The official whistle-stop Amsterdam travel guide

As you may have seen on my Instagram, I went to Amsterdam a few months ago. This is actually the second time I’ve been and I’d go again in a heartbeat. There’s so much to do there that you could feasibly do it about 10 times, then 10 more.

This time round, I got fewer ‘activities’ done because I didn’t go with my girlfriend, meaning there was roughly zero organisation to the trip.

We did however, still get some bits done amongst all the aimless wandering. I know a lot of you are probably like me in that sense so I thought I’d put together a quick 48-hour guide for those who want a fleeting & relatively cheap, yet enjoyable experience in the dutch capital.

This one will be a lot less regimented than my last Amsterdam trip so sit back and RELAX GOD DAMN IT.

man outside airport

Get a picture on (or in) the ‘I amsterdam’ sign

If you go to Amsterdam and don’t pose with this sign, did you even go?! This has to be the first stop you make. If you don’t then the holiday is null and we can’t be mates. It’s located just outside of Schiphol airport so you’ve got no excuses.

Bonus points if you can fit all the letters in the picture. I just settled for squeezing inside the ‘D’ (is that a weird euphemism?) which is basically the same thing.

man inside sign

Get a workout in

gym in amsterdam

There’s nothing like a bit of back breaking labour to relax you on your jollies. We did a saucy push workout at The Athletic Club in Leidseplein. It was a bit steep at 20 euros for a day pass but they threw in a free bottle of water and a protein smoothie so it wasn’t that bad.

To be honest, this was one of the highlights of the trip for me, getting a juicy little pump and parading round the city centre was a transcendental experience. Could have been the 87 espressos coursing through my veins though, but still.

Actually, on the subject of espressos…

Drink your weight in the good stuff

Coffee is everywhere in Amsterdam. The smell of coffee is almost as frequent as that of the Devil’s lettuce.

cup of coffee

There’s a reason for this – everyone in Amsterdam bloody loves coffee. It’s cheap and it tastes amazing. If you like your americanos though, you’ll be in for a bit of a shock – every time you ask for a black coffee you’ll just be given an espresso.

It doesn’t really matter, it still tastes brilliant and gives you that kick up the anus that you so desire. In the end I was almost converted to the espresso way of life, although I am glad I didn’t fully convert as I was spending an alarming portion of my money on shot after shot.

Soak up the architecture

It’s free and it’s breathtaking, Amsterdam is famed for its architecture and with good reason. Coming from Liverpool I have grown up appreciating the beauty of historic buildings and Amsterdam has them in spades.

church in amsterdam

Walking round any part of Amsterdam, all you have to do is look up and you are greeted with some of the sexiest architecture you ever did see.

old building in amsterdam

You could feasibly spend hours just walking round, hunting for buildings to oggle – and that wouldn’t even be a waste of time, if you’re a boring git like me.

building with tram going past

Do the Heineken Experience

heineken brewery

wall inside the heineken museum

This was the highlight of my first trip and it was the highlight for the second too. The Heineken Experience is a self-guided tour of the Heineken museum and it’s got everything you could think of.

detailed ceiling inside the heineken

football boots

heineken bottles

You can see how it’s made, the history of the beer, all the weird little bits of trivia, old adverts, pint making masterclasses, champions league stuff, rugby simulators, interactive videos and even places to play FIFA, which is where we spent most of our time.

Oh, and you get three free beers.

There’s far more to it than that and at 18 euros it’s worth every penny.

If you want to do Amsterdam on the cheap and want the most from your experience in just 48 hours then give these a shot.

There are obviously other things you can do like the bikes (which are way too scary with all them psychopaths whizzing round), the food (which ain’t that great, except for the dessert-based stuff) and the red light district (for you seedy buggers) but they won’t really add that much to your experience for the time they take and the money you pay.

amsterdam canal

vondelpark amsterdam

Just my two cents.

If you want to see a poorly edited video of the whole trip then take a look below.

James Cameron I am not, nor do I claim to be, but you might get a little bit of #TravelInspo from it and I wouldn’t mind racking up a few views…cheers.


*That’s Dutch for bye. Was that cool? Am I cultured?

Probably not if I have to ask.