.
What to pack based on the weather all year round?
The most important Amsterdam Travel Tips you will need while preparing for your trip to the city is regarding to what to pack based on the weather. Amsterdam is a city where it rains through the year. So make sure to carry your umbrella or a raincoat for sure. A small sized umbrella the fits in your bag would be ideal. Another important thing to pack is a pair of comfortable waterproof shoes. I absolutely hate it when my feet get wet and I have to walk around for hours with my feet freezing.
If you’re visiting in the summer months, make sure to carry a light jacket along. This could be a simple leather jacket or something similar as the evenings can get chilly. Temperatures could drop down to about 11° to 13° even during the summer months between June to August.
If you’re visiting the city in autumn, spring or winter make sure you’re equipped well. You will surely need thick jackets, gloves, caps, a thick woolen scarf and warm socks. Also thick woolen sweaters and/or thermal wear might be required depending on how well you deal with cold climates. Being Indian and unaccustomed to the cold, I had to cover up well during my visit to the city in autumn.
Getting from Schipol Airport to the Center
There are plenty of options available if you’re traveling into Amsterdam Central from Schipol Airport. The public transportation runs through the nights making it really convenient to get to and from Schiphol airport.
The train being the fastest, brings you to the central station in about 16-20 mins. That obviously depends on whether you have the fast train or the regional train. The frequency of trains is really high with a train leaving every 5-7 mins during the day until 1:15 am. Post that, the frequency decreases to about 2 trains every hour until 5:30 am. Tickets are available at the train station and cost about 4.50 euro one way.
You could also buy the daily travel pass costing about 8 euro for 24 hours making it perfect for city travel. Alternatively, you could choose to invest in an OV Anonymous Chip card, a rechargeable card that can be used for journeys across the country. The rechargeable card costs 7.50 and can be purchased at any of the train stations. All you have to do is top it up and scan it while entering and exiting from any train station, bus or tram across the country. The money gets deducted directly and you don’t waste time lining up at ticket windows.
Another option to get to and from the airport is the bus. The 397 runs from Schipol to Amsterdam through the day. This bus runs through the center and might be a better option if you’re staying away from Amsterdam Central. At night it is replaced by the N97 that takes the same route. Tickets for the journey can be purchased on board. The app 9292 is extremely helpful as it also tells you the platform and the best way to get to the destination of your choice.
Amsterdam Travel Tip 3: Renting a bike in Amsterdam?
Amsterdam is the city to bike in. The city is filled with locals and tourists cruising the city on their bikes. In fact you will find such biking paths all over the country as the locals prefer biking to shorter distances.
You can find bike rental places all over the city. Most of them are accustomed to a lot of tourists and they could try to over charge for the bikes. My suggestion is to compare prices at a few places before actually renting out one. Also renting the bike for longer periods works out to be cheaper, so always check the rentals for 24, 48 and longer periods up to a week. For a rough idea on the prices to expect, click here.
What to expect in Amsterdam?
Amsterdam is one of the most chill cities. The vibe of the city is very relaxed and you will feel it immediately once you get to the city. In addition to that, everyone in the country speaks very good English. This makes traveling all over the country extremely easy and convenient. You will also find that Dutch people are extremely helpful. Especially if you’re in one of the smaller cities, you will find that some of them go out of their way to help you.
If you’re planning on doing a few day-trips from the city, make sure to buy round-trip tickets as those are usually cheaper and will help you save as the public transportation can be a bit pricey. Highly recommend doing day-trips to Utrecht, Giethoorn, Rotterdam and Zaanse Schans or you could look up a longer weekend trip from Amsterdam as well.
The Dutch are not known for their cuisine, so you will find the city packed with restaurants serving various international cuisines. The most popular dutch food to try has to be the fries that you find all over the city and the other snacks that are served in most cafes and small shops.
The main reason for their limited cuisine is the fact that traditionally the country did not grow too many vegetables other than potatoes owing to the weather conditions in the country, but I guarantee you that the few traditional dishes that they do serve are absolutely yummy. I highly recommend trying the Hutspot and the winter special green pea soup called Erwtensoep. The restaurants serving Dutch cuisine in the center are sure to have them.
Main snacks to try are the dutch fries (war fries are the traditional ones), bitterballen, Frikandel and saucijzenbroodjes which are easily found through the city.
That’s all folks! If you need any more specific information or more personalized Amsterdam travel tips feel free to get in touch. Just drop me an email or DM me on Instagram. I promise to help you out to the best I can!
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