We went to the Netherlands at the beginning of the month – I’m sure you’ve read all about it! While we spent most of our time in Leiden, we went to Amsterdam for a day and it was great!
We started the day with a tour from Local Guddy. Local Guddy is a cool site where locals can advertise tours of their city for tourists. We had picked the 90-minute tour of the highlights of the city centre of Amsterdam with local Silvino.
Silvino met us in front of the Amsterdam Centraal station and brought us straight away to the best part of the tour, the cheese tasting! Okay, it wasn’t the best part, but it was damn delicious. It wasn’t a cheese tasting as much as we went to a cheese shop and tasted all their cheeses. And I mean ALL their cheeses. We bought two to bring back home with us. The Brit does love cheese almost more than anything else, so he was in heaven.
From there we went across the Centraal station to the ferry terminal. There is a free ferry that goes to the north of Amsterdam and we went across along other locals. It only takes a few minutes to reach the north coast. That’s where you can find the lookout over the city and the over the edge swing, if you dare!
Then it was back across the water and into the city centre of Amsterdam. We skipped over road, avoiding the many scooters and bicycles. Silvino pointed out to us the many bike parkings around, one of them holding thousands.
We saw the two oldest pubs in Amsterdam. The official oldest pub of Amsterdam is right across the station, but the real oldest pub is a bit further away towards Chinatown. It was funny because Silvino asked us why we thought that was. He said it was the ‘Dutch way’. They were the first pub, but didn’t pay taxes for years so weren’t officially registered.
We walked though Chinatown and the LGBT district for a while. The pride parade was just the day before so it was still very exciting and buzzing!
From there, we headed into the Red Light District. I had been to Amsterdam before and walked through the RLD but it was interesting to walk there with a guide. He explained more things to us. He told us about the blue light district, and about the hierarchy of which streets are more expensive. I was outraged to hear how latina and black prostitutes are the cheapest. Then we arrived to the ‘craziest corner’ as Silvino put it. There was a church, De Oude Kerk, a prostitute house and a daycare. What in the world, right?
And finally we ended our tour at Begijnhof. I had read about it and it was so cool! It’s an enclosed courtyard where Begijntjes used to live from the 14th century onwards. It’s right off one of the busiest shopping streets in Amsterdam, Kalverstraat, and yet it’s quiet and peaceful. It was wonderful to see!
From there we continued our day, but more on that later!
*This post was in collaboration with a brand.*