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Amsterdam is certainly no secret for people living in Düsseldorf, I mean hey, even visitors coming to Düsseldorf often make Amsterdam one of their first stops before heading over to us. When you’re only 2,5 hours away from the beautiful cobblestoned city of Amsterdam, how can you say no?
And then again, there are some of us who have been living here in Düsseldorf for years and somehow still haven’t made that weekend trip over the border quite yet. Often times, it’s the places close by that we never get around to visiting. Why? Likely because in the back of our head, we always tell ourselves “we have plenty of time to visit later” and then somehow we just never find the time to get around to it. So, for those of you looking for some weekend inspiration and haven’t given Amsterdam a chance yet, let’s hope this blog post inspires you to get out and explore!
I’ve managed to make it over to Amsterdam on quite a number of different occasions, with family, friends and as a couple, so I’ve also had the pleasure of exploring it from many different angles.
The best things to do when in Amsterdam on the weekend
There is something for everyone in Amsterdam, young or old, female or male, straight or gay, you get the point. Amsterdam is a magical city with so much to offer, so while the mentioned activities below might be some of my favorites, I’d suggest checking out a few more blogs to create the perfect itinerary for you.
Jump aboard a 1-Hour Canal Tour
I know, it sounds super touristic to mention a 1-hour canal tour, but Amsterdam is a busy place and often times the best way (and the most relaxing way) to see the city is by boat. You will slowly make your way under the beautiful bridges of Amsterdam and enjoy the stunning views of all the little gingerbread-like homes along the canal. There are a ton of different companies offering tours, the cheaper ones are crowded but still nice, and the more expensive ones offer a more exclusive experience and often a few drinks on board too!
Rent a bike and explore the “Venice of the North”
Amsterdam is known as the “Venice of the North” because of its (currently) 1,753 bridges, and it’s definitely worth spending a day trying to cross as many of those bridges as you can. There are tons of bike rentals in Amsterdam to choose from, so it won’t take you long to get yourself sorted for the day.
Get a beautiful sunset aerial view from the Sky Lounge
I’m all about aerial views, actually, I often make that one of the first stops of any trip just so I can get an amazing aerial view of the city and find some neat areas around town that I’d like to explore on the rest of my trip. The Sky Lounge at the DoubleTree by Hilton is definitely one of the best spots in the city to do that.
Explore the Red Light District
It’s so cliché, I know, and while I’m at it, you can also try a little Mary Jane here too! The Red Light District of Amsterdam is legendary, and whether you intend on actually letting loose and getting wild here or not, it’s actually still a very neat district to explore. There are some very cool museums around the area worth checking out like the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum, The Red Light Secrets – Museum of Prostitution, and Museum Ons’Lieve Heer Op Solder.
Wander around the Albert Cuyp Local Market
There are a ton of awesome local markets in Amsterdam where you can indulge in some of the local delicacies, including cheese and stroopwafel of course! The Albert Cuyp local market is a local favorite where you can find food, clothing, leather goods, and jewelry. It is also well known as the biggest market in Europe, with over 260 vendors.
Photograph the Beautiful Leaning Houses
You can actually do this best by boat if you decide to take a cruise along the river. There are quite a few leaning houses around the city, some more than others, and some so crooked you won’t believe that there are people still living inside of them. Most of the cruise guides will point out a few of them along your tour too, so you certainly won’t miss catching a glimpse.
Check out a few of the most obscure things to do around town
One of my favorite things to do when visiting a city is to check out Atlas Obscura’s list of the most obscure things to do, like Amsterdam’s Torture Museum, the tiny hidden houses on Westerstraat or the city hall urinal! Haha, it’s time to get weird.
How to get from Düsseldorf to Amsterdam
If there’s one big city that’s easy to get to from Düsseldorf, it’s Amsterdam. You can take your own car, rent a car, share a ride, hop on a bus, or take the train. From Düsseldorf Train Station (Hauptbahnhof), you can catch a FlixBus or take the DB train to Amsterdam Centraal. The journey should take you between 2,5 – 3,5 hours, depending on which connection you are able to catch.
Need a place to stay?
If you’ve been to Amsterdam and are hoping to check out a couple of other beautiful destinations in the Netherlands, why not visit the picture-perfect car-free town of Giethoorn or celebrate the spring tulips in Katwijk, Holland.
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