The capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is known for its stunning architecture, artistic heritage, picturesque canal network, and exhaustive museums. But there is much so much more to the city that its legacies from the Golden Age. It has an effervescent nightlife, craft beers, vivifying vodka, and marijuana-smelling streets. Forget the beaten tourist path and seek adventure in Amsterdam. Here is a checklist of 5 fun things to do in Amsterdam and enjoy an eclectic vacation!
Visit Coffeeshops in Amsterdam
As mundane as the idea may sound, it is not about hot java or baked goods. Dam Coffeeshops are legal dispensaries for marijuana. More than two hundred coffeeshops dot the city, but some of the best ones are found in the Red Light District. Just go through the extensive menu, order what you like, and if in doubt ask the staff– they are friendly and used to tourists. You can also visit the Cannabis College of Amsterdam that teaches everything you need to know about using marijuana in the Netherlands.
Watch an Ajax Game
Even if you are not a soccer fan, watching Ajax play is worth it. While almost all the bars in Amsterdam screen the matches, catching the game in a stadium is a completely different experience. It is the turf of raging fans aggressively throwing Dutch remarks at each other. The enjoyment doubles if you can understand those not-so-humble comments. Even if not, the environment is so pumped up with energy, it will rub off on you in no time.
Take a Crime Tour of Narcos State
Amsterdam is one of the few cities that offer crime tours. They take you through the narrow alleys of Red Light District and China Town. You can hire a tour guide who will reveal anecdotes of the city’s most notorious gangsters and mafias. Lined along the streets of Red Light District are some of the most popular cannabis shops including the 500-year-old Barney’s Coffeeshop. Learn through this tour the reasons why marijuana got decriminalized and how the Netherlands came to be known as the Narcos State.
Get Hungover on Dam Drinks
Go native and drink like the Dutch! There are many Dutch predilections when it comes to getting wasted. But jenever gin and Amsterdam Republic Vodka top the list. Jenever has been popular among the natives for more than 400 years. It is the same juniper-based spirit that inspired English gin and is available in most bars and cafés of the country. Pair this liquor with beer to make a strong concoction called kopstoot (headbutt). Yet, do not stop before sampling the famous vodka from its iconic ‘Amsterdammertje’ bottles.
Swing Over the Edge
There is no high like climbing up the 80-feet swing set and riding it over the dockland. It is the perfect way to give in to your inner daredevil and enjoy a sweeping view of Amsterdam. The swing is located on the Adam Lookout Tower. A trippy lift takes you to the top but not before psyching you up for the upcoming adventure with its psychedelic-like lighting.
When it comes to having fun, Amsterdam is all about beer and skittles. It is the perfect place for light-hearted, devil-may-care tourists who want to escape the ordinary and travel on less-frequented paths. Just make sure never to go out of bounds and prioritize safety as much as enjoyment.