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!
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.
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.
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).
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!
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.
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.
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.