Technically my online dating profile could state I’m a habitual third wheeler. Very regularly I tag along with Brooke and her husband at family outings, bars and trips. When Kevin celebrated a milestone birthday last year, Brooke and I decided to surprise him with a trip to Amsterdam – Three’s Company-style.
Let me let you in on a little secret I’ve been holding onto since visiting Iceland in 2015. You can get amazing travel deals on Groupon. We’re talking all-inclusive, flights included vacations at a fraction of the normal rate. Some people get a little sketched out thinking they’ll end up in a hostel in the Red Light District, but so far I’ve had nothing but incredible experiences booking through Groupon All-Inclusive Travel.
Sadly you can’t use Groupon for International bookings right now because of something called Covid, but that’s doesn’t mean you can’t go ahead and be prepared once traveling becomes available. And if your finger lands on the Netherlands when you spin the globe, here are 5 Things You Must Do when Traveling to Amsterdam!
1. Stroll Albert Cuyp Markt
Our first official stop during our vacation was the Albert Cuyp Markt and it did not disappoint. From the fresh Arabic coffee to our first taste of Stroopwafels, our senses were delightfully overloaded by the sights, sounds and tastes.
2. Take a Canal Boat Ride
It’s always a good idea to experience a city by various modes of transportation and if visiting Amsterdam, taking a canal boat ride is a beautiful way to explore. Since we visit during the month of December, we were gifted the opportunity to view the Festival of Lights which is when international artists illuminate the city streets and waterways with light installations. And although it may be a bit chilly outside, the boat captains offer blankets and mulled wine to warm you right up!
3. Go Ice Skating
Graceful, we are not. Willing to try, yes we are. We laced up our skates and put our best forward on the rink while the regulars whizzed right by us. If braving the ice isn’t your thing, there’s a full bar, restaurant and lounge to do some top notch people watching.
4. Tour the Anne Frank House
Touring the Anne Frank House is surreal and fascinating even for people who aren’t history buffs. We highly recommend purchasing tickets in advance to guarantee admission. When planning your outing, might we suggest you eat breakfast at Pancakes Amsterdam which is right around the corner from the entrance to the Anne Frank House. They boast some of the best Dutch and American pancakes in Amsterdam!
5. Live the High Life
Sure, you can go to Amsterdam and not partake in the ganja, or you can go to Amsterdam and take a Walking Ganja Tour. Choice is yours. If you decide to take an organized tour, you’ll visit some of the most popular coffee shops in Amsterdam. Our walking tour included stops at a few different well-known coffee shops and was led by a knowledgeable tour guide offering facts about the city and people and a historic tour of the Red Light District.
We were in Amsterdam for four nights and five days and we all felt it was ample time to experience various parts of the city and culture. One of the things I admire about traveling with Brooke is her ability to research and find some of the best places to dine. We pretty much travel and then eat our way through a new city. More to come on those recommendations but for now, we’ll leave you with some snapshots from our amazing Winter vacation in Amsterdam!