Is One Day In Amsterdam Enough?
Let me just tell you, it is not. Absolutely not. However, if you're unlucky like me to only have spent one day in Amsterdam, it is, in fact, enough to make you want to come back for more!
On my Introduction of Europe Tour, we traveled from London, U.K to Paris to Ibiza and lastly to Amsterdam. For future knowledge, always make Ibiza your first or last stop. We spent extra time in Ibiza which took away from our time in Amsterdam.
Still, we thoroughly had the opportunity to enjoy the day. No regrets (except a few).
Once we landed at the Schiphol Airport, we hopped in the Uber to The Muse Amsterdam Boutique Hotel. Though we did not stay in the room much, being limited to one day of exploration, the hotel was modernly designed, cozy and we were welcomed by a helpful, sweet receptionist who spoke very clear English (such a plus and necessity).
Our hotel also provided bicycles which were roughly $15 for 24 hours. Rent a bicycle in Amsterdam? WHY NOT!? Prior to arriving, I read on a blog that bicycle riding for tourists was not really recommended because the locals took riding very seriously. I did learn that it was the primary source of transportation; which is partly why I fell in love with this city. I had to find out for myself.
We followed a map to get us to our first destination. Still, I would suggest that you hop on your bike and get lost. It's AMSTERDAM! There is no way that you will ride and no find a gem or fall in love with the beauty that surrounds you. But again, we were on a schedule.
Our first stop was The Heineken Experience. I did not think to do this while in Amsterdam, but my friend really wanted to go. The bike ride from our hotel was about 8 minutes, which took us 12 minutes because we went in the wrong direction. In that area, finding a spot for your bike is almost as difficult as finding parking in New York City during the day.
I'll admit that I wasn't as excited about this particular adventure since, well, Heineken was never my first drink of choice. BUT, I was taken aback once we finally experienced it! From learning about the production of the drink to experiencing some incredible digital designs and also, the freshly made Heineken, I was all in.
Check out some photos below.
After the Heineken Experience, we worked up an appetite. We decided that we would ride a little further to find food, but along the way stop at the I Amsterdam Sign in the Public Square. Which was a bad idea because everyone and their mother was there. Literally. Don't fret, if you really want a photo in front of the Amsterdam sign. There are several throughout the city.
After leaving this square, we made our way to grab a bite to eat. Of course, we went with what we knew: burgers.
After riding around a bit and stopping by some cafes, just to scope the scene, we settled at The Bulldog Amsterdam. The food was super yummy here. I'm not sure what their sauce was made from that I used for my french fries, but it had this sort of Ketchup mixed with mayo (which is the basics) and it seemed to have chopped pickles inside---which is like heaven in a tiny little plate for me. I had a side of orange juice, which was recommended by the waitress from America. It was the purest of pure orange juice I ever tasted!
Also, if you plan to visit this burger joint, this is a smoking (marijuana) friendly restaurant. So if you don't want to be around that smell, do not enter. Indoors and outdoors.
After lunch, we headed to the Lookout Tower. Before you wonder when I am going to mention the Anne Frank museum. I'm not. I was terribly disappointed as this is something that I have wanted to do for years. So, heads up. If you plan a trip to Amsterdam, please make sure that you purchase your tickets for the exhibit in ADVANCE. We only booked our trip a week in advance and was not really set on which day we would be heading to Amsterdam. So, we were unable to grab tickets. Again, super sad. I pray for you all who are traveling to do this in advance. Check the site ( that is the only way to purchase tickets) !!
So, the ADAM Lookout Tower was the next stop. When I was in London I did Ziplining. So, it was only right that I did another slightly adventurous thing in ADAM.
We rode our bike to the tower, which was about 15-20 minutes outside of the central area. This was a long, but fun ride! Once we arrived, we parked our bikes and then headed to the ferry that takes us across to the Lookout Tower.
When I say this city is all about BIKES, I am not kidding you!
The ADAM Lookout Tower had a swing that overlooked the city and it was amazing! Unfortunately, I did not bring my camera up there with me, but I should have! Also, it was a very cloudy day, so the view was not picturesque as I thought, but so worth it. My friend, Chelsea, chickened out at the last minute so I had to go on with a stranger.
After the tower, we were slightly drained to go back on the bikes. But, we made it happen.
We headed back into the city for dinner. Amsterdam is a city unlike other places in Europe. A lot of the locals don't want it to turn into London or Venice, which caters to tourists; but it is slowly happening. The crowd seems to draw near the main attractions like the Heineken Experience, the museums and every I Amsterdam sign that you can find. Once we reached the center, we stopped to listen to someone singing with a crowd around him. His talent was amazing and I wanted to give him all of my Euros.
For dinner, we ate at at a spot that we found. Honestly, I forget the name and by that time I just wanted to eat so I forgot to note it. BUT, they had unlimited ribs and I thought that I could take on the challenge. Also the first glass of wine was free.
Aside from riding around with our bikes and walking around along the canals, this concludes my day in Amsterdam. I can't wait to return and explore some more. There are so many gems that are meant to be discovered!