By Wirasha Autar

Have you just arrived in Amsterdam and are you ready to become a true “Amsterdammer”? In our previous blog, Sahil already explained 6 essential survival tips for living in Amsterdam.’ In this weeks blog, I am going to tell you in 6 steps how to become a true “Amsterdammer”!

You may ask why would I listen to you? Hi! My name is Wirasha! I actually consider myself as a true “Amsterdammer” because I lived here my whole life! I do my Master’s in Law at VU now and was part of ESN Leuven during my exchange. Last semester I joined the Marketing Committee of ESN VU Amsterdam and some of you may recognise me as a coach of the Introduction Weekend Spring 2019!

Now, do you want to become a true Amsterdammer? Complete my following 6 steps! There is one golden rule: you NEED to have a bike to get yourself around to these places, the rest will follow.   

1. Shop at the Albert Cuyp Market

The place where you can find literally everything! The Albert Cuyp Market is located in De Pijp, one of the “gezelligste” neighbourhoods of Amsterdam. De Pijp is known for its breathtaking 19th-century architecture, unique shops and cafes just one mile south of the city’s centre. Back to the market, if you visit it: make sure you try the famous raw fish called ‘Haring’ (Herring)! Is fish not your thing and are you a lover of the sweeter things in life? Buy the famous Stroopwafel, two thin waffles filled with caramel syrup! If you need the extra sugar rush, dip it in chocolate.  On the market, they will make the best fresh stroopwafels for you and you get to enjoy them while still warm! The Albert Cuyp Market is open every Monday to Saturday from 9 AM to 5 PM and with it's 260(!) stalls it is the biggest daily market of Europe!

2. Support Ajax Amsterdam in a home match at the Johan Cruyff Arena

© Ajax Business

Even if you are not a soccer fan, just do it once! It’s a must while living here in Amsterdam. Get yourself an Ajax scarf, dress up in red and white, learn Three Little Birds by Bob Marley by heart and you are ready to go! If you want to practise just ask our Dutch Ajax fans Michiel from our Marketing Committee or Ruben from the board to help you out. Note: You are only allowed to consume drinks and food that has been purchased inside the Johan Cruyff Arena – your bags will be checked at the entrance! Currently, Ajax is in the second place of the Dutch Eredivisie league and they still have a fair chance to end up first place in the race for the Dutch title! Are you and your friends going to help support them to the top?

3. Party at Thuishaven

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Did you party too much in Coco’s? (You can never party too much in Coco's) Or is it the weekend and you just want to chill a little bit? Or are you ready for the last party of the weekend before going back to class on Monday again? Every Sunday, Thuishaven organises a festival where you can either party at one of the stages or just chill with some drinks and food. The best of both worlds! I would recommend you book your tickets online, as a lot of the time it’s sold out. However, sometimes you may be lucky enough to get the last tickets at the entrance. Did you know that the last Semester Opening Festival of ESN VU Amsterdam x ISN Amsterdam x Exchange Party was at Thuishaven? 

4. Visit a local Brewery

© Frô de maracujá

Yeah I know, we are in The Netherlands and not Belgium, but let’s be honest, everyone knows about Heineken and how many of you actually prefer Jupiler beer? Besides going to The Heineken Experience (seriously worth a visit, PLUS you will get a 30% discount with your ESNcard), why not also going to a smaller brewery like Brouwerij ’t IJ? This local brewery is the real deal and it’s next to a beautiful windmill. It’s only 4 euros for a tour with a drink! Last semester, ESN VU Amsterdam went for a tour and tasting at Brouwerij Troost. If you like nachos or need an idea for a date, this brewery is according to Sahil the perfect place to go to!

5. Relax in the Vondelpark


Having its main entrance close to Leidseplein, Vondelpark is known as our city park. Because we don’t really have a beach close to Amsterdam, you see all the girls sunbathing here during summer. Just get some food and drinks with your friends from the closest Albert Heijn (we usually say: appie), and have a picnic in the parc! During the summer there are also a lot of plays and bands performing in the Vondel Openluchttheater. It’s free and worth a visit on a Sunday afternoon! Please note: since a couple of years you aren’t allowed to BBQ in the parc anymore. Just don’t do it, you will be fined and have to pay €90,--. (I know we Dutch people are very good in getting your money…) We can’t wait for the weather to get Vondelpark proof, can you?

6. Celebrate King’s Day on the canals

King's Day is a national holiday where everyone turns orange and celebrate the king's birthday. Everyone goes crazy! There are many festivities organised throughout the whole country such as local flea markets, festivals and fairs. Guess where is the best place to celebrate King's Day? Of course right here in the city centre of Amsterdam! That's why ESN VU Amsterdam is organising a King's Day Canal Boat Party every year in the middle of all the celebrations on the canals! So, prepare your orange outfit and join this extraordinary Dutch holiday all together with us around Amsterdam! 


 Thanks for reading my blog. If you can say that you've completed all the 6 steps above, you can call yourself a true Amsterdammer! I hope you now have some fresh inspiration for your further explorings around the city. If you want to follow my personal adventures, you can follow me on Facebook or Instagram @wirashaa! Do you have other tips to become a true ‘Amsterdammer’? Let us know in a comment!

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Read more:
ESNblog1: 6 Essential Survival Tips for Living in Amsterdam
ESNblog 3: 10 Dutch Dishes You Have To Try