I took some time off, right before starting school again we decided to go to Amsterdam for the week-end ! We found quite cheap plane and bus tickets, so it wasn’t such a huge expense. A little extra holiday before starting the year is great in my opinion 🙂
I’ve never been to Amsterdam before, or to any part of Holland, so it was completely new to me (even though European countries have lots of similarities). I was with Victor and some relatives, we were a small group of 5.
• The City of Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a small city, and as many European cities : it has lots of narrow streets to get lost while wandering around. The architecture is quite original, full of character, and very heterogeneous. The shapes are fun or crooked, with red windows or black walls. Every house is different and it’s really pleasant to see.
Also, Amsterdam is very know for its bicycles : they’re everywhere ! if you want to walk, be very careful to not walk on the bike lane, cyclists will NOT stop if you’re in their way.
A bit of autumn was already there too, with lots of seasonal vegetables :
Also the nightlife seemed to be very active and colorful, with a lot of lights. We saw a lot of gay friendly bars too, but the people there weren’t necessarily gay themselves. It was all very casual, dutch people seem to be very open minded !
• Good Places For Food
Before coming here I’ve done some research on what to see, and especially where to eat. As you may have noticed from my Colombia Travel Diaries, food is in my opinion a huge part of a country’s culture. The ingredients, techniques, tastes… every part of a country’s cuisine shows a bit of its history and population.
Here are some adresses recommended by others on the internet, and that I can confirm are awesome :
The Pancake Bakery
I didn’t know they made pancakes in Holland, and now that I’ve tasted them I don’t know why I didn’t ! This was really a tasty, comforting, and nourishing meal. We thought we would have lunch later that day (we woke up kind of late so this was our breakfast at 11 a.m.), but no, it was actually as filling as a whole lunch !
My pancake was apple & bacon, topped with maple syrup. Loved the savory-sweet combination !
Termarsch & Co.
This place, as many others, had a sign stating that they offered the best burger in town : it was absolutely true. A Wagyu/Black Angus beef steak, fresh salad and tomatoes, dutch cheese, grilled spicy pickles, and a creamy plum sauce, topped with warm golden buns. Perfection in a nutshell ! ?
If like me you have no idea of what Dutch cuisine actually looks like, this restaurant is perfect for you. They serve many traditional dishes, like 3 different purees with gravy and meatball, pea soup with rye bread and ham, stewed cow with cabbage cooked in wine…
Be careful to remember the name of your dish though, so when the waiter asks who ordered the “zuurkoolstamppot“, you’ll know if it’s yours or not !
• Venice of The North
Amsterdam is seemed to be called the “Venice of the North“, because of its large amount of canals flowing though its hearth. This makes the city even more enjoyable, with the sound of water and the boats navigating on it. People even use boats as houses, with a mailbox and all !
• Cannabis Everything
As you may know, recreational use of cannabis is legal here in Amsterdam. I’m not a fan myself, but since the majority of countries around haven’t legalized cannabis, lots and lots of tourists actually come to Amsterdam only to legally enjoy this drug. Because of that, you can find so many products made with cannabis here, especially completely random ones like chocolate, soap, lotions, or ice cream ! It’s very peculiar.
• The Red District
While we’re at it with illegal things that are legal in Amsterdam : prostitution. Here you can find a whole district dedicated to this, where professional women actually work in small cabins with a window display, like in a shop. As long as it’s their choice to work there, I don’t think it’s good or bad considering that everything is well supervised. But it’s quite intriguing to see how differently our societies evolved about some subjects !
• On The Edge of A’DAM
We went to this building called the A’DAM Lookout, it’s a huge building where you can have a full view of Amsterdam from very high. You can find the highest swing in the world there, right on the edge of the roof ! There were also fun places to take silly pictures, like this one where you can see me and my boyfriend on a huge red horse ?
• The Torture Museum
Okay, I know there are way greater museums to see here, such as the Anne Frank museum, the Rembrandt museum, the Van Gogh museum… And I swear next time I’m in Amsterdam, I will visit them. But this time we just didn’t have the time to wait in the loooong lines, there was just too many people and too little time !
The torture museum was nice, if you’re interested by these kind of things. I find it gruesome but fascinating, to see how much thought people put in those painful instruments, medieval times weren’t great times to be alive for sure.
This is all we managed to do in two days !
The very next Monday I started school again, that’s also a reason why I’ve been quite busy lately.
What did you think of our dutch break ?
Have you ever been to Amsterdam yourself ? 🙂