Two weeks ago, Rio and I set off for Amsterdam courtesy of a 60 euro round trip Thalys promotion. Oui, only a mere 60 euros! I had been to Amsterdam 13 years ago with my girlfriend Natalia, so it was nice to experience it as a “grown-up”. Below are some photos from the weekend, as well as a couple tips in case you head to Amsterdam in the future.
5 Amsterdam Tips Pour Vous
- Buy and save with a city pass. Decide whether you want to purchase an iAmsterdam, Museumkaart or Holland Pass that’ll enable you to access museums and attractions faster and at a discounted rate. Based on what we wanted to see, I calculated that the 5-ticket Holland Pass would be the most appropriate pass for us. We used our Holland Pass tickets for the Van Gogh Musem (included fast track entrance too), Rijksmuseum, a one-hour canal cruise, bike rental, 24 hours of tram transportation, and a discounted countryside bike tour. It was definitely worth it for us and we ended up saving 50+ euros with each pass.
- Look online for a promo code. When purchasing the Holland Pass tickets, I noticed you could enter in a promotion code. So after a quick Google search, I was able to find a 5% discount, bringing the price of two 5-ticket Holland passes down to 86 euros.
- Buy Anne Frank House tickets in advance! To avoid waiting on the infamous long lines at the Anne Frank House, I went online to buy tickets just over a week in advance. Apparently this wasn’t early enough as they were already sold out!! So if you don’t want to wait on line for an hour and a half (which is what we ended up doing), buy your tickets online at least two weeks ahead.
- Don’t go to a coffee shop when you need to do something semi-important. So we ended up going to a coffee shop a couple hours before we had to grab our train back to Paris. Bad idea. That’s all I have to say about that.
- Sign up for travel e-newsletters. This is not necessarily Amsterdam-specific, but because I had signed up for Thalys and SNCF e-newsletters, I was immediately alerted about a 30 euro one-way promotion Thalys was having between Paris and cities like Amsterdam and Cologne. Before this, whenever I looked up round-trip tickets between Paris and Amsterdam, they were usually around 150 euros. That’s a savings of nearly 100 euros! If it weren’t for this deal, we probably wouldn’t have gone to Amsterdam that weekend.
The gorgeous Rijksmuseum and nearby garden.
On our way to the Rijksmuseum, we walked through Vondel Park, which was located right by the B&B we stayed at.
After the museum, we hopped on a one-hour canal tour. It was pretty informative and it was nice to see the city from a different perspective. However, the audio commentary was incredibly boring… so much so that I might’ve fallen asleep a bit. Granted, I was up early that AM and tired.
On Friday nights in the summer, the Van Gogh Museum has Friday Night events where there’s a pop-up bar, free guided tours and music (DJ, pianist, etc.). I’m so glad we were able to experience the museum this way.