Netherlands/Sofa Travel

How to Experience & Recreate Amsterdam at Home

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Last Updated on 3rd July 2020 by Sophie Nadeau

As the capital city of the Netherlands, it’s clear that there’s no shortage of things to see and do when it comes to Amsterdam. But while a trip to the Dutch settlement is not always possible, there are plenty of ways to experience the magic of Amsterdam from your couch. Here’s how to recreate Amsterdam at home!

amsterdam bucket list

Dive into a book about Amsterdam

One of the fastest, cheapest, and easiest escapes from everyday life is to dive deep into the pages of a travel memoir, novel, or book. Amsterdam has been inhabited by people for many a century, meaning that there’s no shortage of books set in Amsterdam.

Some of our must-read picks include Anne Frank’s Diary, The Miniaturist(a historical fiction book set in Amsterdam’s Golden Age), and Tulip Fever(a book set in the tulip mania of Amsterdam). Alternatively, if you’re looking to learn about the history of the city, then Amsterdam: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City is a great primer.

A guide to the best second hand book market in Amsterdam. Oudemanhuispoort: a secret covered passage in the heart of the Dutch capital, the Netherlands

Watch a TV series or movie set in the Dutch capital

If you’re anything like me, then your attention span has been less than optimal given everything that’s going on right now! As such, I’m often finding that the easiest travel escape these days is not via the pages of a book, but via some screen time watching a movie, or a bite-sized episode of a gripping series.

When it comes to Amsterdam, there are many series and films set against the backdrop of the Dutch capital. Of course, everyone knows that much of The Fault in Our Stars was set in the city. The Miniaturist (based on the novel of the same name) was set in Amsterdam, but was actually filmed in the city of Leiden. In terms of series set in Amsterdam, one of the most popular along viewers is that of Baptiste, a crime thriller.

Here's How You Can Stay on a Boat in Amsterdam

Scroll through photos of Amsterdam

While there’s no comparison to seeing a city in real-life, photos of Amsterdam are a great way to experience the city while sat at home. More often than not, I find myself scrolling through the gorgeous photo feeds of bloggers based in the city, who not only offer up stunning imagery, but also top Amsterdam tips that I’ll bear in mind for my next visit.

Some of the best bloggers based in Amsterdam include @polabur (her beautiful images often include photos of her dessert shop- Polaberry- products, which is based in the Jordaan district of the city), @yourlbb (offers fantastic food and travel recommendations for the city), and @amsterdamfoodie (for all the food lovers out there).

unicorn cake pops Polaberry: A Visit to the Most Instagrammable Café and one of the prettiest cake shops in Amsterdam, the Netherlands (macarons, unicorn cake pops, chocolate strawberries)

Brush up on your Dutch language skills

If there’s one hobby we could all do with taking up, it’s learning a new language! There are plenty of resources online, as well as the opportunity to do language exchanges with native speakers via video call and telephone chats.

If you truly want to master a new language and don’t live in that language, then some of my top tips are as follows; be sure to practice every day (even if it’s just for ten minutes, you surely won’t regret it), immerse yourself in the language via TV programmes and music.

After all, right now is as good as time as any to take up that new language you’ve been meaning to learn for a while. To help get you started, here’s a quick guide to some useful Dutch phrases which you’ll find ever-so-useful the next time you venture to the Netherlands or to Belgium!

Henri Willig cheese shop interior

Discover the Rijksmuseum at home

Home to world-famous paintings such as the Night Watchman, the Rijksmuseum is one of the most famous museums in Europe and is a must-see while in Amsterdam. The museum has a number of virtual activities which you can enjoy from the comfort of your home including seeing some of the most iconic masterpieces up close and learning about the restoration history of some of the cultural hub’s most important pieces. Discover the Rijksmuseum at home here.

Amsterdam Tulp Festival (tulip festival)

Visit Amsterdam virtually

Thanks to the power of the internet, the next best thing to being able to actually visit Amsterdam is being able to enjoy the city from the comfort of your couch. Some of the best virtual visits of Amsterdam include this virtual visit of Amsterdam thanks to Google Earth, and this virtual tour of the Van Gogh museum.

Meanwhile, if you want to have a look at exactly how Amsterdam appears right now, then you need only check this port of Amsterdam webcam. Right in the very city centre, this live webcam offers a view of Dam square, giving you a virtual live glimpse of the Dutch city. 

Bitterballen and beer in one of the best pubs in Amsterdam

Window shop for future trips to the Dutch capital

Last but not least, while no one knows how far away travel may be, it’s always a fun experience to dream about bucket list destinations and future dream trips. I love using Pinterest and find that it’s an endless stream of gorgeous imagery and Wanderlust inspiration.

You can check out my Pinterest account here. Otherwise, there are many guidebooks you can purchase, including a variety of off the beaten path and secret selections. Alternatively, if you want to start looking for some off the beaten path recommendations for your next time in the Dutch capital city, have a look at this guide to hidden gems of Amsterdam.

Enjoyed reading about how to visit Amsterdam from home? Pin this article now, read it again later:

how to recreate Amsterdam at your home. Want to bring elements of the Dutch capital city life into your own home? here's a complete guide for creating the Amsterdam experience in the Netherlands

About Author

Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, Paris, pizza, and history, though not necessarily in that order. A fan of all things France related, she runs when she's not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming her weight in sweet food. Currently based in Paris after studies in London, she's spent most of her life living in the beautiful Devonian countryside in South West England!

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