When traveling afar, I highly recommend you visit neighboring countries or cities. You'll get the most out of your travels with very little extra to spend. We were originally booked to start off in London but plans took a sudden change to Amsterdam. Keeping the flight to London we added round trip tickets to Amsterdam for roughly $130. With no real sense of planning, our adventure started once arriving to Amsterdam Schiphzl (AMS). We took the train which is underneath the main hall of the airport. It was fairly inexpensive and fast. For roughly $6 we rode the Sprinter train to Amsterdam Central. Luckily our hotel was a 10 minute walk from the station and centrally located amidst the bustle of the city.
Hop-On, Hop-Off Tour Bus
If you're not getting around by foot the Hop-On, Hop-Off Tour buses give you different options that help discover city attractions. As you check-out the architecture, you can hop-off at the Van Gogh museum, Heineken Brewery, Red Light District, The Anne Frank House, etc with bus hop-ons circling back every 30-40 minutes. We ended with a 48hour package deal that included the canal cruise. All very relaxing and stress free. This might have set us back $32.
You can throw a dart blindly and hit a cyclist. There might be more cyclist than pedestrians at times. It's definitely a way of life for locals. I opted out from this option, because the saying of never forgetting how to ride a bike is not true in my case.
I stuck with mostly comfort foods like the typical English breakfast and pizza which satisfied my taste buds. I would recommend Vanspeyk if you're looking to experience a traditional meal or if you're looking for something chic this is the place. Make sure to make reservations first.
I would definitely enjoy returning to Amsterdam as it's picturesque. Colorful buildings despite them giving you a false sense of stability as many older ones are skewed from its foundation. Makes you question inspection code but apparently the building is just sinking, so no need to worry. (Actually, I would worry, LOL) The locals have a chill vibe to them. You'll see them walking by the canals, living in house boats, hanging by windowsills, riding bikes, starting off their days late. I don't think their chill vibe has anything to do with the fact you can find magical consumables on every block. It felt safe to roam the streets and even the Red Light District did not feel so out of the norm. In fact, you can glance into a bedroom window and encounter the average woman texting. Nothing crazy happening. If you visit in April make sure to pack a jacket and sweaters. Communicating was not an issue as most of the Dutch speak English. I took tons of pictures while in Amsterdam so make sure to check them out on the eyeamshooter pixiset site as they'll be soon an option to buy.
Random Price Recap:
Flight: Round Trip Tickets from London to Amsterdam / Cost: $130
Hop-On, Hop-Off & Canal/ Cost: $32