Things to do in Amsterdam? Coffee shops?!

(16 Posts)
PurpleTreeFrog Sat 16-Jan-16 10:29:24

We are going to Amsterdam for a 3 day weekend break as a couple, a rare break without our toddler, and would like recommendations of things to do!

So far on our list is just coffee shops and maybe the sex museum... blush

Firstly I'd like to know if anyone can tell me more about the coffee shops as I have no idea where to start. Although let's just say, we are not completely naive about these things and have had some prior experience but never been to Amsterdam.

Secondly, not planning on spending the whole break sitting in coffee shops so would like to hear about other fun/cultural activities there?

Also does everyone speak English there or should I learn a few Dutch phrases? DH speaks a very similar language to Dutch so should be easy for him!

I know there was a thread very similar to this about a year ago, but have searched for a while and can't find it.

Can anyone help? smile

PurpleTreeFrog Sun 17-Jan-16 22:24:50

Anyone...?

QforCucumber Sun 17-Jan-16 22:27:37

English Is widely spoken so no worries there.
Recommend hopping into a canal boat tour from just outside the main train station - couple of euro per person but you see a completely different view of the city.
Also really enjoyed the house of bols and Heineken experience.
It's one of my favourite places to go - enjoy!

sooperdooper Sun 17-Jan-16 22:30:22

I've been three times, it's great!

Everyone speaks very good English smile

If you've never been in a coffee shop go into the Grasshopper - it's at the top of the red light district. It's a bit less intimidating than the others of you don't know what you're after, lol!

The Anne Frank house is well worth visiting, go on a canal cruise - brilliant way to see the city, we did one with pizza and a free bar smile the Van Gough museum is amazing, hire bikes and mooch about, boom Chicago comedy club was fun

I'll try and think of more!!

SanityClause Sun 17-Jan-16 22:35:11

There are wonderful things to do in Amsterdam. There are the obvious things like the Anne Frank house, the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum. There's loads of markets. You can do a canal boat tour, or there are pedalos, so you can go on the canal yourself. You can hire a bike and ride round the city.

There are lovely churches. One in particular, Our Lord In The Attic, is no longer used as a place of worship, but was a little chapel in the attic of a wealthy merchants house, where catholic people would practise their religion, when it was illegal to do so.

I have never been either to a coffee shop, or the sex museum, so I can't comment on them.

BertieBotts Sun 17-Jan-16 22:35:47

Anne Frank museum? It can be a bit sad obviously but it's worth seeing.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Sun 17-Jan-16 22:38:03

Take the ferry to the other side (Amsterdam nord?) and go to the cafe bar that's made of shipping containers. There is a hotel inside a crane too but it's probably out of budget!
Take an alternative walking tour www.alltournative-amsterdam.com

PurpleTreeFrog Mon 18-Jan-16 21:17:13

Thanks! Would love to do some kind of tour. I'd like to see the Anne Frank museum but DH is not convinced as he thinks it's "just a house"...hmm

Was browsing around on Trip Advisor, might drag DH round the "Museum of Bags and Purses" - ha! grin

Smellyrose Fri 29-Jan-16 12:40:05

I'm thinking of going there for my 40th this year - am I still able to do the things I did 10+ years ago without getting into trouble? grin Just worried that the law might have changed.

FreckledLeopard Fri 29-Jan-16 12:43:35

There's a website I think which has a map indicating all the coffee shops. Some are quite big and touristy, others much smaller and chilled out. In the bigger ones you can buy pre-rolled joints, brownies etc.

When I've been before we hired some bikes which was a lovely way to see the city (though be careful as there are so many people cycling, it can be slightly daunting!)

When we were there, everyone spoke English, so no need to learn any Dutch phrases.

The Van Gogh museum and Rijksmuseum were worth a trip.

Katisha Fri 29-Jan-16 12:52:31

We did one of the Mike's Bike tours of the city - that was fun.
If you do Anne Frank then book online first as the queue is ridiculous.

PurpleTreeFrog Fri 29-Jan-16 21:35:54

Just to update you, we've been on the trip! It was lovely.

We tried to visit Anne Frank house twice but both times the queue was huge so we gave up!

Spent the whole weekend wandering around the canals, smoking in coffeeshops eating lovely food, admiring the architecture, and also enjoyed the hotel spa. I really enjoyed it. It was such a relaxing toddler-free break.

We spent so much time in coffeeshops, by the end of our 4 days there, the staff in a couple of them were welcoming us in like regulars blush

Smellyrose laws have changed but it's still very permissive compared to the UK! I don't think you'll have any problems smile

I found the red light district much sleazier than I imagined... Women presented blatantly as objects for male enjoyment, no subtlety about it. The sex theatres advertising "live porn shows" seemed so gross - watching people fucking on stage while surrounded by drooling drunk stag do blokes? No thanks! I did find the whole area bizarrely fascinating though.

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Sat 30-Jan-16 04:47:01

The red light district made me so sad. I hope they die out eventually

Eminybob Sat 30-Jan-16 04:56:54

DP and I went about 5 years ago and neither of us smoke so I was worried that we would struggle for things to do (I did go with a group of friend when I was 18 and we pretty much did nothing but go to coffee shops so I had already experienced that side of things!)
But we didn't, there was loads to do. I enjoyed the Heineken museum, the science museum and Madame tussaudes.
In the evenings we went to some lovely restaurants (they have a lot of Argentinian steak houses) and a comedy club one night.
The Van Gogh museum is good too. Can't remember everything we did but we certainly weren't stuck.

Milliways Wed 10-Feb-16 16:19:03

Ooh, we are going in May so glad to have found this thread.
We will be taking the Campervan and bikes, and the campsite has a metro station
I am a little worried that when I want to go to a Costa Coffee type coffee shop - for just coffee, - is there some sort of symbol so you know that if you order a Chocolate Brownie etc it will just be the same as one you'd get on the UK High Street? grin

fands123 Wed 11-May-16 12:39:20

Amsterdam is amazing! There are so many things to do–went a couple of months ago and vlogged my entire trip. www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSpDjbFUebM The places we visited are in the description box and I highly recommend all of it! Hope this helps x

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