The best way to get to know this amazing city is truly on the bicycle, just the way the locals do it.With over the 400 km of bike paths in the city, its quite commonplace to see smartly dressed men and women off to work on a bike everywhere. So “When in Rome, do as the Romans do” surely applies to the tourists too. It really is a great way to explore the city, instead of the mundane coach tours and we will always chose such offbeat things to do.
A city of concentric canals with limited land area available, the slender houses in Amsterdam have been built literally sticking to each other.The tour begins in Dam Square and you don’t have to be Lance Armstrong for this one! You will ride in a small group with your guide at a nice easy pace, so don’t worry, this is great for beginners and there will be many stops to take photos and selfies along the way. Your guide is a fountain of knowledge as well as jokes and anecdotes. You will hear stories about the city, how it gained prominence and also some weird fables about Amsterdam culture, all this with a whole lot of fun.
The cycling tour takes you over the pretty the canals and idyllic cityscapes into the neighbourhood called the Jordaan. The energy is youthful here as it has the most beautiful houses and cosy cafes and restaurants.The Leidseplein is the next stop which is the main entertainment square and has cinemas, discos, theaters and a casino as well. Make a note in your diary to come back here later to both these places for a happening night out.
We take a pit stop at the Vondelpark,south of Leidseplein and watch the world go by with other locals and tourists basking in the sun.Its close to the famous Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum. There is actually a bicycle underpass at the Rijksmuseum which now allows you to ride your bike through a museum, the only place in the world you can probably do so.
After all that cycling around for the last few hours ….we think you deserve a special treat. So we end the bike tour in a beer garden Brouwerij ‘t IJ. This has 20 homemade beers with punny names and it also has the center’s only old-school windmill. For the beer lovers we recommend this fun option : The Heineken Experience. Its an amusing and interactive tour of the brewery with simulated rides that you will enjoy. A couple of glasses of the world famous beer thrown in makes it even more splendid !
In the evening we have a canal cruise lined up for you to enjoy the city through its multitudes of waterways. Feast your eyes on the elegant merchants’ houses dating from the Golden Age, the fabulous gables and churches. We pass the iconic Magere Brug over river Amstel (Skinny Bridge) shown in the James Bond movie “Diamonds Are Forever”. This peculiar wooden drawbridge was once so narrow that it was hard for two people to pass each other.
As twilight sets in, all the houses and arches of the canals light up and the reflections shimmer and shine in the waters below, promising the beginning of yet another wonderful soiree on a in this eclectic city for you and me.