Canals, red-light district, bicycles. Which city comes to your mind? Right, Amsterdam. Now that I´m finally done with my exams and have my life back… Let me share my memories of this very short, very touristy, very stereotypical trip to this famously scandalous city.
It was a cold Friday in January 2018. I was feeling sick and slightly bad because I should be studying. On the other hand, I´d finally be travelling again! So, I was delighted to get onboard the plane flying us from Munich (Germany) to Amsterdam (Netherlands). I mean, how couldn´t I have been excited? As we were travelling with Lufthansa, we could even wait in the “pretty” terminal with electrical outlets and all that good stuff.
We spent the first evening wandering through the streets, trying to get a feel of the city´s atmosphere. Our hotel was located in the South-East, so we walked up the canals towards the city center. Food options seem to be endless in Amsterdam. Finally, we ended up in an Indian restaurant, from where we went to eat the famous waffles at “van Wonderen Stroopwafels”. The waffles were delicious, however, the topping was a little too much for me. Over the course of the evening, we mostly explored the red-light district, the area around the “Oude Kerk” and the main square “Dam” with its church called “Nieuwe Kerk”. I was surprised to see so many families with young children around the red-light district, especially because that´s also where a lot of the coffeeshops are located. Then again, those topics don´t seem to be such a taboo there in general. Additionally, I was fascinated by the parking skills of the people living in Amsterdam. I´d freak out completely if I had to park so close to the canals all the time.
(Those parking skills are insane…)
The next morning, we crossed the district “De Pijp” when walking into town and came across “Albert Cuyp Market”. It reminded me of Asian street markets. The clothes in particular looked like straight from a night market in Malaysia. They also sold various kinds food and we were very tempted to buy some Stroopwafels, because they were a lot cheaper here than in the shops. Later, we walked up “Nieuwe Spiegelstraat”, which is a beautiful street filled with interesting and very “artsy” stores. Of course, we couldn´t skip the famous flower market “Bloemenmarkt”. As it was winter, there were no real flowers, only seeds and gardening stuff. So, to be honest, it wasn´t that spectacular.
We stumbled upon “Begijnhof”, which are old houses forming a courtyard. There are plenty of stories surrounding it, some “magical”, some historical. After relaxing in the hotel for a while, we went to dinner at “Hemelse Modder”. The food was great and it was definitely one of my highlights of the trip.
(EYE Film Instituut)
(Back at Amsterdam central station)
On Sunday, our last day in Amsterdam, we took a ferry (free of charge) to the “EYE Film Instituut”. It departs from behind Amsterdam central station and only takes a few minutes to cross the stretch of water. You can visit the museum, but we just wanted to look at the architecture and see what life is like on the other side of Amsterdam. There was a lot of construction going on and none of the typical houses that you can find along the canals, but the amount of bicycles stayed the same. Back on the other side, we wanted to spend our last hours endulging in some of the great food options Amsterdam has to offer. So, we went to have fries at “Vlaams Friteshuis Vleminckx” and waffles at “Sweetella”. The fries were good but nothing super exciting. The waffles, however, they were an experience. I don´t want to ruin the surprise for you, that´s why I won´t explain what´s so special. I´d just advise you to go there with a big appetite, bring at least one other person and order any big, fancy waffle TOGETHER.
That´s it for my trip to Amsterdam! We didn´t have the time to see everything, but we did get to verify our view of Amsterdam and taste many of the amazing dishes. À bientôt, Amsterdam!