Amsterdam! End of May 2015!

Picture credit: www.cvilarpics.tumblr.com 

This was my second time in the infamous Amsterdam. My first time there was in March 2013, and as we arrived the first thing anyone told us was “hey, welcome to the north pole. It’s the coldest month of March since 1920 something”. Jackpot!
This time around was much better weather…not great if you consider that I am travelling from 30 degrees in Lisbon, but definitely better!
So here are a few points on Amsterdam and Zaanse Schans the lovely place with the Windmills.

Here are a few FAQ from my friends about Amsterdam:


Public transport/trams
On both trips I used the tram only three times. Twice to get to the hotel with the bags and another time to get a TerraVision bus stop to get to Brussels from a further part of town. I guess this depends on how much you enjoy walking and, where your hotel/hostal is. This time we were in Munk Hotel in Achtergracht Street and the other time I was near Leidseplein which was also central. Distances on the map seem further than they actually are, so I recommend you find your hotel and locate how far you are from city center before getting a travelling card.


The Museums
I visited Van Gogh the first time there and even though the museum was being renovated it was pretty cool. I heard that with the renovations it’s gotten even better but this time I chose to visit The Rijksmuseum, which someone called Amsterdam’s Louvre and which is well worth if you like painting. I also went to the Sex and the Erotic museum which help get into the city mode! Kidding, but they are worth watching if you have never been. I personally think the one in Copenhagen is the best one.


Airports
If possible travel to Schipool Airport. Our return flight was from Eindhoven airport which is 2h30 from the city by bus, plus Ryannair decided to move it up from 5 to 3pm which basically made us loose a whole day.


Picture credit: www.cvilarpics.tumblr.com

Windmills
I learnt my lesson from Glendalough’s excursion trip, so this time I insisted we went on our own. Arranged trips cost something like 40€, not worth it since you can easily get the train, which takes like 18 minutes to get to Koog-Zaandijk station. From there you walk like 10 minutes or ride a bike to the mills. The return ticket is 12€ and you have all the time you want to explore the mills, the little cute houses and stores around it or grab a bite. It’s totally worth it, don’t miss it!


Nine streets, Red Light, Piij

Three very cool areas to explore and get three different looks of Amsterdam. Nine streets has very nice houses, hotels and restaurants, it’s the postcard Amsterdam you are looking for. The Piij (which is read like pipe) is the neighborhood in the south with a younger crowd. Nice cheaper and trendy restaurants and bars to explore. Red Light District is the famous prejudice free area. Prostitutes on windows, loads of fun sex shops and many coffee shops. It’s the part of free Amsterdam. 



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