Thousands of Bikes are Found in the Canals of This European City Every Year

Could it be the drugs?

Photo by Adrien Olichon on Unsplash

Getting there

As tempting as Ryanair’s budget-friendly fares is, it’s not the best way into Amsterdam.

To get to Amsterdam city center from their terminal in Eindhoven, it’s a two-hour journey each way. Be prepared to pay about 24 euros each way.

So, factoring that in, I would suggest flying with another airline. Into the city’s main Schiphol Airport. From Schiphol, you’re only a short 20-minute train ride from the heart of the city. Not to mention, the train only costs 5 euros.

First impressions

I noticed, right away, the unique architecture in the heart of Amsterdam.

The shape of the roofs. The steep stairs in every building. The way the buildings were all slightly crooked and leaning in. The latter is an architectural concept to enable the moving of furniture into the steep, narrow buildings of Amsterdam.

It seemed like a photographer’s paradise.


My favorite part of the city, in regards to restaurants, pubs, cafes, and a place to people-watch, is Rembrandt Plain. You’ll find a young crowd here.

Outside of Rembrandt Plain, you’ll find Stones Café which is an ideal place at all times of the day. No matter if you’re searching for a nice breakfast (supposedly Stones serves an excellent English breakfast full of pancakes and toasties) or a-rockin’ café and pub to visit in the wee hours of the morning — Stones has you covered. And it’s in the heart of the hostel area of Amsterdam.

I was a frequent customer of the Frits shops or French fry shops. Located on every street in Amsterdam. You’ll never have to look long for one of these budget meals. The Dutch, along with Belgians, specializes in fresh-cut fries.

Yummy Bite near Leidseplein Square will happily fill your stomach with meat and potatoes, also. It’s a living room-style restaurant which will fill your stomach for no more than 6 Euros.

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  • Anne Frank House — Jewish teenage WWII diarist’s house museum
  • Van Gogh Museum — world’s largest Van Gogh collection
  • Vondelpark — huge park near city center with open-air theater
  • Rembrandt House Museum — restored 17th century home of Rembrandt with original sketching
  • Dam Square — you can’t miss this place, it’s the center of everything in Amsterdam
  • Bierfabriek Delft — a nice Dutch brewery pub.
  • Heineken Experience Brewery — home of the largest beer company in the world
  • Royal Palace — located in Dam Square
  • Madame Tussauds — Wax museum in Dam Square
  • Leidseplein Square — Public square great for passing the day by.

Leidseplein is the center of life for the young university and post-graduate crowd. Usually a night out in Amsterdam will lead you to one of Leidseplein or the Red Light District (or both).

As a matter of fact, for 28 euros, Ultimate Party Amsterdam will take you on a two-night pub crawl to each district. It’s good value for your money.

Leidseplein was my favorite part of the city for nightlife in Amsterdam.

Free walking tour

The free walking tour by SANDEMAN was informative as always, but I did not feel as if it was one of their best. Even in the middle of winter in Amsterdam, the tour was split into three groups.

Still, each group had too many people to hear the guide at all times. However, being free, it’s still a budget-friendly way to spend a few hours and learn a little bit about the city.

Red Light District

The Red Light District, an infamous area in Amsterdam where almost anything goes. Legal drugs and prostitution. No open-container policies. Constant public demonstrations. You name it, this district has it.

Photo by Jean Carlo Emer on Unsplash

Jordaan District

For a more authentic Dutch experience without overcrowding, try Jordaan District. It is outside of the city center.

Or check out the Noorder Markt Centrum on Saturdays. Their local Farmer’s Market specializes in Dutch cheeses.

Wandering the canals

I spent most of my time in Amsterdam wandering around the canals of Amsterdam with friends.

This is the best way to spend time in Amsterdam. While there are quite a few attractions to go to in Amsterdam, the best part is the beauty of its neighborhoods. Experiencing the unique architecture of Amsterdam.

I was drawn to the city’s culture and strange layout. It is insane how drivers in Amsterdam know their way around the narrow alleyways. Plus, they can parallel park inches away from the unguarded canals. Only a few will slip-up and sink their car.

There’s no better way to experience that side of Amsterdam than via your own wandering. Make sure you save ample time to do some aimless exploring. Go out and get lost in the canals.

Photo by Bhawin Jagad on Unsplash

Final thoughts

One thing I found to be surprising: Only 5% of Dutch people smoke weed. That’s one of the lowest country percentages in the world.

When you think about Amsterdam, you think of one thing. It’s what everyone is thinking about; the city where almost anything goes.

The open-mindedness of the Dutch seems to be ahead of their time. Especially, in regards to tolerance and opposing societal-norms.

In the capital of the Netherlands, even drinking and smoking in public is tolerated. As long as you don’t become obnoxious. The only time police will intervene is when you become a problem to others.

If you are going to smoke (legally) while in Amsterdam, know that “Smart Shops” around the city will test drugs for you.

It’s also the only place in Amsterdam where you can legally buy magic mushrooms if that’s a route you want to go down. They refer to magic mushrooms as “truffles”.

Amsterdam was home to the European hippie movement in the ’60s. These cities around the world draw my interest.

Amsterdam is known worldwide for symbolizing a city of freedom. On topics that are very controversial in places all around the world.

Planning to travel to Amsterdam anytime soon? Please reach out with any questions so you know where to stay, what to do, and how to maximize your budget.

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