10 Things to do in Amsterdam (Besides Smoke Up) 10 Things to do in Amsterdam (Besides Smoke Up) europe wanderlust SHARE Jessica , May 21, 2013 / 1121 http%3A%2F%2Fapassionandapassport.com%2F2013%2F05%2F10-things-to-do-in-amsterdam-besides-smoke-up%2F10+Things+to+do+in+Amsterdam+%28Besides+Smoke+Up%292013-05-21+04%3A00%3A00Jessicahttp%3A%2F%2Fjess.guessthiscity.com%2F%3Fp%3D112 Many people have an idea of what Amsterdam should be like. When I visited, I found it to be more than I expected. He left a couple of bikes for us two, which brings me to the number one tip:One my friends is a local in Amsterdam and after taking advantage of an airfare sale, we flew in for a weekend. He happened to be away, but lent us his apartment – what a great guy. 1. Get a bike and cycle The city is compact and flat so you don’t need to be ultra fit. It’s so popular you will find bikes all along the streets and canals. There’s also some great parks to visit. 2. Explore the canals Winding around the city, you can cruise on plenty of boats or just continue on your cycling around on your bike. 3. Fill up on food A couple of popular options are their fries and mayonnaise or the little Dutch pancakes called “poffertjes”. Both are delicious, but if you’re after something completely different, try Dining in the Dark. source: Streetcuisine Dining in the Dark is not a restaurant with dim mood lighting. It is pitch black. The waiter guides you to your table and explains where the knives and forks are, where the water is and if you need to go to the bathroom, the waiter guides you (not in to the bathroom, that part has lights). The waiters are actually vision impaired, so working in total darkness is a breeze. You don’t know what you’re eating either. At the beginning you choose from the meat or seafood menu. They ask if you have any allergies and that’s about it. Quite an experience trying to guess what you’re eating. A friend has experienced this type of dining in another city and chose a vegetarian meal. I’m sure you could do the same here.4. Experience the “other” type of food For the more, shall I say, alternative types, you can explore the coffee shops for some space cake or something a little lighter. The rules have changed on selling to tourists, so be sure to check up on the regulations so you don’t get yourself in to trouble. The licensed coffee shops all have a little sign in the window, not that you need a sign, you can often smell the smoke when you walk past.Coming from Australia and living in Norway, where its illegal to smoke (anything) inside, it was a shock to be around people smoking. So if you plan to visit one of the coffee shops, be prepared to stink. Something I avoided as I was about to head to the airport and didn’t want any sniffer dogs thinking I was a smuggler. source: Tokeofthetown 5. Take a walk through The District Although it’s full of tourists, a walk through the red light district at night is certainly an eye opener. It’s not dangerous at all. Everyone is just out having a bit of a look around (some, I’m sure are looking for more) and there’s a overall happy vibe about the place. 6. Find a cosy pub There were plenty of cosy pubs around Amsterdam. On our way home from The District, we happened upon a pub with a three-piece band. The place was tiny, but the beer was good. I must say I didn’t like that people could smoke cigarettes inside as it made my clothes stink. But like I said, I’m not used to people smoking inside anymore. 7. Wander through the Rijksmuseum The Rijksmuseum was being renovated when we were there, but it is now fully open and has a lot of good reviews. I watched a NatGeo special on the new museum and was impressed. 8. Discover another kind of museum We were feeling a little thirsty and in need of a pick-me-up. So we headed to the House of Bols Cocktail & Genever Experience. You learn a little about the liqueur company, some flavour tasting and smelling, but the real reason why we spent 12euro is for the two liqueur shots and a cocktail at the end. They have tried to make it as interesting and interactive as they can, but I think it’s a great brand marketing execution. Hell, I bought a bottle on my way out! 9. Find some treasure in the Negen Straajes If you’re interested in a bit of boutique shopping, I’d recommend the Negen Straajes or nine little streets in Dutch. Some great little stores with unique clothes, decor and other nick-nacks. source: usnews 10. Check out I AMsterdam.com before you go to see what’s happening. After we booked flights, we were thinking what we could do when we got there. We found out Restaurant Week was on and that’s how we ended up in Dining in the Dark. Plus we paid a discount price as part of a promotion. Another useful site include Time Out. Both offer a range of activities and restaurant ideas to suit your taste. ——————————————————————————————————————————————————- THIS POST WAS WRITTEN BY: Lew Waterfield, author of Planetlew is a bucket lister who is travelling, eating and listening her way through life. An Aussie living in Oslo who’s working her way through Europe or wherever the road takes her. http://planetlew.wordpress.com https://www.facebook.com/planetlew (facebook account) https://www.facebook.com/planetlewpage (facebook page) https://twitter.com/planetlew http://instagram.com/planetlew http://www.flickr.com/photos/planetlew/ Did you enjoy this post? If so, please consider sharing on Facebook, Twitter, or via Email. Also, I’d love to keep sending you updates about my adventures around the world, so please subscribe to A Passion and A Passport via RSS or by email!