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Amsterdam Canal River


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Guide To Moving To Amsterdam

With a city full of breath-taking architecture, charming culture, captivating history, and delicious food, it’s easy to fall in love with Netherlands’ capital Amsterdam. If moving to Amsterdam is on your laundry list, here is a guide on moving to the City of Canals.

  • Housing
  • Education
  • Climate
  • Transport
  • Healthcare

Housing

Moving to a new country is a big step and certainly not easy. Amsterdam, unfortunately, is an expensive city to live in but we will guide you so you’re aware of your budget when moving to Amsterdam.

Depending on your lifestyle, there are ways to get by. If you’re living alone, a one-bedroom apartment will cost you between €900 – €2,000 monthly but if you’re planning to share accommodation, it will cost you €400 – €1,200 per month.  Unsurprisingly, rent is the biggest expense.

To lower costs, we recommend booking an Airbnb for a few months until you find the right place to live, finding apartments in Amsterdam does take time.

We also suggest looking at Laundryheap, it’s cheap, convenient and will save you cost when it comes to laundry.

Houses and living in Amsterdam
Houses in Amsterdam

Education

With a city full of vibrant nightlife, it is no surprise Amsterdam is popular with university students. If you’re a student wanting to experience the University of Amsterdam, let’s guide you on the essentials!

When compared to the United States, tuition fees are affordable and there are options for living on campus which is perfect for meeting new people! The benefits of scholarship programs significantly reduce the cost of tuition.

For students, we do offer laundry services in Amsterdam. You enjoy your weekend fun; we’ll take care of your laundry!

Education in Amsterdam. University of Amsterdam
University of Amsterdam

Climate

Settling into a new environment and climate takes some time, so it’s best to come prepared as Amsterdam isn’t always sunny. You don’t want to get a cold or the flu when arriving, so pack the winter essentials. The canals are gorgeous, but they can be extremely freezing!

If you’re moving in with a big family or kids, the climate in the spring and summer welcomes plenty of outdoor activity and a chance to relax in the park.

Outdoor activities will likely mean your laundry needs doing but no stress, we’ve got that covered!

Amsterdam weather. Hazy sky
Hazy Sky in Amsterdam

Transport

Amsterdam is known for its fantastic cycling infrastructure but with an efficient and reliable public transport system, finding your way around the city is easy! To guide you through Amsterdam, the local train network operated by NS is your friend when commuting. In the Netherlands, be sure to apply for an OV-chipkaart which is a national smart card for paying your transport fees.

We’ll give you a heads up; in the winter, train stations tend to be busier so make sure your daily house chores are done in an efficient way as the busier journeys do make you tired later!

Like with other places around the world, there are shops in and around train stations so if you need your coffee fix, you are in luck.

Train Station in Amsterdam
Public Transport in Amsterdam

Healthcare

Health is wealth and the Dutch do know how to take care of themselves. Living in the Netherlands would mean you have basic insurance that covers GP visits and hospital stays but it will only cost you €100-€120 and a small percentage is from your employer.

To register with a healthcare provider, be sure to get in contact with the local council to receive a citizen service number and register for health insurance and a local doctor.

Additionally, we recommend getting a borderless multi-currency account to manage your health insurance fees. When it comes to fee organisation, this is just what the doctor ordered!

Ambulance in Netherlands. Healthcare system.
Ambulance in Netherlands

Whether you’re moving to Amsterdam by yourself, with family or with your spouse, relocating is a difficult yet exciting chapter. Get used to the locals and get to know the city.

To help you get settled quickly, we’ll do your laundry for you. Simply download the Laundryheap app (available on iOS and Android) and we’ll pick up, wash and deliver your clothes to you within 24 hours.


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Amsterdam travel essentials 

Photo by Liam Gant from Pexels

You’ve booked your Amsterdam getaway (WOOP WOOP), but what are you going to pack? These are 10 travel essentials that you must take on your trip to Amsterdam. 

  • Waterproof jacket
  • Comfortable clothing
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Travel adapter
  • Backpack 
  • Mosquito repellent
  • ID 
  • Earplugs 
  • OV-chipkaart
  • I Amsterdam City Card

Waterproof jacket 

The weather in Amsterdam is unpredictable and there are a severe lack of mountains to block any incoming depressions from the sea. On average, Amsterdam receives 700 millimetres of rainfall a year, most of which falls in November. Even if you aren’t visiting in November, it is wise to take a waterproof jacket with you just in case. A waterproof jacket will protect your clothing from becoming damp in a downpour, ensuring that you are comfortable and dry whilst you are travelling around the city. 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Comfortable clothing 

Amsterdam is the denim capital and is known for its fashionable, yet comfortable, clothing. As a city break, with an abundance of must-see attractions, you will find yourself doing a lot of walking whilst you are visiting Amsterdam, so comfort is key. Take your favourite pair of jeans and a handful of tops, shirts, and jumpers (depending on the season), with you to wear. These outfits can be dressed down during the day and dressed up if you are going out in the evening. 

Photo by Zen Chung from Pexels

Comfortable shoes 

Amsterdam is not just the denim capital, but the biking capital as well. If you aren’t wandering the beautiful cobbled streets of Amsterdam on foot then you must be experiencing it by bike. Regardless of if you are biking or walking, you will need to wear comfortable shoes, such as trainers. You don’t want to be enjoying the sights of Amsterdam only to get sore feet from inappropriate shoes halfway through your day. Instead, take a pair of comfortable shoes that you know you can spend all day in.

Photo by ready made from Pexels

Travel adapter 

The Netherlands uses the Type F electrical plug, which has 2 round pins spaced 2cm apart. This is the plug commonly used in Continental Europe. When packing for your trip to Amsterdam make sure that you include a travel adaptor so that you have full use of the plugs in Amsterdam whilst you are away. You can buy a travel adaptor online or at most convenience stores. 

Photo by Markus Winkler from Pexels

Backpack 

Depending on how long you are in Amsterdam, and how lightly you can pack, you may want to avoid taking a suitcase and use a backpack instead. Amsterdam is notorious for its narrow cobblestone streets which, although incredibly pretty, can be difficult to navigate with a suitcase. Rather than struggle wheeling a suitcase, take a backpack instead. It is a much easier alternative and a great way to prevent you from overpacking. 

Photo by veerasak Piyawatanakul from Pexels

Mosquitto repellent

If you are planning a trip to Amsterdam during the months of July and August then go armed with plenty of mosquito repellent. The humidity of the summer months, coupled with the water from the canals, creates the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, and your blood is the perfect snack. Douse yourself in mosquito repellent every night and before you leave for the day, and you should be safe from the bloodsuckers. If not, you risk being covered in itchy red blotches for the duration of your holiday

Image by Mike Mozart

ID

In the Netherlands, everyone is required to carry some form of official identification, such as a passport or driver’s license, with them at all times. If you do not have an official form of identification and you get caught by the police you will face a fine. Carry your ID with you at all times to be safe. You never know when you might need it.

Photo by Ethan Wilkinson from Pexels

Earplugs 

Amsterdam is home to over 1 million people so the streets can get noisy. If your room overlooks a main street, particularly one with lots of bars and coffee shops on it, you could experience a lot of noise pollution at night. If you are a light sleeper, you may want to invest in a pair of earplugs to help you sleep more soundly. Simply pop them in, and drift off, ready to face a new day in the city tomorrow. 

Image by sleepsugar.com

OV-chipkaart

When you get to Amsterdam buy yourself an OV-chipkaart from the nearest railway station. An OV-chipkaart is similar to a London Oyster card. You simply put money onto your card and use it on the buses, trams, and metros around Amsterdam. This is a much faster and easier alternative to buying single-use tickets and can be used if you visit Amsterdam in the future. 

Image by DennisM2

I Amsterdam City Card 

There are so many amazing things to see and do in Amsterdam and an I Amsterdam City Card can help you see and do them all. An I Amsterdam City Card can be purchased for 24, 48, 72, or 96 hours, and gives you unlimited use of public transport, free entry to over 60 museums and attractions, free canal cruises, and discounts in certain shops, restaurants, and theatres. With prices starting at just €59, an I Amsterdam City Card is the perfect travel essential for those looking to see a lot of Amsterdam in a short amount of time. 

Image by Norio NAKAYAMA

Whilst you’re packing your Amsterdam travel essentials, we’ll be laundering the rest of your clothing. Book your Laundryheap order today by heading to the Laundryheap website or downloading the free Laundryheap app.


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Top cycling routes in Amsterdam

Photo by Liam Gant from Pexels

There are 881,000 bikes in Amsterdam– more bikes than residents. Cycling is a great way to see the city, and these are the top 5 routes we recommend taking. 

  • Amstel River
  • Zuidoost
  • Haarlem
  • Waterland
  • Flowers of Amsterdam

Amstel River

The Amstel River, named after the 13th century fishing village Amstelredamme,  stretches for 31 kilometres. Cycling down the Amstel River will take you out of Amsterdam and through Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, Nes aan de Amstel, Uithoorn and Waver. Whilst you cycle, look out for the Riekermolen windmill. Built in 1636, it was used to drain the surrounding land, but now stands as a beautiful reminder of a bygone era. You will also pass Rembrandt Hoeve, a farm which specialises in making traditional Netherland clogs and gouda cheese.

Image by karinmuller66 from Pixabay

Zuidoost

When you think of Amsterdam, you picture canals, clogs, and tulips. Cycling through Zuidoost will give you the opportunity to experience a different side to the city. Amsterdam-Zuidoost and Bijlmermeer, simply known as Bijlmer, is home to 100,000 residents of more than 150 ethnic backgrounds, who have created a neighbourhood overflowing with art, culture, and entertainment. As you bike across the neighbourhood, observe the HCC building, a strikingly colourful building which is a living and working place for artists, the multitude of graffiti murals that cover walls across the neighbourhood, and the colourful houses which line the streets. If you get hungry on your travels, stop off at Foodhallen World of Food, where you will find street food from across the world- a true celebration of the different ethnicities that live and work in Bijlmer. 

Image by Henk-Jan van der Klis

Haarlem

Just outside of the urban streets of Amsterdam is the pastoral city of Haarlem. Built during the 10th century, Haarlem holds on to its medieval charm, and yet remains very modern with it’s thriving art scene. Whilst cycling through, make sure that you take a break to explore the city. Visit the Teylers Museum, home to fossils and minerals, as well as a collection of drawings and paintings. Grote Markt is the market square of Haarlem where you can buy a multitude of Netherland delicacies from vendors. Whilst in Grote Markt, don’t miss out on viewing Haarlem City Hall, one of the oldest City Hall’s in the Netherlands. 

Image by Bogdan Migulski

Waterland

The Waterland cycling route begins and ends at Amsterdam Centraal, Amsterdam’s largest train station. This is the perfect cycle route to take to see the traditional villages surrounding Amsterdam, and fall in love with the Netherlands countryside. As you cycle, you will pass a 16th century wooden house on the Buiksloterdijk, giving you a true sense of how the Netherlands was thousands of years ago. Another highlight of the route is the Krijtmolen d’Admiraal, an octagonal smock windmill built in 1792. This cycle route has beautiful landmarks to observe, whilst being incredibly peaceful. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon.

Image by Marcelmulder68

Flowers of Amsterdam

There can only be one flower you think of when you think about the Netherlands- tulips. In 1637, tulips were being sold for more than the price of a luxury Amsterdam home. The flower cycle route begins at the Bloemenmarkt, the world’s only floating flower market, and ends in Aalsmeer, near the largest flower auction in the world where 12 million flowers are sold every day. Along the way, you will have the opportunity to view some of the most beautiful flowers and plants of all time. It will truly be the most scenic bike ride of your life. 

Image by Ricardo Ramírez Gisbert

Whichever cycle route you choose to take, there is no doubt that you will be exhausted after it. Too exhausted to tackle your laundry. Luckily, we’re here to help. Book your Laundryheap order today and we will have your clothing picked up, laundered, and redelivered to you before you even have time to recover from your bike ride. We’ll even wash your biking gear for you. To book your Laundryheap order simply head to the Laundryheap website, or download the free Laundryheap app.


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Top places to shop in Amsterdam

If you’re looking to do a little bit of retail therapy whilst in Amsterdam, these are the top 5 places to shop. 

  • De Negen Straatjes
  • PC Hooftstraat
  • Magna Plaza 
  • De Bijenkorf
  • Waterlooplein Flea Market

De Negen Straatjes 

De Negen Straatjes, or The Nine Streets, can be found in the heart of Amsterdam. As the name suggests, this shopping district is formed from nine streets that hold quaint boutiques ready to browse. De Negen Straatjes is perfect if you are looking for something a bit quirky. The streets are lined with vintage stores and boutiques that stock all manner of styles in an array of prices. The Nine Streets also come equipped with several quaint cafes that are perfect for a post-shop coffee

PC Hooftstraat

If you are looking for a more expensive shopping experience than head to PC Hooftstraat. Renowned for being Amsterdam’s most exclusive shopping street, you will find all the top designer brands on this street, including Chanel, Mulberry, and Louis Vuitton, amongst others. Located in the museum district of Amsterdam, once you’ve perused the shops of PC Hooftstraat, you can wander to the Van Gogh museum, or to one of the several restaurants located nearby. 

Magna Plaza 

Formerly the Amsterdam post office, the Magna Plaza is Amsterdam’s best-known department store. Situated across the street from the Royal Palace and Dam Square, this impressive building could not be in a better location. Spread out over three floors is every shoppers dream. From clothes to shoes, jewelry to gifts, you will find everything you need at the Magna Plaza. There is even a cheese counter where you can purchase famous Dutch cheese to take home. 

De Bijenkorf

De Bijenkorf is the perfect mixture of a department store and designer high street. It is actually a chain of high-end department stores, but the Amsterdam store was the first to open in 1870. De Bijenkorf translates to The Beehive, which is fitting as shoppers flit from floor to floor, exploring brands such as Gucci, Diesel, and Ralph Lauren. They even have a premium denim department which is said to be the best place to shop for all of your denim garments. 

Waterlooplein Flea Market 

Amsterdam is home to an abundance of open-air markets, but Waterlooplein is definitely one to check out. You will find everything at Waterlooplein- bikes, furniture, second-hand clothing, art, books, and even electronics. With such an array of objects to sift through, Waterlooplein Flea Market provides the perfect opportunity to slow down as you make your way from vendor to vendor, finding the best bargains and hidden treasures. Keep in mind that Waterlooplein Flea Market is opened every day except Sunday. 

Whilst your shopping let us take care of your laundry. Head to the Laundryheap website or download our free Laundryheap app to book your service. We are now operating in Amsterdam, The Hague, and Rotterdam. 


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Top day trips just outside of Amsterdam

When you’re on holiday, sometimes it’s nice to explore areas outside of the city centre. Here are the top 10 day trips to enjoy just outside of Amsterdam

  • Keukenhof Tulip Garden
  • Rotterdam
  • The Hague 
  • Giethoorn 
  • Batavia Stad
  • Gouda
  • Delft
  • Kinderdijk
  • Muiderslot Castle
  • Efteling

Keukenhof Tulip Garden

The Keukenhof Tulip Garden is one of the most iconic landscapes in the Netherlands. It is the world’s largest flower garden, home to 7 million flowers including daffodils, orchids, roses, and the Netherlands famous tulips. Take in the spectacle of fragrance and colour as you wander through gardens and pavilions, observing a multitude of flowers.  

The fastest way to reach the Keukenhof Tulip Garden from Amsterdam is to take the train to Haarlem and then get the Keukenhof Express bus to the Tulip Garden. 

Rotterdam

If you enjoy city holidays, then why not explore the Netherlands second-biggest city Rotterdam? If you are taking a day-trip to Rotterdam, take in the whole city by travelling 185 meters up the Euromast. Your journey will be taken in a rotating glass elevator so even as you travel you can observe the beauty of the city. Once you have reached the top, take in the stunning cityscape. When you’re feet touch solid ground again, take a stroll down the Maas river and explore the abundance of cafes and restaurants there are on offer. 

There are direct trains running from Amsterdam to Rotterdam so travel is no issue. 

Image by Guilhem Vellut

The Hague

The Hague is the International City of Peace and Justice. Not only is it home to the United Nations International Court of Justice and Peace Palace, but it is also home to the Dutch government and the Dutch royal family. Whilst exploring The Hague, don’t forget to visit The Mauritshuis. Featuring masterpieces by groundbreaking artists, such as Andy Warhol, Rembrandt and Vermeer, it is a must-see.

Direct trains run from Amsterdam Central to Hague central.

Giethoorn 

Giethoorn is a hidden gem. It is a classic Netherlands village, built on a complex series of canals that are best explored by Gondola. Once you’ve explored the village by boat, explore it by foot. Giethoorn is a picturesque village in every way. From its abundance of flowers to the perfectly restored farmhouses, Giethoorn is the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of central Amsterdam and enjoy some country living. 

From Amsterdam Central station, take a train to Steenwijk. There are direct trains available but if you find a connecting train via Zwolle, that will also get you to Giethoorn. 

SONY DSC

Batavia Stad

If you area lover of shopping then you must visit Batavia Stad- the Netherlands leading outlet shopping mall. Explore 250 brands across 150 stores before enjoying a meal at one of the many cafes and restaurants that can be found throughout the outlet. There is something for everyone at Batavia Stad, but be aware that it is best to visit the outlet on a clear day as it is open air. 

Batavia Stad is just outside Amsterdam city centre and there is a free shuttle bus that can take you straight to the outlet.

Gouda

If you love cheese then visit Gouda. In Market Square every Thursday Gouda hosts the Gouda Cheese Market where you can truly step back in time. Observe as cheese wheels are carried around by sellers in traditional costumes and sold on the market stalls. Once you have travelled around the market, don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore the rest of the historical town. There are several buildings, dating back to the 13th century, that perfectly preserves the history of the Netherlands. The Gouda Stadhuis, for example, was constructed back in 1448 and is a prime example of perfectly preserved gothic architecture.

There are direct trains available from Amsterdam Central to Gouda. 

Image by bertknot

Delft

The old Netherlands town of Delft will provide you with the perfect opportunity to relax away from the city. Best known for it’s Delft Blue pottery, this old Holland town is complete with beautiful canals that can be explored by walking over classic humped bridges. If you want to see the whole of the town, climb up to the top of the New Church and take in the picturesque town in all of its glory. 

There are direct trains from Amsterdam to Delft. 

Kinderdijk

The Netherlands is well known for its iconic windmills. If you want to see those windmills in action then visit Kinderdijk. At Kinderdijk you will find historic windmills that date back to the 16th and 18th centuries. You won’t only find picture-perfect scenery at Kinderdijk, but you will find a rich history that is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you’re interested in the history of the Netherlands, you won’t want to miss Kinderdijk. 

The easiest way to reach Kinderdijk is by car, however there are organised tours that will take you to the historical site. 

Image by kkmarais

Muiderslot Castle

Dating back to the 12th Century, and complete with a moat, Muiderslot Castle is the perfect day out for families. This is not simply an opportunity to stroll around an ancient castle, this is an opportunity to learn about the history of the Netherlands in an interactive way. As you travel around the castle there are interactive games to play, dress-up opportunities, and even falcon displays on Saturdays. Once you have fully explored the castle, take in the beautiful gardens that you are free to wander at your leisure. What is more, if you have an iAmsterdam City card you can get in for free. 

If you are feeling adventurous, take a bike ride from Amsterdam to Muiderslot Castle. Otherwise, you can drive via car or take the train. 

Image by pautrecht from Pixabay

Efteling

Efteling is an amusement park like no other. It is the largest theme park in the Netherlands and one of the oldest theme parks in the world. Each attraction found at the park reflects elements from ancient myths and legends, fairy tales, fables, and folklore. 15 million people visit the park each year and enjoy not only the park but the four-star Efteling Hotel and 18-hole golf course. 

The best option for travelling to Efteling is by bus. 

If you are living in Amsterdam, or even just enjoying a shot stay, book your Laundryheap service by visiting the Laundryheap website or by downloading the free Laundryheap app. 


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Amsterdam fun facts

If being in self-isolation is leaving you yearning for a holiday more than ever, here are 10 fun facts about Amsterdam. The ideal post-isolation city break destination. 

  • Amsterdam got its name from the Amstel river
  • Amsterdam is the new capital of the Netherlands
  • Amsterdam lies below sea level
  • Amsterdam has over 100 canals
  • There are over 2,000 houseboats in Amsterdam
  • Amsterdam is home to dancing houses
  • Amsterdam’s tap water is safe to drink
  • Amsterdam is home to some of the most famous museums in the world
  • Amsterdam’s floating flower market 
  • Amsterdam’s tourists drastically outweighs its locals

Amsterdam got its name from the Amstel river 

Amsterdam was founded as a fishing village in the 12th century. The city grew around the Amstel river and was protected by a dam that prevented flooding from the  ZuiderZee (South Sea). Thus the name Amsterdam was given to the city as a combination of Amsel and Dam. 

Image by Giorgio Baresi

Amsterdam is the new capital of the Netherlands 

Amsterdam only became the official capital of the Netherlands in 1983. Prior to this, everyone assumed that Amsterdam was the capital but it was never official. Despite being the capital city of the Netherlands, Amsterdam isn’t the political capital. The Netherlands government buildings are actually housed in Hague.

Amsterdam lies below sea level 

Half of the Netherlands, including Amsterdam, is situated below sea level. In the 12th and 13th century, residents would dig ditches and remove water to pump windmills. This resulted in the ground getting progressively lower to the point where half of the Netherlands now remains 2 meters below sea level. Without the dikes and dunes that are enforced every year, the Netherlands would be submerged underwater.

Amsterdam has over 100 canals 

There are 165 canals across Amsterdam, which separate the city into 90 different islands. The majority of them were built in the 17th century, during the Dutch Golden Age. They now have a combined length of 100km. Amsterdam is notorious for its canals, so much so that the historic Canal Belt, or ‘Grachtengordel’ in Dutch, is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. 

There are over 2,000 houseboats in Amsterdam  

Amsterdam’s canals are home to 2,500 houseboats, many of which have been afloat for centuries. Houseboats are either wooden or concrete, with the concrete ones being most desirable. If you own a wooden houseboat you are legally required to take it to a shipyard every three years for repairs and to be painted. The majority of the boats are residential, however, you can find hotel houseboats and even museum houseboats. 

Amsterdam is home to Dancing Houses

The Dancing Houses of Amsterdam are famous. Found on the edge of the Damrak canal these houses get their name from their crooked appearance. Originally built as both houses and offices for wealthy bankers, the soil these houses were built on was so swampy that they had to be built on stilts. This caused the houses to wobble and sink slightly, making them off-balance. The Dancing Houses are a regular tourist attraction and a highlight of Amsterdam. 

Amsterdam’s tap water is safe to drink 

Amsterdam’s tap water is the cleanest in the Netherlands. Above this, the Netherlands has the cleanest tap water in Europe. 

Amsterdam is home to famous museums

Not only is Amsterdam home to some of the most famous museums in the world, but it also has more museums per square meter than any other city. Famous figures, such as Anne Frank and Van Gough, have museums in Amsterdam, alongside the Rijksmuseum and the Amsterdam museum.

Image by emoro from Pixabay

Amsterdam’s floating flower market 

The Netherlands is well known for its flowers, specifically tulips. The iconic floating flower market of Amsterdam has been in business since 1862. It is now one of the most famous flower markets in the Netherlands. To this day, all the stalls of the market are located on boats as a remembrance to when flowers were delivered to the Netherlands by boat. 

Image by jimderda

Amsterdam’s tourists drastically outweigh its locals

Amsterdam is visited by roughly 14 million tourists per year. 4.5 million of these tourists travel from the Netherlands, with the rest travelling from around the globe. Amsterdam is home to only 821,000 residents, meaning that the tourists drastically outnumbers the locals. 

Another fun fact about Amsterdam is that Laundryheap operates from the city. If you are visiting Amsterdam and need your clothes laundered you can book your slot via the Laundryheap website or on the app. 


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Amsterdam: Must-Haves For Your Trip

Amsterdam is ripe with history, culture and excitement. The city has something for everyone, with priceless work of arts and historic architecture coexisting harmoniously alongside coffee shops (marijuana dispensaries) and the red light district.

It is always worth thinking ahead and deciding what to pack for your trip in advance. So, whether you are travelling from within Europe or coming from further afar, make sure you come prepared.

  • I Amsterdam City Card
  • Maestro Card/ Cash
  • Waterproof Clothing 
  • OV-Chip Card
  • Bring Earplugs
  • Backpacks Over Suitcases
  • Comfy Shoes Over Clogs
  • Don’t Forget Your Travel Adaptor
  • Study A Map Of Beforehand
  • Carry ID At All Times

I Amsterdam City Card

 The I Amsterdam City Card offers you a unique way to explore the Dutch capital. The card will give you admittance to the majority of the cities main highlights, including more than 70 museums, public transport, canal cruises, discounted dining and bike hire. 

You can order your card online before you reach the city and have it shipped home, to your hotel or pick it up once you arrive. If you are already in town, you can pick it up straight away – there’s no processing time. This card comes with a booklet, map and magazine, perfect for planning your trip as soon as it arrives. Alternatively, you can download the I Amsterdam City Card App to check out some of their recommended itineraries. 

Maestro Card/ Cash

If you have not travelled to Amsterdam before you won’t be aware that most supermarkets don’t accept anything other than maestro cards. Likewise, with smaller businesses like cafes, bars and restaurants have a similar policy regarding credit cards.   

You do not want to be that unsuspecting Visa or Mastercard user who’s card gets rejected after enjoying a three-course meal in a posh restaurant. For that reason, be sure to either have a maestro card at hand or carry cash with you at all times. But, there is no need to worry too much, though, as there is an abundance of ATM’s scattered around the city. 

Waterproof Clothing 

Amsterdam weather can be very unpredictable all year round, but chances are if you are there for more than two days you’ll see some rain. With this in mind, we advise you to pack several items of waterproof clothing. A good rain jacket and some a sturdy pair of boots should do the trick.

OV-Chip Card

Amsterdam is renowned as a cycle-city, but it’s public transport is comprehensive and efficient. To travel on public transport in the city, you will need an OV Chipcard. Buses, trams, trains and metro services require this useful smart card to gain access. 

Thankfully, there is no specific OV Chipcard for tourists. We recommend using the single-use chipcard or an ‘anonymous’ OV Chipcard. You can purchase your OV Chipcard at public transport service desks, ticket machines at train stations, tobacco shops and in several supermarkets. 

Bring Earplugs

Amsterdam’s city centre can be a particularly busy place both during the day and at night. As a result, the noise levels can be extremely loud and keep you awake at night if you stay in the centre of the city. It is worth packing a pair of noise-cancelling earplugs. This will ensure you get enough rest to see all the sights in the day.

Backpacks Over Suitcase

When packing for your trip to Amsterdam, try to remember that many of the cities streets are cobbled and not ideal for suitcases. A good size traveller backpack will serve you perfectly well in the city. This is especially true if you are only staying for a few days.

Comfy Shoes Over Cloggs 

Do not be fooled by Amsterdam’s flat terrain, walking around the city all day will leave a mark on your feet. To avoid blisters and bruises, make sure you pack comfy trainers or sturdy boots. Also, you will undoubtedly find yourself riding a bike at some point. This calls for suitable footwear with high-grade calf support. The Dutch may have historically worn Clogs on their feet, but times have evolved and so has the footwear.

Don’t Forget Your Travel Adaptor 

Like most other countries in the EU, the Netherlands power sockets have two prongs. So, if you are travelling from any non-EU country, we recommend buying a travel adaptor before arriving in Amsterdam. You do not want to reach your hotel without access to your phone charger or beard trimmer when you have big plans in the city that night. 

Study A Map Of Amsterdam Beforehand

The Dutch Capital has a notoriously confusing layout, thanks to the endless canals that curve around its oldest and more central neighbourhoods. For this reason, we recommend consulting a map before you get to the city. It is almost inevitable that you will get lost on your first outing onto the canals,that is why identifying key landmarks beforehand can help you find your bearings. 

Carry ID At All Times

If you are not a native Amsterdamian, you probably won’t be aware that in the Netherlands you are required by law to carry ID at all time. Due to this law, you must remember to carry a form of photo ID card at all times. Although it is not common, police officers can fine you if you do not have identification present on request. 

If you are thinking of travelling to Amsterdam follow these tips, stay safe and enjoy your trip. If you require a laundry service on your trip, Laundryheap is here to help with all your laundry worries.


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10 Things Tourists Shouldn’t Do In Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a lovely city and is known as one of the safest in the world. There are so many things to see and do, and while it is a tolerant and liberal city, there are some things that you should be cautious of and not do, in Amsterdam.

10 Things Tourists Shouldn’t Do When Visiting Amsterdam

  1. Don’t get on public transport without an OV-Chip card
  2. Don’t forget your ID
  3. Don’t take the Dutch attitude personally
  4. Don’t expect good customer service
  5. Don’t smoke cannabis publicly
  6. Don’t take photos of the windows in the Red Light District
  7. Don’t wander in the bike lanes
  8. Don’t cycle in pedestrian paths
  9. Don’ forget to watch out for tram tracks
  10. Don’t buy from street dealers

Don’t Travel On Public Transport Without An OV-Chip Card

You can’t travel on trains, trams, buses and metros without an OV-chip card. These chip cards work as a contactless ticket system and are available to purchase from ticket machines throughout Amsterdam. As a visitor, you can choose from several passes including, a day fare or a disposable one-time-only pass.

Don’t Forget Your ID

By law, whether you’re an EU citizen or not, it’s essential to carry around ID with you at all times. If you fail to show identification if asked by police, you can get a fine, but generally, you won’t need to pull your ID out much unless it’s at a bar or coffeeshop.

Don’t Take The Dutch Attitude Personally

The Dutch are direct when it comes to communicating, which can offend some tourists who are not familiar with that type of attitude. Even customer service is inattentive and can take some time for you to get some actual ‘service’ as you need to be the one to approach them first.

Don’t Expect Good Customer Service

As mentioned already, customer service employees are inattentive, and you will usually have to be the one to approach them first. Waiters at cheaper local restaurants and cafes leave people for long periods of time without checking up on them. You will generally need to call the waiter over or go up to the desk.

Don’t Smoke Cannabis Publicly

Although cannabis can be found everywhere in Amsterdam, consumption can only be at licensed ‘coffeeshops’ and not publicly anywhere else as this is illegal. Locales aren’t too fond or proud of the use of cannabis in Amsterdam either; these coffeeshops are more for tourists instead of the Dutch.

Don’t Take Photos Of The Windows In The Red Light District

If you plan on visiting the Red Light District, you mustn’t ever take photos of the women in the windows. You will suffer some terrible consequences like getting thrown into the canal by security and have your phone or camera smashed. To be safe, make sure to check your surroundings if you do want to take a photo in that area, like of the architecture, for example.

Don’t Wander In The Bike Lanes

While the Dutch are cool people, they do get frustrated when someone blocks there path as they’re cycling. They will ride straight through crowds without hesitation and will not give way to tourists. As a result, you may get injured, and the blame will be on yourself. Be careful and look out for paths with a bike icon and painted a faded red colour.

Don’t Cycle In Pedestrian Paths

Just as you shouldn’t wander in cycle lanes, you shouldn’t cycle in pedestrian paths either. If you plan on hiring a bike and taking a tour without a guide, be sure to cycle only in bike lanes and avoid pedestrian-only areas if you don’t want to get fined. Also, it’s important to note that if you don’t know how to ride a bike well, don’t hire one, as this can annoy locals.

Don’t Forget To Watch Out For Tram Tracks

When cycling around, be cautious of tram tracks as they are thin and deep enough to trap your bicycle wheel, resulting in you falling and injuring yourself. Similarly, be careful when crossing the street as there could unexpectedly be a tram travelling in the opposite direction. You can also find taxis, buses and other vehicles using the tram lanes.

Stay Away From Street Dealers

If it’s cannabis you’re after, don’t ever buy them from street dealers as it is both illegal and extremely dangerous. There have previously been some severe cases of intentional drug poisoning over the past few years that have targeted tourists. Instead, go to a licensed coffeeshop.

 

Follow these tips and stay safe while you enjoy your trip to Amsterdam. Don’t forget that if you require a laundry service on your trip, Laundryheap will be happy to help with your laundry troubles.


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7 Instagrammable Spots In Amsterdam

Want to know where the best spots for taking Instagram worthy photos in Amsterdam are? Here are some amazing places that would look great on your Instagram feed.

7 Instagrammable Spots In Amsterdam

  1. IamAmsterdam sign
  2. Papiermolensluis
  3. Damrak
  4. Th wall gallery Amsterdam
  5. Jordaan
  6. A’dam Lookout Tower
  7. Keukenhof Gardens

I Amsterdam Sign

You can’t go to Amsterdam and not take a picture with or of the I Amsterdam sign. These large set of letters has become the city’s sought after photo and is located behind the Rijksmuseum.

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Papiermolensluis

Get a stunning shot of the dutch bridges and canals on the nine streets area from the Papiersmolenluis bridge. The view is magnificent during the day and at night. 

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Damrak

Most, if not all, houses in Amsterdam are picture-perfect, but the most iconic ones are the gingerbread houses located in Damrak.

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Th wall gallery Amsterdam

A very well-known artsy, fun insta spot is at the ‘Wake me up when I’m famous’ wall art on Frans Hallstraat 64. Strike a pose while sitting on the bench in front or take a selfie. The choice is yours.

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Jordaan

Walk the trendy streets of Jordaan and take photos of the beautiful houses and scenery. This is the most famous neighbourhood in Amsterdam and is known as the Venice of the North.

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A’dam Lookout Tower

Take a shot of the panoramic rooftop view of Amsterdam at the A’dam lookout tower observation deck. Brave Europe’s highest ‘over-the-edge’ swing for that extra worthy Insta photo.

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Keukenhof Gardens

Brighten up your Instagram feed with a photo of the world’s largest flower garden, the Keukenhof Gardens. The gardens are only open during the spring (March-May) when the flowers have fully bloomed.

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Whether you’re a resident or a tourist in Amsterdam, we’ll be happy to take care of your laundry while you enjoy wandering through this beautiful picturesque city.


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5 Unique Experiences To Try In Amsterdam

While there are so many fun things to see and do in Amsterdam there are some experiences that are out of the ordinary. Here are 5 unique experiences you might want to try on your next visit to Amsterdam. 

5 Unique Experiences To Try In Amsterdam

  • Have high tea in the smallest house in Amsterdam
  • Chill at the xtra cold icebar
  • Dine in the dark
  • Fish for plastic on a canal tour
  • Check out the fluorescent museum

Have High Tea In The Smallest House In Amsterdam

Enjoy an afternoon tea in the smallest house in Amsterdam, at just 2 metres wide and 5 metres deep. On the second floor of this house, is a tea room that can fit up to five people and offers breakfast, lunch or an afternoon tea. Since space is limited, booking in advance is recommended.

Chill At The Xtra Cold Ice Bar

Chill out at Amsterdam’s xtra cold ice bar, where everything in it is made from ice and the temperature reaches -10°C. For this bar, you’ll need to be prepared and bring warm clothing, but if not, they’ll be able to provide you with some. The entrance fee includes three drinks which are served in ice glasses.

Dine In The Dark

Experience an unusual dining setting with ctaste in complete darkness. This restaurant looks normal from the outside, but inside is the total opposite. Here, you will feel a completely different tasting, hearing, smelling and communication experience. 

Fish For Plastic On A Canal Tour

Take a tour of Amsterdam’s canal with Plastic Whale and help mother nature by fishing out plastic! This environmentally-friendly boat tour lasts 2 hours and allows you to learn about Amsterdam’s history and architecture, while you fish out plastic from the water with a fishing net.

Check Out The Fluorescent Museum

Enjoy Amsterdam’s first museum devoted to fluorescence, the Electric Ladyland. The ‘museum’ is located in a small basement, presenting art, minerals and manufactured items that fluoresce under ultraviolet light. 

 

If you happen to need a convenient laundry and dry cleaning service in Amsterdam, Laundryheap can take care of all of your laundry needs.