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    Nov 5, 2014

    21 Things You Should Probably Know When You Visit Amsterdam

    Amsty is a lekker place. Here are a few things you should know before you visit the magical land of bikes, cheese, clogs and canals.

    1. Your life starts when you get a bike.

    Courtesy of Hannah Zisman

    Star Bikes is one of my favorite places to rent bikes, right near central station. Bike theft is rampant in Amsty. To avoid this, always lock your bike to something other than itself. And obviously, give your bike a good name.

    2. Parks are a huge part of life in the Dam.

    Courtesy of Lily Jane

    Chilling in parks with a block of cheese and a frisbee is the best. Check out Vondelpark, Oosterpark, and Westerpark (my fave).

    3. So are museums!

    Courtesy of Hannah Zisman

    Check out the Van Gogh museum, Rijks museum, Stedilijk museum (modern art museum.) FOAM is also really cool, a photography museum in a beautiful old canal-side house on Keizersgracht. And of course, Anne Frank House.

    4. The layout of the city isn't actually that confusing -- think of it like an upside down windshield wiper.

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    Amsterdam has so many great little neighborhoods...

    5. ...like the Jordaan.

    Courtesy of Emily Rose
    Courtesy of Emily Rose

    A sweet neighborhood which has the Nordermarkt – a delicious organic food market every Saturday morning in front of the north church.

    The Nine Streets in the Jordaan are filled with really cute stores, cafes and great shopping, including a great vintage store called Episode.

    6. And De Pijp... with the amazing Albert Cuyp Market!

    Courtesy of Hannah Zisman

    Get a fresh stroop waffle from the market. There's also a great Turkish restaurant called Bazaar on Albert Cuyp Straat.

    But enough, LET'S TALK FOOD!

    Courtesy of Lily Jane

    Don't be afraid of FEBO!

    7. Cafe Winkel on Westerstraat is a nice place to sit outside and watch people ride by, acclaimed for their apple pie with whipped cream.

    WordRidden (CC BY http://2.0) Flickr: wordridden

    8. Dutch pancakes are a must-try!

    Courtesy of Emily Rose

    Pancakes! Amsterdam is a great little place to try them. So is the Pancake Bakery, kinda touristy but has some yummy Dutch pancakes.

    9. De Bakkerswinkel is lovely for brunch or afternoon tea.

    Courtesy of Emily Rose

    Try the passionfruit jam! ALL of the jams.

    10. Bagels and Beans has something called bagel tapas and it's awesome.

    SodanieChea (CC BY http://2.0) Flickr: sodaniechea

    11. For a nice dinner outside of the city center, try De Kas.

    Pakus Futuro Bloguero (CC BY http://2.0) Flickr: 58743958@N04

    12. De Taart van m’n Tante is an amazing, colorful, kitschy cake place.

    Courtesy of Hannah Zisman.

    13. Make sure you get a taste of the local cuisine!

    Courtesy of Emily Rose

    Go to Van Dobben deli, off Rembrandtplein and try an authentic dutch croquette. If you're brave, try the herring on every street corner too.

    14. Can't forget the CHEESE (Kaas)... a staple in Dutch culture.

    Courtesy of Lily Jane

    De Kaaskammer on the Nine Streets, also Kaasland on the corner of Harlemstraat and Prinsengracht (try the green pesto cheese!)

    There are plenty of activities to do and places to see...

    15. Check out the über-modern public library.

    Courtesy of Emily Rose

    Just east of Central Station. Head to the top floor for a great view of the city.

    16. Take a boat ride, but not the touristy kind.

    Courtesy of Lily Jane

    Amsterdam Boat Club offers fun, FREE canal cruises run by a bunch of hippies (BYOB/D.)

    17. Go to the Goat Farm in the Bos Forest.

    Courtesy of Emily Rose

    Pet the adorable goats and try the goat milk ice cream!

    18. If it's the right season, head to the tulip fields or Keukenhof.

    Courtesy of Lily Jane

    19. If you feel like partying, there's no shortage of borrels in Amsty!

    Courtesy of Lily Jane

    The main nightlife areas are Nieuwmarkt (student-y), Rembrandtplein (touristy), and Leidseplein (everything). Melkweg is a great bar/music venue and often has some sweet headliner bands. Paradiso is fun too. **Try to avoid the red light district at night.**

    20. Or if you're more into relaxing, there are always coffee shops.

    Courtesy of Bruni

    Non-centre, neighborhood coffee shops are typically much better. My favorites include: Amnesia, Grey Area, Barneys, Greenhouse, Dampkring & Kandinsky.

    21. And finally, as you're pedaling along, marvel at the beauty of this magical city.

    Courtesy of Lily Jane

    "DOEI!"