Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Sun February 21 2016

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  • Worldwide Scott | February 21, 2016 9:00 PM ET

    Avoiding Crowds in Amsterdam

    Avoiding Crowds in Amsterdam

    Photo by Worldwide Scott 

    Amsterdam is a world-class capital city, but it is also a surprisingly small place compared to others of its ilk. In fact, if you're on a bicycle, you can pretty much get anywhere in the city in around fifteen minutes. That's one of the reasons I love living here, but this compact size can also lead to a bit of a crowd crunch at times.

    This can be frustrating, and since you probably don't want to spend your entire holiday pushing past other people, here are few tips to avoiding crowds in Amsterdam.

    Zig and Zag From Central Station

    Arriving in Amsterdam can be a mixed bag. If you are like most, you will arrive at the impressive Central Station, and while the station itself is gorgeous, the streets directly in front of it are a little crowded and — how shall I put this politely? — tacky at times. Many visitors seem to get stuck walking in a humongous herd heading straight from Central Station.

    READ MORE: 4 Of the Best Dive Bars in Amsterdam

    Avoid all this mess by coming out of the station and making a quick right, then zig-zagging your way around town from there. You will avoid the most crowded streets in town, which I can't recommend enough, unless of course you are in desperate need of a new giant top hat emblazoned with a pot leaf.

    Go East

    Any web searches on the subject of Amsterdam neighborhoods will tell you that places like the Jordaan and De Pijp are where all the cool locals hang out. To a certain extent this is true, but everyone and their brother knows this by now, and these places can get pretty packed too. Instead, head to Amsterdam East, a neighborhood home to plenty of graceful greenspace, gorgeous buildings, and one of Amsterdam's best hip spots for pub grub at Smokin' Barrels.

    For the Love Of All Things Holy, Buy Your Tickets For The Anne Frank House in Advance

    I used to scoff a bit at this one, but I recently learned the real hard way that showing up without a ticket in advance is only for those crazy for crowds. Even thirty minutes before opening time, the line I experienced was at least a 150 people deep. The Anne Frank House offers online tickets in advance, so just to be safe, buy yours a few weeks ahead — at least — and skip the line.

    READ MORE: The Dylan Adds Rooms and Preserves Old Amsterdam

    Or, Go and See The Other Anne Frank House Instead

    The famous Anne Frank House with all the lines was a place of hiding for Anne and her family immortalized in “The Diary of Anne Frank,” but the actual residence she lived in before having to go into hiding is much lesser known. Located at Merwedeplein 37 in Amsterdam South, you won't be able to take a tour here — or typically spot another tourist — but you can view the second floor apartment where Anne and her family resided from the outside and imagine them having to rush out of here to go into hiding. There is also a small statue of Anne Frank longingly looking back at her former home, making it the ideal scene for solemn contemplation of her tragic odyssey.

    Avoid the Big Name Parks and Markets

    The leafy Vondelpark and the bustling Albert Cuyp Market are two of the most popular attractions in the entire city, but they can both get a little too crowded at times. Instead, go to Erasmuspark or Rembrandtpark in the West or Oosterpark in the East — your picnic will have more space to spread out and you'll have more breathing room if you're jogging.

    As far as markets, while everyone is taking pictures at the Albert Cuyp Market or buying knick-knacks at Waterlooplein, you could be shopping among lesser crowds at Dapper Market or Ten Kate Market.

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Worldwide Scott The Adventures of Worldwide Scott

Worldwide Scott Born in the U.S.A like Springsteen but trying to see the world like Pitbull, Worldwide Scott is the voice behind the hard-hitting travel site of the same name. Employing a groundbreaking strategy of visiting destinations, coming home, and then writing things about them on the internet, Worldwide Scott only tackles the tough questions that other writers wouldn't dare touch: Is travelling fun? Are there pretty places in the world? Do people in other countries wear clothes? Does Europe really exist? And if so, what's the beer like there? Stick around, he's going places.
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