• Krista the Explorer

8 Hours in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is famous for many reasons, and is a pull for travellers of all ages. From its beautiful canals, to its little coffee shops, famous museums, and the red light district, it's a city with a lot to offer. Unfortunately we were only there for a few hours during a layover, but we managed to explore its historic centre pretty well. The city centre is a very short train ride from the airport, and the tickets are cheap as well. If you're looking for advice about where to go in the city and how best to get around, there is an I Amsterdam office located in the airport which I'd recommend stopping at, or head to their office in the centre if you aren't at the airport. They provided us with some very detailed maps and information about the various areas in the city. You can also purchase a city card or transportation pass through them which is a great way to save money!

If you are in Amsterdam for a few days, there are lots of neighbourhoods to explore outside of the historic centre. These areas aren't as busy which is great for getting photos and relaxing. Oud Zuid is home to some amazing museum and is one of the more elegant neighbourhoods with boutique shops and restaurants. Or if you're looking for a more hip area, Oost has a great cultural mixture of shops and places to eat, as well as clubs if you're looking for a night out! Click here for some more information on unique neighbourhoods in the city. Check out eight things to do in eight hours in Amsterdam below!

1. Take a Photo With the I Amsterdam Sign
The last time I was in the city this famous sign was in the centre, but now you can find it just outside the airport doors. So don't forget to snap a photo with it! If you have an early morning flight like we did, then there are no people climbing all over it.
2. Look Back at the Central Train Station
The train station is actually a beautiful building, that I'm sure many people don't properly look at when they exit it. So, as you walk into the centre, turn around and take a look over the canals at it!
3. Dam Square & the Royal Palace
The square is located a short and direct walk from the train station, and is home to the royal palace which is open to the public as often as possible. There's a lot of things to do in this area!
4. Sample Some Henri Willig Cheese
This family run business makes the best cheese I've ever tried. Not only that, but there are hundreds to choose from! They even have lavender and truffle cheese! Head to one of their stores to sample them!
5. Check Out the Markets
There are loads of markets dotted around the city, so if you see one take a few minutes out of your schedule to have a look. We came across a lovely artists market while walking through the city!
6. Try Some Peppernuts
These are the country's famous "cookie" and date back to the 16th century. Spices were brought back by Dutch trade ships and used in a new kind of bread. This was later changed into the cookies that are still sold today. There are loads of flavours to choose from and they're very tiny too!
So, we found a restaurant that makes everything out of avocados. Literally everything. Here's their take on a salmon poke bowl, which was almost too picture perfect to eat.

An avocado burger? Yes please! The bun is replaced with the two halves of the avocado, and the sauce sits in the hole where the pit was. Safe to say it was amazing.

Avocado waffles! I never thought to put them on waffles, let alone add chocolate to them but it tastes incredible! You can also buy their cookbook and try out all their recipes at home!
8. Walk Along the Canals
Is it really a trip to Amsterdam without taking in the iconic canals? Nah. We were only there during the day, but took a walk through the famous red light district anyways, which is beautiful in the daytime!

Have any other recommendations for a day trip to Amsterdam? Let me know!


My name is Krista, and like many people I love to travel! I think it's important that people share their travel experiences, so I hope that mine help you in some way in your own travels, or inspire you to travel more! 

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© 2018 by Krista the Explorer