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Trip List by G3ck0-Trav3ll3r

Animals, Tribes, Tattoos, Sex & Everything in-between in Amsterdam

18 Aug 2013  Seeing the sights on a European road trip
0.0 of 5 stars based on 0 votes

See every side of Amsterdam in the space of 2 nights on a budget that won't break the bank!

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Amsterdam
  • Category: Perfect weekend
  • Traveler type: Culture, Sightseeing, Shopping, Never been before
  • Appeals to: Couples/romantics, Singles, Families with teenagers, Budget travellers , Tourists
  • Seasons: Fall
  • 1. Campanile Amsterdam
    Campanile Amsterdam, Amsterdam, North Holland Province

    We carried out a trip across parts of the Netherlands and Germany to take in some of Europes most respected zoos, and started this trip with our first ever trip to Amsterdam. Having never been to Amsterdam before we spent 2 night here and opted for the Campanile hotel on the outskirts of Amsterdam. We made this decision based on a previous stay at a Campanile in France, and the far more reasonable rates compared to central Amsterdam!

    We found the hotel to be easily accessible from the motorway without having to drive in Amsterdam (which after walking round the city, looks like a night mare). The staff at reception upon our arrival were very helpful and we arrived at around 3:00pm, giving us plenty of time to start exploring.

    The metro station is a 2 minute walk from the hotel and after trying to make sense of the tickets we decided that the 2 day ticket looked most convenient as we would be travelling back and forth a lot... It turned out to be a great deal! Buying it at 3:00pm on a Friday it worked up until we finished our trip back at this hotel at 1:00pm on Sunday!

    This hotel really is great value if you don't mind the 30 minutes or so it takes on the metro to get to where the action is!

  • 2. Anne Frank House (Anne Frankhuis)
    Anne Frank House, Amsterdam, North Holland Province

    When we first arrived at the central station we were a little disorientated as we came out of the metro exit and were 3 streets further south than we thought, making the map I had little use. However after walking for about an hour (this will be much shorter if you know the route - as our return walk proved) we managed to get to the Anne Frank House.

    This isn't really my sort of thing but my girlfriend wanted to see it, and to be honest if you're going all the way to Amsterdam and have a free couple of hours it really is worth seeing. It is an important part of Amsterdams history told in a very touching and real way. I would recommend coming as late as we did though... We only had to queue for a little while and even though it was cramped we managed to get around it fairly comfortably... I have heard it can be very busy during the day!

  • 3. Red Light District
    Red Light District, Amsterdam, North Holland Province

    After the sobering history lessons at the Anne Frank House we decided to try and find a restaurant we had stumbled past on our way to the museum. We knew on our first trip past that we would like to eat here as it was a Malay restaurant and reminded us of the food we had eaten during our previous years holiday to Borneo.

    On our way to the restaurant we wandered down past many streets of shops, bars and coffee shops, which felt like they got more and more seedy as you went further south! Eventually we got to the end of the Red Light District and turned left to head back towards the central station along one of these pedestrian streets.

    It actually doesn't feel as seedy as you would think and it is a great way to see how people react and you can see that it draws more tourists just coming to see what its all about than it does sex tourists or local clients. We also went through here during the day on our last trip while trying to find some of the shops we had walked past on this trip and it is very quiet during this period... it is at night when it comes to life, and is actually beautifully decorated!

  • 4. Wau
    Malaysian restaurant Wau, Amsterdam, North Holland Province

    We eventually made it to the restaurant and sat down for the evening for a nostalgic meal from Asia. The people who worked here were very friendly and we really enjoyed the meal. If you are looking for something different to eat come here and try their Satay platter... the Goat is amazing!

    This was a great way to finish a busy first day in Amsterdam, and got us ready for an even busier day the next morning.

  • 5. Artis Zoo
    Artis Zoo, Amsterdam, North Holland Province

    The main reason for our visit to Amsterdam was the Artis Zoo which we found fairly easily by travelling by metro and making our way there by foot. it takes a little while until the signage becomes really good, and for many of the attractions in Amsterdam I found it very helpful to use an accurate map app on a smart phone such as google maps!

    Artis zoo is a mix of old school victorian style enclosures and brand spanking new open exhibits, and for the most part this works really well... there are things like the Bear Pit and their Chimp enclosure which look dated, but then old aviaries by the entrance now housing tree porcupines and such looked very beautiful.

    While you are there make sure that you do not miss the museum and aquarium... especially for 2 such exhibits within a zoo they are world class and not to be missed at all!

    We knew that we had a lot to fit in and managed to get around in a couple of hours but you could certainly spend a lot more time here... But also knowing we had more places to see we had a little snack but did not eat too much, as it was very expensive.

  • 6. Tropenmuseum
    Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam, North Holland Province

    From the zoo we had a fairly easy and quick walk to the Tropenmuseum... this is the perfect way to bridge the gap between the zoo and the tattoo museum (which by the way you need to walk past when walking from the zoo to the Tropenmuseum - but out of the two the Tattoo museum shuts later, so in case of delays it is worth leaving it till later).

    There is a small entrance area at the museum where you pay and have to leave your bags in a locker, but as you walk up the stairs you get a real sense of the size of this museum. There are 3 floors which are packed with items collected during the colonial days from all around the world. The various tribal exhibits on the top floor were very nice, and some artefacts were HUGE!

    It is a very interesting collection with a lot of interactive exhibits so would even have been great for kids.... I believe they even have a children museum downstairs where they can be really hands on with making things etc.

  • 7. Tattoo Museum

    On our way back to the metro we walked to the Tattoo museum which is around half way between the entrance for the zoo and the Tropenmuseum.

    If you are interested in tattoos and their origins it is definately worth visiting, holding the largest exhibition of items related to tattooing in the world from what I understand. There is a lot to see, but I think if the art does not interest you overly you could get around it very quickly and not find it overly interesting. Especially the tribal and ritual aspects of tattooing interest me greatly so it was worth the trip for me.

    There is also a working tattoo studio here for a permanant souvenir, however with the ammount of thing we had planned we did not have time to stop for this... We did however take a break in their cafe upstairs for a coke, which was a nice and relaxed place to sit down for 10 minutes.

  • 8. manneken pis amsterdam
    Manneken Pis Amsterdam, Amsterdam, North Holland Province

    As you travel back from the tattoo museum to the metro you pass the botanical gardens, and if we hadn't aready done quite so much that day it might be worth stopping in here too, but we had started to get peckish and wanted to try the chips at the famous Manneken Pis booth so headed back in to central Amsterdam.

    This place is quite near the central station and around many of the attractions in the area so we purchased a portion each and walked around eating them. They are ok but not as special as they are made out to be... the protion sizes certainly do fill you up though!

  • 9. Sexmuseum Amsterdam Venustempel
    Sexmuseum Amsterdam Venustempel, Amsterdam, North Holland Province

    We finished our first day with a trip to the sex museum... When in Amsterdam it seems very fitting to visit a museum dedicated to sex!

    it is VERY cheap, a great laugh, takes a fairly decent ammount of time and if nothing else is really good fun! We were a little sceptical about how good a sex museum could really be but there was nothing seedy about this palce at all... they made everything quite fun and interesting... Definately don't just walk past this place!

  • 10. Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments
    Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments, Amsterdam, North Holland Province

    On our last day in Amsterdam we walked around trying to find some of the shops which we had passed over the past 2 days to do a little bit of buying... Rather than getting off at the central station we got off a stop earlier and headed back towards the central station to find some great gift shops and even had a look around a really nice little market, selling everything from clothes and watches to antiques and hand made goods.

    We headed further in to town and remembered reading about the museum of mediveal torture instruments, and decided that over the past days having been to a wide variety of museums, adding one like this couldn't hurt and if anything widen the overal experience of the trip to Amsterdam...

    To be honest there were a couple of interesting things but I left feeling that we could have had a more constructive time seeing one of the more mainstream museums or galleries towards Dam Square... Which was our final destination anyway.

  • 11. Dam Square
    Dam Square, Amsterdam, North Holland Province

    We finally ended up at Dam Square, which to be honest is nothing special... it is a big open pedestrian area FULL of people! There are a lot of muesums and galleries around here and it is a great place to head to if you need to orientate yourself in central Amsterdam...

    As you head South out of Dam Square we found a nice gift shop where we purchased some very generic but cute souvenirs and then headed back to the metro to finish our trip to Amsterdam and really kikc off our road trip... However as we did so we walked past a very interesting shop, which i cannot for the life of me remember the name of! It is very well decorated like an enchanted forest and they sell a variety of fantasy figures, books, t shirts and more... Even if you don't buy anything, if you walk past here take a quick look inside!

    We finally got back to the Campanile, and even though we had already checked out we were able to still use the public car park just in front of the hotel... Check out time is noon and we left at around 1:30pm so we thought it best to move the car in the morning rather than come back well after checkout time!