All You Need To Know About Travelling 3 Days in Amsterdam (Heineken Experience is a Must to Go!)
We were in Rotterdam and The Hague 2 weeks ago and totally amazed by Holland’s history and how they grew to be such amazing country. Thus, we planned for 3 days in Amsterdam and honestly speaking it is not enough.
This trip we have 2 buddies to join us from Singapore and off we go, a 7 hours drive to Amsterdam!
3 Days in Amsterdam: Day 1
Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ capital, known for its artistic heritage, elaborate canal system and narrow houses with gabled facades, legacies of the city’s 17th-century Golden Age. Its Museum District houses the Van Gogh Museum, works by Rembrandt and Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum, and modern art at the Stedelijk. Cycling is key to the city’s character, and there are numerous bike paths.Wiki
Drive: Parking in Amsterdam
As we have travelled to Rotterdam prior, we know how their traffic system works thus it is easier this time round. But as parking is expensive in Amsterdam city centre, we found a Park + Ride car park near to the city centre for only €1! And €6.80 for 4 of us to take a tram / bus / metro to the city centre. It is a return ticket as well!
In total, we saved at least €29 on parking and €18 on transport fares using this method.
Go: Rock the City Package
We are supposed to head for A’dam Tower and then board the Heineken cruise boat to Heineken experience. However, the tram that we took suddenly stop out of nowhere and cause delays that we almost missed the last boat timing at 5.30pm! So, we forgo the Tower for today and took the cruise boat along the canals to the Heineken experience.
All these for only €25 ! It includes A’dam Tower entrance, Heineken cruise (40mins), and entrance to Heineken experience. And again, cost savings.
Go: Cruise along the canals
Yes, come to Amsterdam of course must take their cruise. It is like a water maze here in Amsterdam and boats were cruising like cars on the roads. There are even traffic lights and boats kept to their right whenever cruising.
There were boat homes along the canals and according to the Expatica, you need to pay €1000 - €3000 monthly to maintain a boat house in Amsterdam. This is excluding the buying price for a boat house. Price can be €25000 for a floating house or a boat for €42000. Such a lifestyle in Amsterdam.
See: Heineken Experience
The Heineken Experience, located in Amsterdam, is a historic brewery and corporate visitor center for the internationally distributed Dutch pilsner, Heineken beer.
The industrial facility was built as the first Heineken brewery in 1867, serving as the company's primary brewing facility until 1988 when a more modern, larger facility was constructed on the outskirts of the city. Wiki
And we docked near Heineken, and the queue outside Heineken experience is ridiculously long! We thought they are tickets to the attraction but it turns to out to be 1 queue for tickets holder, and another queue for purchasing tickets. As we were pretty late in our timing, initially we were denied entry.
We managed to get in anyways. Initial 20mins experience was boring as there was a crowd moving in and it is not enjoyable at all. As time passes, the crowd started to space out or it could be because we were slowly moving in and they have closed the entry.
Experience starts to get positive when they serve the first glass of beer and teach you how to drink a beer! Furthermore you are entitled 2 glass of beers at the rooftop bar. God! This place starts to get amazing and enjoying the beer on the rooftop with a scenic view of Amsterdam. Way cool!
Retrieving our car
So retrieving our car from the Park + Ride is relatively easy. A parking that cost €30 for 4-5 hours, is €1 ! In love with cheap parkings!
Stay: Airbnb Haarlem
Because the accommodation options in Amsterdam is limited due to April is a popular season in Holland. We found a good and cosy stay in Haarlem. Which is 15mins drive away from Amsterdam. The place is cosy, and well designed. The owner even provided some simple breakfast ingredients for us!
3 Days in Amsterdam: Day 2
Go: Haarlem, Bloemendaal
With its lovely long clean beaches, upmarket beach clubs, spectacular dunes and relaxed vibe, Bloemendaal-aan-zee is one of the best beach experiences you’ll have in the Netherlands. Families will appreciate Parnassia aan Zee – in the Kennemer Zuid National Park, which has a clean and safe beach and great family restaurant with playground
As usual, we had a slow start again and today we added in a new itinerary, which is to visit the Haarlem beach - Bloemendaal. Because we found on google Street that they have food vendors selling Salted Herring which is a must try. So we headed there to explore.
Indeed, they have it there. Ordered 2 fried platter and 2 salted herring. Yummms! But we still like the one from Markthal in Rotterdam.
Drive: Park + Ride, VUMC
As we were slightly late, and not wanting to queue for the carpark going in, in Olympic stadium, we decided to park at Vumc Park + Ride which is 10mins away from Olympic Stadium where we parked.
Come to Amsterdam, of course must see this big word and take pictures lah. But there are so many people there! It is impossible to get a shot without including any of them. But well, what to do in a tourist city right?
Cycle: Mike’s Bicycle
After researching for the best bicycle rental in Amsterdam, we decided to go for Mike’s Bike. Their fees are straightforward and includes insurance at €7 for up to 4 hours ride, €10 for a full day cycle. Why not? Their bikes also have front brake on 1 side, and pedal brakes. Because some of us are not used to having pedal brakes. And off we go cycling like a local in Amsterdam! Weeeeee….
Eat: Pancakes, Amsterdam
We planned for pancakes along our route to A’dam Tower. But this insert had us wasted 30mins in waiting. We should have queued for the pancakes after we returned our bikes. Pancakes was okay. We ordered 4 pancakes and 4 drinks and cost us €65.
See: A’dam’s Tower
A’DAM Lookout, Amsterdam’s first and only publicly accessible observation deck, opened on Saturday, May 14, 2016 at the top of the A’DAM Tower. At nearly 100 meters above ground, A’DAM Lookout’s sky deck provides awesome, 360° panoramic views across all of Amsterdam.
As most of our trips, like Frankfurt, London, we will find their tallest tower and have a panoramic view of the city. But unfortunately, we only can have less than 15mins here as we need to return our bikes at 6pm. View was magnificent and really hoped that we can have a longer stay instead.
Cycle: Like Pai Kia
Okay, now the topo king have to emerge. Because we only have 15mins to cycle back to our bike rental shop. We kiasu-ly chiong for the first when we are the ferry from A’dam Tower to Centraal station. Cycle with 1 phone on the hand, to navigate to our bike rental. Damn, their path and location all looks almost the same!
It is definitely very exciting to chiong through the streets like 5 siao langs.
Eat: The Seafood Bar
We reserved a dinner slot at 9pm, we could not get an earlier slot as it is fully booked. And there was a queue here. Unfortunately, when we got to our table, we were told most of their fresh produce ran out. Their crabs, lobsters and fish were sold out, at 9pm! They are open till 12am, although the kitchen close at 10pm.
So we ordered,
- Volendam smoked eel
- Smoked mackerel and Dutch shrimps
- Razor clams
- 2 x Plateau Fish & Chips
- Swordfish steak with antiboise
- And a House Wine
The bill came up to be less than €140. Not too bad for a seafood restaurant. Of course, we did order lobsters and crabs.
See: Redlight District, Amsterdam
Amsterdam Red Light District is of packs of men, young and old , couples holding hands and pointing in shock of it all, giggling groups of women celebrating a hen night , and busloads of Japanese tourists toting cameras (except not in the direction of the female entertainers! Strictly banned!). This is proof enough that the RLD deserves a visit, if not a little look in.
They say, come to Amsterdam must also go their red light district. It is indeed a very happening place. The crowds were like back to back, go through the alleys where sexy ladies were marketing themselves behind the glass window. There are like peep shows as well. Well, if you are here, you should explore this district.
3 Days in Amsterdam: Day 3
See: Zaanse Schans
Zaanse Schans is a neighbourhood of Zaandam, near Zaandijk in the Netherlands. It has a collection of well-preserved historic windmills and houses. Wiki
Well, holidays are always short. It’s the 3rd day and it’s time for us to head home. So before heading back, we will be going to Zaanse Schans. A historical site of windmills. There are still active windmills in Zaanse Schans. We were told in the past there were 600+ windmills at their peaks, these are the windmills that helped Holland generate jobs and exports as well. At that time their shipbuilding industries were thriving.
See: Zaans Museum
See: Cheese Farm
See: Het Jonge Schaap
Het Jonge Schaap is the name of a wooden wind powered sawmill, located in the Zaanse Schans, in the municipality of Zaanstad. The original mill was built in 1680 and demolished in 1942. Between 2005 and 2007, a replica of the mill at the Zaanse Schans, between the mills “De Zoeker” and “De Bonte Hen”. The construction of the replica was based on detailed drawings Anton Sipman had made before the original mill was demolished.
Visit: A Dutch friend
We visited a dutch friend near Zaanse Schans. He made some local soup for us and it was nice and spicy! Surprising european standard. Thank you Uncle Fred for having us and preparing the soup!
Drive: Back Home - 700km
Good company in a journey, makes the way seem shorter.