Top Tips To Maximize Your Trip To Amsterdam

Posted in Europe, Travel by

About six weeks ago I came back from my second trip to Amsterdam and I have to admit it’s such a lovely city that I can’t wait to head back and explore even more. I did a little research before going on tips and tricks but a lot of these were learned through trial and error over the days of my trip so here are some of my top tips in order to maximize your trip to the Dutch capital.

Book Anne Franks’ house in advance

If you want to visit Anne Franks house – which is a must see – then book your ticket before you arrive in the city, preferably a month or more in advance. If you get there before 3pm you can only enter if you have a pre-booked time slot ticket, after that it’s just a case of waiting in a line and hoping not too many others have the same idea. I’ve heard stories of people waiting for 2+ hours just to get in and when you’re doing a weekend away you don’t want to waste your precious hours. I booked our tickets about 2 weeks’ in advance and a lot of time slots were already sold out so book as early as you can.

Amsterdam Sign

Get to the Amsterdam sign 830am or earlier

If you want to get a photo of the iconic I Amsterdam sign and don’t want hundreds of other tourists honing in on your photo then you need to be dedicated and get there early. We turned up during the afternoon on the first day and we might as well have not bothered as there were so many people you could barely see the sign again. The next day we arrived around 10am and this was still too late as tourists flocked over the letters, but on our final day we turned up at 8.30am and it was beautiful with limited people enabling us to take the photos we wanted to get.

Don’t bother with the sex museum

The Sex Museum was one of the things I had hyped up and I thought it would be really good because it is Amsterdam after all. I should have known better when I saw entrance was only 4 euro’s, but even at this price, it wasn’t worth it. It felt quite outdated, there was no logical layout to the museum and it just wasn’t interesting. Having been to the Sex Museum in New York as a comparison I can hands down say this was a disappointment and I wouldn’t bother queuing for it. Instead, head to the Red Light Secrets museum to find out more about prostitution in the city. If you need some ideas of more museusms to check out click here.

Amsterdam Dutch Pancakes

Get to the Pancake House for opening

The Pancake House is one of the most popular places to get pancakes in the city, so much so that it was printed on my map I took with me. It’s no surprise though as their pancakes were sensational (order the Dutch and thank me later). Due to it’s popularity and small premises chances are you’ll have to queue unless you turn up around opening. 10am is when the Pancake House opens so try to plan your day around getting here early on and you’ll get a table straight away.

Head to the Red Light District 930pm or later

When we headed to the Red Light District we didn’t want to leave until we had seen some ladies in the windows, because it is a huge part of Amsterdam. Turning up around 6pm on a Saturday we thought we’d see plenty of ladies but ended up confused as none of the windows were lit up and there wasn’t a prostitute to be seen. We decided to go to a museum then head for dinner before trying again and by 930pm the street was in full swing so if you want to see Amsterdam in this light head there at this kind of time or later, although I wouldn’t suggest too late unless you want to see drunken stag parties giving English people a bad name and some dodgy feeling characters.

Have you been to Amsterdam? Do you have any other tips?
April 26, 2017
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  • I have never been to Amsterdam before but it is one of the places I most want to go to. Especially because of the culture and the art x

  • williamgould

    We go every year and stay in the Oude West area just outside the touristy bits. There’s a fabulous independent Baker’s on every corner so food is plentiful. De Hallen has interesting shops and food. It’s converted from the original tram sheds! There’s also lots of interesting parks in Amsterdam not far out of the centre!

  • Alison Rost

    We’ve never been to Amsterdam and really hope to go one day. Like you .. I’d love to see the red light district. Of course there would be pancakes at the Pancake House. I swear I eat pancakes everywhere we go!

  • Leah Shafik

    I have never been to Amsterdam but I have hears great things…my cousin LOVES it there. My great grandma was a Frank and I know that Anne is somewhere in our family tree so it would be really interesting to go x

    • Wow that’s so interesting! I wonder where the connection is x

  • Melanie Edjourian

    Next time i go I will be sure to visit the pancake house OMG that must have been fabulous but I don’t fancy queuing too long so I will be extra early!

  • I’ve been to Amsterdam a few times but with work so haven’t really ‘seen’ it. Thanks for the tips! x

  • Jessica Lynn Martin

    I live in the US so going overseas is still a ways off. Amsterdam is one place I want to go. I loved The Diary of Anne Frank so seeing her house is a wish of mine. I’m definitely jealous you have been to Amsterdam twice. The pancake house sounds amazing! I love pancakes!

  • I haven’t ever been to Amsterdam but thanks for the tips, Being the old biddy that I am, I would probably look for the tulips rather than the sex museum!

  • Harriet @ Toby&Roo

    Oh this has come just at the right time! I’m planning a trip to Amsterdam with my family soon 🙂

  • Jessica Hughes

    I’ve never been to Amsterdam, but I would love to be able to visit there someday! I definitely want to see the Anne Frank house and now I know that I should book that in advance. After reading your post, I now want to try some of those delicious pancakes at the Pancake House too!

  • Knowing these tips before a trip to Amsterdam will be very helpful in saving time in queues and not being disappointed. Since most people want to visit the Anne Frank house and eat at the Pancake House, they will do well to follow your advice.

  • Amsterdam is actually next on my travel list, so reading these tips have proven to be helpful!

  • Hayley

    I really liked the Sex Museum but it was the Erotic Museum that I was disappointed with, I made the mistake of going there as it’s near the Red Light Museum and it wasn’t great.

  • Donna

    Oh good tips! i ma hoping to get there one day, it’s been on my list for ever!!! I really appreciate this kind of advice, it really helps get the best out of a short dash doesn’t it x

  • Newcastle Family Life

    You can get overnight cruises to Amsterdam for about £40 from Newcastle so I really should visit as I have never been. It looks like a great place to visit and these are really useful tips xx

  • Jo Wiggins

    I loved Amsterdam, I literally couldn’t get over the red light district, it was a real eye opener and we stayed there for hours wandering around x

  • Mel

    Amsterdam is on my travel bucket list and if I get my way, my other half and I will be stopping there for a few days on our honeymoon. The only things I know about Amsterdam is Anne Frank’s house and the red light district so these are some really helpful tips. I’m gutted to hear the sex museum isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be; my brother has fond memories of having a lightsaber fight with vibrators in there!

  • Lyndsey O’Halloran

    These are great tips. I’ve never been and I’d want to do all of this!

  • Love these tips. We didn’t get to visit Anne Frank’s house due to queues so like the idea of booking

  • Battle Mum (BattleMum)

    Great tips, especially the Anne Frank house. We booked online and skipped a queue a mile long. We didn’t bother with the Sex Museum either. One thing we did which was unusual but great was dinner at C-Taste where you dine in complete darkness. One of the strangest experiences I’ve ever had but would recommend.

  • mummyandthechunks

    I haven’t been! But it is on my bucket list so thanks for the tips!

  • Sarah D

    great tips – I have been to Amsterdam only once for a day trip but it’s on the list to revisit x

  • Natasha Mairs

    fantastic tips. I would love to go and visit Anne Frank’s house. The pancakes look lovely, I would definitely be the first in the que at opening time for these

  • Ali

    Great tips! I haven’t been to Amsterdam but it’s one place I really want to visit soon.

  • francesca

    I’ll be referring back to this post when I make my trip!! its a shame the sex museum is a little outdated and not really with the visit!

  • Angela Milnes

    I haven’t been there but I want to go there with my family, I should add this on my bucket lists

  • I’ve never been to Amsterdam but would love to go someday. X

  • Zena’s Suitcase

    Amsterdam is a great city, and I totally agree with you about the sex museum.

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