Local travel seems to be the buzzword that just keeps on coming back. The appeal is simple: seeing a city the way a local would – finding out the best spots to go, avoiding the tourist crowds, and most importantly getting a real feel for the city that you’re in. It is a great way to see a city in a different light, particularly if you’ve been somewhere more than once. So, how do you travel like a local in Amsterdam?
Ditch the guidebook: Seriously. Do you want to go to a restaurant full of people who have the guide book, or do you want to go to a restaurant full of natives? Don’t get me wrong, I love a good guide book, but not for eating out. If you want to find out where the good restaurants are, check on iens (it’s in Dutch, but google translate might be able to help out).
If you want to go on a tour, use a local guide – there are so many out there, but my favourite tour so far has been from Black Heritage Tours. It was a real eye-opener. Other sites like Mee in Mokum offer tours in English and German for EUR7.50 each, with locals who know the city like the back of their hand.
Check out Spotted by locals. Their writers are all living in Amsterdam and speak the language. They have an app, and also a guide that you can download for a small price, or you can check out their blog for inspiration. The best part is that Bart and Sanne set this up because they were sick of guidebooks giving out outdated and touristy tips. They started with Amsterdam, and now the movement has spread to 54 cities across the world.
Got to a meetup and make friends with people that live here. Ask for their recommendations on where to go and what to do while you stay here. It’s by far the best way to find out about those little places that you would never know about otherwise.
Stay in an apartment – you get a much better feel for the neighbourhood that way, and you save a bit of money on breakfast if you have the use of a kitchen. Try airbnb for places to stay in Amsterdam. My favourite spots in the city are the Jordaan, and Pijp.
Do you have any other tips? I’d love to hear about them