The Best of Amsterdam on Foot, Boat, and Bike!

The Best of Amsterdam on Foot, Boat, and Bike

Last June, I traveled around Europe with my husband and daughter. With only one full day to experience Amsterdam, we planned a boat ride in the canal, to rent bikes, and tour this unusual and amazing city on foot.

We survived a disastrous start in a youth hostel where I expected to wake up with bed bug bites and found the very last accommodations in a fine hotel on the outskirts of town. It was the week of Anne Frank’s birthday. Mistakes were made.

After a spectacular breakfast at Dignita Voldelpark, we drove into the heart of Amsterdam and parked in a ramp. Whew!

The best of Amsterdam on foot, boat, and bike. Eggs Benedict at Dignita Vondelpark restaurant. Travel Europe Destinations, Travel tips, Netherlands, canal tours, biking, Rembrandt Museum. #Amsterdam #boattours #biking #Rembrandtmuseum

We parked and found this very Instagrammable location on our way to the museum!

I Amsterdam Letters

Amsterdam sign

Then we bought tickets for the Rembrandt Museum.

Inside the Rembrandt Museum

Nice to see Van Gogh with his museum practically next door.

Van Gogh self portrait Rembrandt Museum

Rembrandt Museum Amsterdam

From there, we took a boat tour of the canal. The recorded guide was super corny so I tuned out and enjoyed the views!

Amsterdam canal tour

The architecture is outstanding. Built side-by-side, houses support each other since many of them lean. The small brick laid in ornamental patterns was reminiscent of Belgium, but Amsterdam’s facades were sometimes curved and more decorative.

Boat on Amsterdam Canal

An amazing Victorian in all its splendor.

Amsterdam Victorian House on water

Buildings along Amsterdam canal

Then we found a bike rental, which are everywhere throughout the city, and rode to Vondelpark.

Lots of bikes in Amsterdam

Competing with cars was a little scary but we relaxed once we turned into Vondelpark.

Biking in Vondelpark

Courtney enjoying the view at Vondelpark

We stopped for late lunch at the Vondelpark 3 and enjoyed the view of people who ran, walked, and rode bikes.

Vondelpark 3 Restaurant

We didn’t have time for everything but took a long look at the canal before heading back to our hotel.

On the canal in Amsterdam

I loved Amsterdam. Next time I’ll go another week when it’s not so busy! Then I’ll be sure to tour the Anne Frank and Van Gogh museums.

Have you been to Amsterdam? Is it on your bucket list? Have you ever made a mistake with a hotel?

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57 thoughts on “The Best of Amsterdam on Foot, Boat, and Bike!

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  1. Thanks for bringing us along on your trip! As a maritime cadet, we had a port call in Amsterdam with our school ship. I remember taking a canal cruise and doing a lot of walking around. Of course, my mostly young male shipmates were all a-buzz about women and weed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I bet they were! Ha! I never made it to the Red Light District, but my daughter had been to Amsterdam and said it was pretty gross how men were lined up in front of ATMs.
      I liked the energy there and the laid back shabby chic atmosphere. Glad you came along for the ride, Susan!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Staying near the airport Sunday, then flying home Monday. Last Sunday was just a 13 hour layover, but we spent the entire day in the city, and will again this Sunday. It’s an amazing place. 😃

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  2. I follow an expat blog, so it’s interesting to see your point of view versus a Brit who’s trying to fit in!

    Have you checked out my (very much delayed) Mother’s Day blog? It’s all about trips-gone-wrong!

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    1. I can see where fitting in would require a laid-back attitude while darting in and out of traffic on a bike and dealing with masses of tourists in summer. Not too unlike anywhere else in summer, I suppose!
      I’ll check it out!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My daughter & I stopped to spend a few days in Amsterdam a few years ago on our way to South Africa. We stayed at an airbnb which was lovely & easily accessible to the city center. One of the things that was recommended to us & I would highly recommend to anyone going, especially for the first time, is to book a walking tour with Sandeman Walking tours. A great introduction to the city!

    http://www.neweuropetours.eu/amsterdam/en/home

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  4. I was there for a few days last summer as well. Such a beautiful city. The architecture alone is stunning. But you definitely have to watch out for those bike riders. They’ll take you out if you’re not careful! 😄

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    1. Cool!
      There’s so much competition on the road! The park was wide open and had tons of space. I took a deep breath once we were there! Driving could be a nightmare the closer to the heart of the city we went.

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    1. Thanks so much, Anneli!
      It seems many readers have been there too. I wish we could have spent more time there to cross a few more museums and attractions off the list. Maybe in winter when we can ice skate!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have not been to Amsterdam but we’ve had a LOT of guests here at The Baer House from Amsterdam. It seems they all go on vacation around the same time every year (usually August) so we sometimes get an invasion. Perhaps that’d be a good time for you to go back. All the locals will be here.

    Great photos. Thanks for sharing.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

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    1. Ha! I’ll have to keep that in mind! The first time we went to Europe was in August. I had a trusted a friend to make our arrangements, who was a travel agent but had no idea so much would be closed! I thought June would be quieter when we went last year, but everything was packed. Next time we’ll go in May or go in mid-September. Unless there’s a cheap flight!
      Thanks for reading, Patricia!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The museums are works of art in themselves! The first night was a nightmare with trying to book another hotel, but the rest of the trip went easy peasy! Thanks for sharing, Jan!

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  6. I’m late in responding. Yes, I’ve been to Amsterdam twice. Would you believe 50 years apart? First time in 1966 when I was in the Navy and then in 2016 when my wife and I took a Rhine river cruise with old college friends. The first time I went to the Van Gogh museum, but this last time just did canal cruise because, like you, we were limited in time. We had to get over to London to meet some blogging buddies!

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      1. Cruise was awesome. We’ve done two with Viking; the Seine from Paris to Normandy and the Rhine from Switzerland to Amsterdam. They are awesome and hope you seriously consider it. I remember reading your post about your meet-up with fellow bloggers. It’s pretty cool.

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  7. Been to Amsterdam a few times and like you we loved it. Such a great city to just wander around and explore. You really should try and get back to see a few more sights as it’s fascinating. Lovely friendly atmosphere too. Love your photos.

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  8. I work in Amsterdam, so I’m there daily (at least at the canals, not so much in the Vondelpark or the Rijksmuseum). It’s cool to see someone who’s not Dutch spending a day in the city, sorta eyeopening since I take it pretty much for granted.

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  9. Your photos are beautiful and evocative.
    I visited Amsterdam once. Like you and your family, I find walking to be the best way of sensing the flavor of a place. Walking near the train station, two middle aged American ladies emerged from the train station and asked for directions to a particular street. I was able to tell them, because I’d just been reading in the guidebook about that part of the city. They thanked me, and complemented me on how well I spoke English.

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