Amsterdam is fast becoming the destination for a cheap student city breaks. With its pretty canals, many attractions and an interesting spin on the traditional brownie it’s no wonder that Trip Advisor placed it in the top 20 of European cities to visit. However, with so much to do in a short space of time here is a compiled list of the essential things to see and do in a 3 day mini break to Amsterdam.
Boat trips are a must around €14 for 1hr30. After waking up at an hour rarely seen by students to catch your cheap flight to Amsterdam it also provides sightseeing with minimum effort levels required. It delivers not only a much needed rest but also a unique view of this beautiful city. The underground glass fronted basements of the waterfront town houses and the uniquely handcrafted boat houses are seen best on the water.
The Sex Museum, now bear with me, yes to some it may seem a bizarre collection of odd looking pottery and images of women in contorted positions but for a mere €4 you will have a great laugh with your friends and that all important photograph on the penis chair.
Body Works is just a few doors along from the Sex Museum yet could not be more different. First disgusting, then intriguing, next awe inspiring and finally moving. This exhibition gives a unique insight into what it means to be human but be warned with severed heads mounted on plaques and 4 month old foetuses in glass boxes this is not for the faint hearted or hungover. But the hidden gem of this exhibition has to be the cushion filled happiness room which does not disappoint. Student tickets are €17.
The Van Gogh Museum if you are into art it is four floors of colourful bliss and if you aren’t the museum incorporates elements of his personal life such as private letters. Although a little pricey for the amount of time you spend there with tickets at around €15, for any art lover the chance of seeing his sunflowers is well worth it. Also whilst you’re there why not take full advantage of the ‘I love Amsterdam’ sign it may be a bit ‘mainstream’ but is a must if only to prove to your parents you made it out during the day time.
The Red light district tour was personally the best value for money activity of the break. For €12 with 360 Tours, a wonderful witty Dutchman called Arthur will show you the hidden and quirky sights of the Red Light district. With great anecdotes and advice it will give you an interesting perspective on the controversial business. And for those girls out there who may be wary of entering this quarter, along with my fellow female travellers I could not have felt more at ease with Arthur leading the way.
The Anne Frank Museum is possibly one of the most well-known sites in Amsterdam and you can’t visit Amsterdam without seeing it. The queues can stretch for miles so you should definitely purchase tickets online beforehand at no extra cost for €9. It is one of the most moving historical sites I have visited and can take a couple of hours so set time aside.
A picture on a pretty bridge, it will cost you nothing and there are opportunities all over the city. Although some may view it as a little cliché it makes for a great group photo.
Bike rental is essential to any good Amsterdam trip. Deposits on the bikes can be around €50 each, though remember you can haggle! When taking to the streets on a bike in Amsterdam it is terrifying but a great way to see the city. Beware the Dutch take no prisoners when it comes to cycling but if you can survive unscathed it’s well worth the risk. Around €6 per hour plus deposit.
Now for those who are scraping together the last of their student loan do not be afraid. For flights, 3 nights in a hotel, attractions and food this all came in for under £300. Being someone who interrailed Europe (yes one of those) I would have to say that this city is one of the prettiest and best value for money. So if you are ready for a jam packed few days of sightseeing, near death experiences and lots of laughs, creating stories which are probably best kept in Amsterdam then this is your city.