After spending the week in Central Europe, I hopped on over to Amsterdam to meet up with my friend George for the day. We were able to meet at the central train station and walked straight out into the city famous for its miles of canals. The first thing I spotted was a Pancakes restaurant that was opposite the station. We ended up getting some delicious nutella and strawberry crepes while looking out over the canals and main part of the city. The crepe was literally life changing and was a great start to the day!
After eating, we walked down the main canals and took an actual boat tour. It turned out to be the perfect way to explore the city and learn more about the history of how the canals and buildings were created. We were able to see Jordaan, Dam, and Grachtengordel, which all showcase some of the oldest buildings in the city. We also saw people living on actual canal boats, which seemed so crazy to me! I could barely stand living in my tiny dorm room, let alone a tiny houseboat.
After the tour, we walked the streets, where we found baby sized Nutellas, a nice pillowcase to take home, Madame Tussaud’s wax museum, and the Red Light District – which we immediately ran away from in fear! We also walked over to the Anne Frank Museum, but the line was literally miles long, and George didn’t really want to go, so we skipped out on it and ended up heading towards the museums.
Over at the museums, we found the famous IAMsterdam sign. We took at least a billion pictures in front of it and looked around to see which museum we wanted to actually go in. We were in line to go to the Van Gogh Museum, but then an elderly couple came up to us and gave us their tickets to the Rijksmuseum (The national museum)! So we ended up heading over there instead. The museum was seriously huge and we ended up spending around 2 hours just trying to see everything!
We then ate some of the tiny waffles in Vondelpark outside the museums, where we were able to listen in on some locals speaking dutch, watch children playing, and just enjoy a day in the sunshine. We then walked through the rest of the city and then headed to our very creepy airbnb, which was entirely too far out of the city.
All in all, I wasn’t super impressed with Amsterdam because it just seemed like a monochrome version of Copenhagen. But I don’t feel like I went to enough of the famous sights or really went to enough of the museums! So maybe it’s a lesson learned that the lines are worth the wait and splurging for memories is better than splurging for my cute Amsterdam mug.