Color image of a row of Dutch Baroque Houses in Amsterdam on a sunny day with a blue sky. Photo taken from a boat on the river.

Three Weeks in Europe By Train: Part 1

By Vanessa Jordan

Six Must-See Places

Hey there, fellow wanderers! If you’re gearing up for a European vacation, get ready to have a blast, especially if it’s your first time exploring the continent. But hey, even with the best-laid plans, sometimes unexpected twists can spice things up. So, let me share my own adventures to help you navigate through Europe with a big ol’ smile on your face!

Let’s Dive Right into Amsterdam!

Oh, Amsterdam, you delightful city, you! Now, don’t let the infamous “Red Light District” or the “Pot Stigma” scare you off—there’s so much more to this place! I squeezed every bit of joy out of my two-day Amsterdam escapade, and boy, do I have some tips to make your time here unforgettable!

I Amsterdam sign in Amsterdam.  People taking pictures and walking.

Arrival and the Train Game

Touching down at the airport? No worries! Amsterdam has got you covered with a train station right there, keeping things super convenient. You can either breeze through ticket purchase at the kiosks (fancy, huh?) or enjoy some human interaction at the good ol’ customer service counter. But here’s a little pro tip: double-check if your desired train is chugging along on your travel day before buying that ticket. I learned it the hard way, having spent a few extra bucks on a taxi when the train wasn’t running. Psst… if you end up in the same boat, fear not! You can get a refund at customer service. Oh, and let’s address the elephant in the room: Amsterdam isn’t exactly a bargain paradise, so brace yourself. My solo taxi ride into the city set me back €65. Ouch! Also, be sure to keep an eye out for any transportation strikes happening the day before you travel. It’s good to be in the know!

A Stop at the I Amsterdam Store: Smart Move!

Trust me, you won’t regret popping into the I Amsterdam Store, conveniently located at Central Station. I planned ahead and snagged a 48-hour pass months before my trip, and it was a game-changer! This baby covered all sorts of transportation—trains, buses, trams—you name it! Plus, it scored me a free canal cruise and a bunch of nifty discounts. Oh, and most museums require pre-booking, my friends. So, do yourself a favor and reserve your desired time slots at least three months ahead. Hey, don’t forget to snap a screenshot of your tickets or go old school and print them out. No fuss, no stress!

Foodie Fun: Where to Chow Down?

Alright, let’s get down to the delicious details: FOOD! One spot you absolutely can’t miss is Wilde Zwijnen. It’s a short ride away from the touristy hubbub, so grab a bus or hop in a taxi—your choice! Just make sure you plan and book in advance to secure your spot. Trust me, the whole experience is like a flavor explosion in your mouth! Check them out at

Cheese board with knife, bowl of chutney, wafer crackers, three types of cheese. At a restaurant in Amsterdam.
Cheese board with knife, bowl of chutney, wafer crackers, three types of cheese. At a restaurant in Amsterdam.

Now, let’s talk burgers! Brace yourself for one of the best burgers I’ve ever sunk my teeth into at The Butcher Social Club. It’s conveniently located next to the A’DAM Lookout, and trust me, getting there is a piece of cake. Just hop on a free ferry at Central Station, and voila! A short walk awaits you upon disembarking. Oh, and by the way, the A’DAM Lookout’s observation deck is a primo spot for stunning photos. And if you’re feeling extra adventurous, give the big red swing a whirl! Heads up though, there’s a fee to enter the observation deck, but you can save some moolah by booking in advance. Swing by their site at Once you’re back on solid ground, satisfy your cravings with their lip-smacking burgers and cheese-sauce-covered fries. Meat lovers, you can thank me later! Oh, and before I forget, just to clarify—I’m not making any dough from these links, folks. I’m just sharing some good ol’ love!

Burger and fries covered with chese sauce at THE BUTCHER Social Club in Amsterdam.
Burger and fries covered with chese sauce at a restaurant in Amsterdam.

Quick Bites, Dutch Style:

Sometimes you’re in a rush, and that’s where FEEBO Automats come to the rescue! These retro-style heated vending machine restaurants are scattered across the city, with around 22 (or maybe even more) of these cool contraptions to choose from. Fast, cheap, and surprisingly tasty! Grab yourself some burgers, frikandel sausages, or croquettes, and you’re good to go, ready to conquer the next museum. Oh, and speaking of museums, keep in mind that many of them have their own cafes. My personal favorite? The Van Gogh Museum’s cafe. The food was divine, and it didn’t break the bank.

So, what are you waiting for? Start packing your bags and get ready for an incredible adventure in Amsterdam! Trust me, I had an absolute blast, and I’m sure you will too. Oh, and don’t forget to bring back some Gouda cheese, Stroopwafels, and Tulip bulbs as tasty souvenirs of your unforgettable trip! Happy travels! Stay tuned for Part 2: Two Days in The Hague.

Vanessa Jordan
Vanessa Jordan
Articles: 22
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