City Spotlight: Amsterdam

An Interrail classic. The Dutch capital is more than just coffee shops. It’s a very cultural city and you won’t be short of things to do, but some of the major attractions like The Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum or the Heineken factory can get very busy so it’s worth booking ahead online to get a queue jump ticket.

A top tip would be to get the I Amsterdam city card, which you can order online. This will give you free entry to lots of the city’s attractions and museums, including the Van Gogh Museum, Artis Royal Zoo and Nemo Science Museum. You’ll also get a free canal cruise and free use of public transport, which is useful for saving a travel day on your Interrail pass.

Rent a bike from your hostel to explore Amsterdam the way it should be. It’s the main form of transportation as it’s incredibly flat. Then go and explore the flower markets, including the floating Bloemenmarkt, Vondelpark. Also check out the neighbourhoods The 9 Streets, Jordaan and – of course – the Red Light District.

Oh, and a little note for all the cheese lovers out there. Amsterdam certainly knows its cheese and there are a number of cheese tasting rooms scattered across the city. Gouda is the national favourite. Visit the Cheese Museum or go to Reypenaer Tasting Room for the best experience.

Where to eat? Wok to Walk is hugely popular amongst the locals. And it’s cheap. While not exactly a Dutch speciality, it’s a decent meal. If you want to opt for a more local dish, pick up some Dutch fries at any number of outlets; they come in a piping hot paper cone and are lathered in all manner of toppings, from satay sauce to mayonnaise.

Where to drink? TonTon Club in the Red Light District. It’s an arcade bar: board games, ball pits, pinball, air hockey, driving games and more. Very unique with a fantastic selection of craft beer, with loads of table space to just sit and chill out.

Where to sleep? Flying Pig Hostel. Two minutes away from Centraal Station and close to the major attractions. It’s a very sociable hostel, slightly on the larger side, with a definite travellers vibe.

Is there a free walking tour? Yes!