Guest blogger Anita Dykstra is a travel writer from New Zealand. You can read her great blog on her website.
Amsterdam is a fun, vibrant city and even more so when you’re travelling with a group of friends. From traditional restaurants to wacky museums and nightlife you will never forget, it’s no wonder people flock here for a group holiday. One thing you must pack for Amsterdam is an open mind as it’s a one-of-a-kind European city with lots to offer. Here are five things you must do on your next visit to Amsterdam with your group of friends.
Explore the city by bike
There’s said to be more than 800,000 bikes in Amsterdam—and around 15,000 of them are fished out of the canals each year. There’s no other better way to explore the city than by bike. It’s the best way to get from A to B but also to soak up the local way of life and see all that the capital offers. There’s even a multi-storey bicycle park near Centraal Station catering for just bikes! You can either opt to hire a bunch of bicycles and discover the city by yourself or do a tour with a company like Yellow Bike. It’s the perfect way to see the city just like the locals do.
Head to the trendy Jordaan neighbourhood
This popular district is a favourite with Amsterdammers. There’s an abundance of bars, restaurants, art galleries and streets that can only be described as maze-like. In September, the Jordaan area even has its own festival which celebrates traditional Dutch folk music. On some houses in the Jordaan area, you may see a stone tablet which shows the profession or family sign of the resident. Back in the day this is how you would recognize who lives in the home. This is just one of the many little quirks that this neighbourhood has to offer. In the area also are some amazing markets. On Saturdays you’ll find the Lindenmarkt, a general market on the Lindengracht (Lime Canal), and a food market on the Noordermarkt (North Market).
Get the Heineken Experience
How could you visit Amsterdam and not do the Heineken Experience?! It would be a crime! The exhibit takes you through the process of making the world-renowned beer by making you into one! You will get shaken, sprayed with water and of course taste the end product. It’s a great interactive place to have a laugh with your friends. A standard adult ticket costs €16 if you book online, otherwise it’s €18 at the door.
Walk or relax at Vondelpark
If you want a local hot spot to chill out for the afternoon, Vondelpark is the perfect place. It’s located near the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. It’s a pocket of peaceful paradise amongst the happening city of Amsterdam. It’s the largest city park and definitely the most famous in The Netherlands. In the summer, Vondelpark hosts free concerts in the open air theatre, making it the place to be!
Party on Leidseplein
We all know Amsterdam can put on a heck of a party so make your way to the Leidseplein square to experience the buzzing nightlife for yourself. You will find many dance clubs, live music, bars and cafés to party the night away. This is the hub for all people who like a good night out. It’s located not far from Vondelpark. Popular clubs like Paradiso and Melkweg are a great start; if you want something a little more elegant then make your way to Stadsschouwburg which is held in the Municipal Theatre. Most clubs and bars keep going until at least 4 am with some staying open until 6 am. Prepare yourself for an all-nighter because you never know what Amsterdam might throw at you!
As you can see there’s an abundance of experiences and activities for any group that travels to Amsterdam. Which experience will you do?
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There is an endless amount of things to do for free in Europe as well… Check it out!