On my first trip to Amsterdam back when I was 17 I travelled as part of a large group on a college travel and tourism field trip. This time when visiting Amsterdam I’d be travelling for an entirely different purpose.
This would become a unique travel experience for me as it would be my first time travelling to Europe for a festival. That’s right, we’d booked tickets to a new festival called Spring Break, Amsterdam and this is my review covering tips and the best places to see and smoke in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
A REVIEW OF SPRING BREAK FESTIVAL AMSTERDAM
|Spring Break Festival 2017 Line up|
Review of Spring Break Festival, Amsterdam
We booked Spring Break within hours of seeing the event posted on Facebook, I didn’t really know what to expect but in a spontaneous moment I had agreed to a 3 day music festival in Europe with two of my friends, one who later dropped out.
We booked the festival and accommodation option without adding on the transport option available. Without sounding ungrateful, I was not keen on a coach journey from Manchester to Amsterdam with other festival goers. On this particular occasion I felt it was far more civilised to fly and with the £100 we had saved from our festival ticket and we booked ourselves a little EasyJet Liverpool to Amsterdam.
Booking options vary with Spring Break Festival you can choose festival ticket only, festival plus coach or festival plus accommodation and the whole lot together. This worked well for me and I think the flexibility surrounding the booking options is definitely something other large scale events/festivals should follow suit on. Not everyone wants to stay in the designated hostels, or travel on a coach.
|Booking options for Spring Break 2017|
Amsterdam in April
Although Spring Break festival takes place outside of the peak tourism months, I wouldn’t let this put you off visiting Amsterdam in April.
Amsterdam in the spring is an exceptional place to be as you can see from my photos. The Netherlands is renowned for its lush tulips and its not hard to see why, with tulips in all sizes and colours brightening the streets of the city as you explore.
Top things to do in Amsterdam
Festival aside, whilst in Amsterdam I had two full days to explore the city. It would be my second time in Amsterdam as a tourist and because of this I felt far less obligated to do all the traditional tourist to-dos, such as Anne Franks House or the Heineken Experience.
I had already ticked those items off my bucket list when I originally visited Amsterdam back in December 2010. (Typing that made me realise how long ago that truly was). Photos below featuring a much more youthful version of myself in Amsterdam.
I’d seriously recommend the three day city travel pass for €26 to anyone visiting the city as it can be used on all trams and public transport which certainly makes getting around a lot easier.
Anne Franks House
On my first trip to Amsterdam I had already pre-booked my tickets to Anne Franks house and The Heineken Experience as it was part of a wider group trip. As two of the most sought after things to do in Amsterdam, tourists can often be left disappointed by not pre-booking tickets.
This is notably an issue for anyone hoping to turn up on the day and see Anne Franks House. For anyone unaware of this incredible story, Anne Frank is a notable hero from World War Two and one of the most talked about children from wartime Europe. Anne was a German born Jew who found herself in the city of Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation throughout World War Two.
For a Jewish family living in the city of Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation it was a very troubling time and Anne documented her life in her diary. The tale of Anne Frank was first published in her book – The Diary of a Young Girl, and has since been celebrated as one of the most inspiring stories of World War Two.
The Frank family went into hiding during the Second World War and thanks to concealed rooms behind bookcases in their house, it wasn’t until 1944 that they were found and moved to concentration camps. If you aren’t familiar with the story of Anne Frank and do plan on visiting her family home which is now a tourist attraction, I highly recommend you look into it ahead of your visit.
|Amsterdam 2010 featuring a much younger version of me on a College excursion (hence the obsessive desire to wear my college jumper)|
|Tulips of course|
|Spring evenings in Amsterdam|
One of the biggest tourist hot spots in the city of Amsterdam is the famous Dam Square located in the city centre. This area is always packed with tourists and can be easily located on any map of the city.
You’ll definitely want to visit Dam Square, however the legnth of time you spend here will be completely down to personal preference.
The majority of shops and a lot of bars and eateries can be located in this area and there are also Christmas markets and various fairs on here throughout the year.
I am Amsterdam and Vondelpark
Van Gogh Museum
In this area you’ll also find the famed Van Gogh Museum which is a tourist favourite. Tickets can be pricey and on certain days it is not uncommon for there to be large entrance queues.
If you do plan on visiting the museum then you’ll want to plan ahead.
OTHER TOP THINGS TO DO IN AMSTERDAM
- The Redlight District – by day and by night. No photos and always remember to be respectful, as a tourist you are there to experience something not judge or mock.
- Take the tram around the city – Buy a pass and ride the tram round the city.
- Rent a bike if you’re brave enough – its how the locals do it so why not give it a shot. When in Amsterdam.
|Exploring Vondelpark in the spring sunshine|
|Early evening canal stroll through Amsterdam|
Where to drink and smoke in Amsterdam
Bars and Coffee Shops in Amsterdam
|Take the ferry from Amsterdam Central to the lookout for the best views of the city|
Why visit Amsterdam in spring?
A 20-something travel blogger based in Liverpool. Covering all things from Latin America to Liverpool local guides and everything in between.