Monday, July 09, 2018

5 Things To Do in Amsterdam As A Couple ♥

Amsterdam, it's my happy place. I've lost count of how many times I've been there now but the first was when I was 16 (and thought I was really cool getting to go there with my boyfriend!) and the last time was in November just gone.

I've experienced every season in Amsterdam, have celebrated birthdays there and welcomed in the New Year there while snow was falling (it was magical and I'll never forget it) and even though I've seen a lot of the city now, every time I visit there's always something different to capture my attention and make me fall in love with this beautiful city even more.

Of course, everyone knows what Amsterdam is famous for - coffee shops and the red light, but the city has so much more to offer than just that. Anytime I visit the city and walk down the main street from Amsterdam Centraal I immediately feel a sense of calm.

The atmosphere is always laid back, friendly and easy going - even with the hustle and bustle of bicycles and trams. It's a busy city, without the unfriendly city vibe. It's also a walkable city and I think this reminds me of my home city and makes me love it even more.

I haven't brought my children with me to Amsterdam yet, but it most definitely can be a family-friendly city too. There are lots of family friendly experiences in Amsterdam and I think if I ever do bring the boys, they'll probably end up falling in love with the city just as much as I have. Withlocals have amazing experiences to offer in Amsterdam such as the Little Rembrandt and Van Gogh family tour, a family friendly urban scavenger hunt and experiencing the magical Zaanse Schans Windmills with your kids, which shows that Amsterdam really does have something to offer for families of all interests.

These are my suggestions of things to see and do as a couple in Amsterdam and they're all mostly things I've done myself over the years.

1. Walk the canals together
There's nothing better to do as a couple in Amsterdam than stroll through the city hand in hand walking up and down the beautiful canal-lined streets.

I've walked all over Amsterdam with my partner and it never gets boring, there's always a new piece of artwork or graffiti to see, beautiful buildings that we didn't quite notice before and sitting at the side of the canal together enjoying a cone of chips at sunset - I have been prone to do this during my visits to the city!

Taking a stroll around the canals at night is even more beautiful as everything is lit up and it looks magical - perfect for a bit of romance. Herengracht, Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht are three of the most famous canals in Amsterdam and they all offer stunning views - perfect for a photo opportunity together!

2. Enjoy a truly unique and personal experience in the city
This is such a great thing to do as you get to see the real city that lies underneath all the touristy hotspots and you'll also get to discover some amazing hidden gems. We always do our research before we visit Amsterdam to try and find some amazing, not so tourist crowded places, but next time we go I'd love to explore the city with a local and be shown the 'real' Amsterdam.

There are so many different things to do in Amsterdam and it would be great to experience them with as a couple with a local guide in tow to show us all the little gems the city has to offer. We've done some research before we book our next trip and found that Withlocals offers a whole variety of tours in Amsterdam (and various other destinations across Europe and Asia). All of their tours are designed to be family friendly - these can be tailored to your families needs and wants, and there are so many different experiences on offer to suit a whole variety of interests.

In Amsterdam, for example, they offer personalised boat tours on the gorgeous canals, an urban farming bike tour (very interested for an eco lover like myself), a tour of the Little Nine Streets - a very charming and beautiful area of the city that I've been to many times and really recommend, and so much more.

All of Withlocals tours are private and 100% customisable, which I think is fabulous if you really want to focus on a particular thing or place during your tour. I'd love to do a tour in Amsterdam with Withlocals during my next visit, which hopefully will be before the end of the year.

2. Visit the museums
I'm not going to lie, there's actually something quite romantic about visiting museums with your other half in tow. I don't know if it's the learning together or the viewing of history, but it's quite lovely to stand in a museum with your partner in tow.

The first museum in Amsterdam that I ever visited with a boyfriend was the Nemo Science Museum and I'm not quite sure how or why we ended up there but it was a lot of fun! There are so many interactive exhibitions there and we had such a laugh there together going through them all.

The most recent museum I've been to Amsterdam in with my partner was the Rijksmuseum which is an absolutely stunning building harbouring the masterpieces of great artists - like Rembrandt who actually lived in Amsterdam himself. It was so lovely to go about the museum holding hands together and viewing all the beautiful paintings. Museums can most definitely be for couples.

Another must visit is the Royal Palace of Amsterdam. It's absolutely stunning in there and we loved it so much that we've been there twice now.

4. Get a taste of the culture and history of Amsterdam
There are so many great places in Amsterdam that have a vibe of the old city and all it offered to the people who lived there, making these spots perfect places for couples to visit if they want to soak in a bit of that lovely Amsterdam culture.

Our most recent find was the Wynand Fockink tasting tavern which was the quaintest little bar I have ever been in. It's like something from the old ages and kind of has a Harry Potter vibe to it too - well, for me anyway! It's literally a tiny little room where you get to sample authentic Old Dutch Liqueurs. Only seven people are allowed in the bar at a time and it's a really charming and intimate spot for couples to enjoy a drink together.

Another lovely place we discovered on our last visit was the Hortus Botanicus, the botanical garden in Amsterdam. Such a romantic and dreamy place to visit as a couple with it's butterfly room, charming little outdoor garden and hot indoor rooms for the more exotic plants, it has lots to explore and lots of little places to just sit and stow away with your loved one.

5. Visit the markets together
Luckily I've always visited Amsterdam with partners who enjoy shopping too and one of the best places to go shopping in the city is in the markets. There are so many weird and wonderful things on offer and there is so much to look at there.

During my visit to the city to celebrate my 27th birthday, my partner took me to the bloemenmarkt (flower market) and for a flower lover like myself it was such a lovely place to visit. There are so many beautiful flowers on offer in Amsterdam, even rainbow tulips! What could be more romantic than getting your partner a bunch of flowers to enjoy on your getaway together?

Amsterdam is such a dreamy city and definitely one I will keep returning to throughout my life. It's an amazing place to experience as a couple and offers so much fun, so much to see and so many wonderful memories to be made.
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