Amsterdam was the beginning of finding my traveling groove. I freaking like that city. Also did my first walking tour here.
The thing about “free” walking tours is you don’t really get a three hour tour for nothing. They expect you to pay and if you don’t tip you will (and should) feel like a terrible human being. Plus this tour was SO informative that it was definitely worth the euros. Our tour guide was intensely knowledgeable. Amsterdam is full of History (I know that’s a very American-in-Europe thing to say).
I love walking tours. I try to do one in every city I go to now. The best one was Amsterdam’s, but I hear the one for Brussels is even better. Liverpool’s was the worst one, we left halfway through.
The bikes in Amsterdam are scary. They don’t care about pedestrians so be prepared to jump out of the way often.
Hostel Life, a 12-bed room, one shower. At 2 AM our first night Everyone was yelling at the guy in the bed next to me because he had music on and he wouldn’t use headphones. He got kicked out eventually. I find if you are in a co-ed room, people (dudes) will say something if someone is being loud. But if you are in an all-girls room no one will say anything. Two people banging in my Barcelona hostel literally woke EVERYONE up. And they wouldn’t stop even when I said “Could you NOT have LOUD SEX right now!?!? Co-ed rooms are the way to go.
Best place for a church… in the middle of the red light district. Guess the sailors would go to church the morning after visiting the girls and try to buy their way back into heaven. Priests were more than happy to accommodate.
Amsterdam is very rich… was a huge port city where the East India Trading company was located.