You can capture the essence of the Dutch people in the movement of the canals and the nature of the parks on the weekend. We were shocked by the Red Light District the previous night, because it was such a huge contrast from what the city is like during the day. Overall, Amsterdam was one of the most laid back and naturally calming and beautiful European cities that I have visited. Not to mention the food is incredible.
Ben and I decided to go with the flow for this trip, which ended up working out really well for us as we were able to enjoy the city like a local for a few days. We mapped out the major sites and museums we wanted to get to but made it over to them in our own time, making sure to enjoy the beauty of the city while walking most places. It was this lackadaisical attitude that contributed a lot to our enjoyment of this trip, but it was also the reason that we never made it to the Anne Frank House – they switched up the rules where you had to wait in line for an hour to purchase a ticket, and then with your tickets wait in another line for another hour to get into the house. As we were only here for two and a half days we were able to walk by it plenty of times but unfortunately never got to make it inside.
Our third and final day in Amsterdam was spent in a mix of coffee shops, cafés and parks. We took the tram to a nearby coffee shop close to Dieman, the town in which we were staying, and took our breakfast and goodies to nearby Ooster Park where we planned to spend the afternoon. The park was smaller than Vondel Park but just as beautiful. It was a beautiful day out and the park was full of blooming flowers and beautiful families. Just like in Vondel Park we came across a diverse assortment of wildlife, specifically birds. Above is one of the cuties that we spotted – birder friends can you name this bird?
We spent a luxurious few hours wandering and lounging in the park, admiring the nature and the seemingly happy lifestyle that the Dutch people we came across lived. Then we got hungry – as usual – and went over to a nearby café where I ordered an incredibly delicious goat cheese pizza with red onion and arugula… the goat cheese obsession continues! We soon learned that the cute café we were lunching at doubled as the Dutch equivalent of a British pub and it soon became so crowded there was no way to get around people to walk! The café became full of “football” fans and were loudly cheering on a Dutch team as they all strained to watch the small TV in the right hand corner of the bar. Not a bad way to end the afternoon!
It was pretty difficult to get around the city on our last day as our Airbnb made us “check out” at 10am and bring all of our stuff because she had a party to go to and wasn’t sure of when she would be back – the understanding was that we could leave our stuff there until our bus at 8:30pm, but I guess we should have expected this based on the other issues we had with it! We ended up carrying our luggage around the city for the remainder of the day, which restricted what we were able to do. We ended up spending some time in another coffee shop close to the canal and then we sat outdoors enjoying the weather and zen atmosphere until sunset and we headed toward the bus station.
Amsterdam is such a lovely place to de-stress and relax! It is definitely somewhere that I hope I will be able to return to one day.
Stay Classy! xx
P.S. I got a lot of love from my Dutch followers while posting about my trip via Instagram – thank you guys so much! I’m sorry that we weren’t able to meet up this trip, as I was only there for a few days, but I fell in love with Amsterdam and hope you enjoyed seeing the city through a tourist’s eyes. xx