Thanks for checking in – as always, I hope you’re all well and safe!
A couple of weeks ago I published a post called The Happiest I’ve Been In Years talking about some of the things that are actually going well for me now. Some much needed positivity after the last 2 years and the big topic was of course that I was going on an abroad adventure for the first time in 2,5 years since moving back to Denmark from Ireland.
So, I know that I won’t be travelling a whole lot for a while, but I’ve decided that I want to do my own travel reviews on the places I’ll visit in the future. The travel review will include different parameters and might be subject to change as I develop the concept of my travel posts.
A short introduction to Amsterdam
I went to Amsterdam, and in case you don’t know Amsterdam is located in the Netherlands, which is located in Europe!
Amsterdam has a population of about 1.1 million people and it’s a super international city which loads of expats and people who moved here from other countries for work or school. The city has more than 3.5 million visiting tourists every year and it’s super tourist-friendly.
The official name of the country is the Netherlands, but in some countries (including Denmark) it’s known as Holland.
Let’s talk about my experience
For now, I’ve decided to write about five different things that I value the most. I’m not good at doing the touristy things that you find on every single ‘Top 10 things to do in…’ lists on the internet, so I’m not going to focus on that.
Safety & Locals
For a lot of people safety is a big concern. For me, as a male solo-traveler in my (soon to be) 30’s I never felt uncomfortable at any point during my five days in Amsterdam. I was out exploring the city at all hours of the day from early morning to midnight – and even when I left the city center and went to the outskirts of Amsterdam I never felt like I had to be extra careful or anything.
There are definitely some sketchy types around, but you have that everywhere and with common sense I believe everyone would be okay when travelling and exploring the beautiful city of Amsterdam.
The locals of Amsterdam are amazing. Absolutely beautiful people. As someone who has lived in Ireland, people always ask me how it was living with the Irish. My reply is that they are amazingly friendly people as well and remind me very much of the Dutch people. As a solo-traveler you have to get used to talking to strangers, ask for help and put yourself out there to get help if you get stuck.
I asked many people for directions and even went out drinking one night with some locals from the Yes Theory community, which was amazing. People won’t hesitate to stop and guide you in the right direction or answer any question you might have – I even had people taking out their phones and GPS a place to guide me.
The Length of My Travel
This was my first time in Amsterdam despite it being one hour away from Denmark by plane and I was there for a total of three full days (excluding the days when I travelled back and forth). I do say five days, because I landed in Amsterdam at 7am and didn’t leave the city center on the last day until 9pm, so I count them as full days.
I was quite happy with the amount of days. As mentioned above I don’t do a whole lot of the touristy things, so five days might be a lot, but I was so excited to be travelling again and I literally spent two days just sitting in the city center enjoying the change of environment.
Five days would definitely be enough for a first time traveler to Amsterdam – if you only want to stay in Amsterdam. Obviously, if you want to explore areas outside of the city and visit all the museums or take a day trip to another city, then it might be even more perfect with 4 full days. I know not everybody can spent two days just sitting around.
On the other hand Amsterdam is a city you can go to on a weekend trip for sure. A couple of days in this city can be enough if you just want to experience a new place.
Where I Stayed – Hotel Nes
I’d usually stick with hostels or really cheap hotels when travelling solo, but this time I decided to book a hotel in the city center, which was perfect. I stayed at Hotel Nes, which has the most perfect location in Amsterdam.
Hotel Nes is a three star hotel and has a 8.2 score on Hotels.com. It’s located within 10 minutes of the main attractions in Amsterdam – 3 minutes from Rembrandtplein and 10 minutes from the Dam Square, which is the absolute center of the city. Amsterdam is full of canals of course and Hotel Nes is right next to a big connection of canals.
The staff was super friendly, very talkative and was helpful with any request I had. I’d included breakfast which was a basic continental breakfast, but honestly it was a great way to start the day not having to chase down breakfast in the city.
I stayed in a single room and it was quite small, but it really did have everything you’d ever need – single bed, desk, TV, space to store your luggage and a big bathroom. Nothing special, but quite small and newly renovated. The room also had a big window and a fan, which was great because I was lucky and experience 20+ degrees every day.
I would stay at Hotel Nes again for sure.
Food & Drinks
I don’t really eat out when solo travelling, as I don’t want to spend money on food and drinks, but I do experience some of the local treats you can find around the corner. Honestly, I don’t feel like the Dutch food is anything special. Maybe it just reminds me a lot of the food that we eat in Denmark.
But, they have a lot of snacks to try – and if you go to Holland you can not miss out on the stroopwafel, which is a waffle and it’s amazing! Also, the bitterballen was quite the success during beer hours. Other than that they have a lot of cheeses and french fries stations around, which are all great.
If you want to try something amazing, you can visit the foodhallen which is a food hall kind of like a street food hall. It has some amazing places to eat. I tried a few things but Taqueria was my favorite – I had a burrito with some beef and spice and it was amazing! Price is decent and the place is great.
Oh, and the drinks in Amsterdam are quite delicious 😉
Being a tourist in Amsterdam
Being a tourist in Amsterdam is definitely easy. The city is packed with amazing people and loads of things to see. If you’re like me and don’t like the touristy things it’s still a beautiful city to wander about in. The canals and architecture, the people chilling on boats, the many little streets etc. all adds up to Amsterdam being a wonderful place to be a tourist.
Despite this, I’ve decided to deduct one star, as I feel like the main thing to do it visit museums and parks. I know there’s a lot more to do probably, but I’d need some more stuff to see and do.
The over all experience with Amsterdam
As mentioned many times, Amsterdam is an amazing city and the people of the Netherlands are amazing. I could definitely see myself going to Amsterdam again at some point with some friends or even my family to explore it in a different way. There are some things I didn’t do, because I felt weird doing it alone, e.g. going to some fancier restaurants or renting a boat for the day.
If you’re doing it for the Instagram, then Amsterdam is a perfect location. I’ll finish up this review by posting some more photos from my trip. It was shot with my Samsung Galaxy S10, so not the best quality, but I’m okay with that!
Thanks for stopping by – I appreciate you.
Take care and I’ll see you in the next one,