Amsterdam welcomed us with rain by 5pm or so. We traveled from Paris by train. As soon as we arrived, we checked in at the hotel and went to grab a quick lunch/dinner before we walked downtown. Plus some beers… Even though they told us they closed the kitchen, they agreed to served us. Bar-Restaurant Myrabelle was a great choice, nice little bar/restaurant and great food.
We went to our first stop, Dam Square, passing by many bridges and beautiful areas. And of course, lots of bikes parked everywhere, from the typical bike to all kind of extra seat or various decorations as flowers, bags to the sides or colorful seats or baskets in front of them. People riding their bikes with a dog on the front basket or their kids on a special seat made for them.
At some point, we were walking along one of the many canals, Rokin, until finally we arrived at the Dam.
At Dam Square you’ll find the Royal Palace, a 15th-century Gothic Nieuwe Kerk (a church), Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum and across the street, the National Monument memorializing the victims of WWII. The area was very crowded, there were street performances, lot of tourists and people just hanging out by the National Monument. Few steps from there, the famous Red Light District is located.
We kept our little walking tour until we reached the house where Anne Frank lived while hiding from the nazis during WWII. From the Dam square it’s about 10 minutes walking, but you get to see interesting spots. Stores, famous ‘coffee shops’, the Homomonument, and more bridges to cross. If you’re planning to visit Anne Frank House, try to get your tickets in advance Online or get there very earlier. The long line to enter, and as I’ve read in other sites, is every day, all day.
From Anne Frank House, we went back to the hotel strolling by the neighborhood and stopped for a while at a bar by the canal to have some beers. I asked the waitress if they have some typical food to have while drinking, as an appetizer or something similar. She told me about some ‘meatballs’, don’t remember the exact name she told me in Dutch. I said ‘sure, let’s have some’. First, I didn’t see anybody else having them, 2nd, they were awful and didn’t taste like meat at all. Still have no idea what it was, but didn’t like them. It tastes as ‘soup’… I think or something like that! *laughing remember that moment*
Around the canals
On the second day, after having breakfast, we walked for about 5 minutes to reach where some of the museums and the Heineken Experience are located. Before visiting the museums, we took a boat tour around the canals. We were in Amsterdam, famous by its canals, we needed to go around them and get to know them better. The only bad side, the hot sun on top of us! Too hot! The weather wasn’t bad, it was breezy, but the sun was burning!
When I was going inside, the captain asked us if we prefer English or Spanish, I actually said either one, English, Spanish or Spanglish, making him laugh with the last one… There are a lot of people that need to know more about South Florida’s language… 🙂 But the tour had audio in English, Dutch (guessing), French, I believe German and I think the other one was Japanese, but they didn’t have any Spanish whatsoever! Hola!?… after English, Spanish is the most common language in the world! 😉
The trip at the beginning was a bit boring, just looking around the areas where we walked the night before, but from the canal. And different view. Later, we started to see more interesting places. Beautiful houses by the canal, a Casino, restaurants, museums, museums in boats, the market by the canal, and once outside the narrow canals, we saw the Science Center NEMO, the Amsterdam Maritime History Museum, the EYE (Film Institute Netherlands) and even a big asian floating house which it’s a Chinese Restaurant. As soon as we were getting back to the narrow canals, we spotted the Montelbaanstoren which it’s a tower that was built in 1516. It was a nice 1hr trip. There are other options you can choose, as one you can hop on, hop off, a tour by night or even one with BBQ or a party on a boat.
Our following stop was a square well known by its museums around a park and where the famous sign ‘I Amsterdam’ is located, Museumplein. I think this was my favorite area to visit in Amsterdam. Lots of museums, cafes and restaurants, people just enjoying a sunbath on the grass, other jogging or riding bikes, it’s a cute little area to see or even to have a nice fast lunch outside, as a picnic.
After our typical nap after lunch, we walked to the market located by Singel canal. Lot of tulips to choose, from the seeds to ornaments and small games for kids. It’s all about the tulips in Amsterdam… Well, for other people the ‘coffee shops’ and the ‘red light district’… I’m with the tulips
By the end of the afternoon, or by night but the sky still showing some light even after the rain, we visited Leidseplein square where you’ll find lot of bars and restaurants. Perfect to end a fun day in this metropolis.
One thing I need to add about this amazing city, one thing I didn’t like and found it very weird, lots of trash around the city!! What’s up with that? I couldn’t understand why. I mean, if I’m in my country, Venezuela, where there are a lot of garbage everywhere I look, mountains, lakes, by the sidewalks, everywhere… it gets my nerves! But my country supposed to be a ‘underdeveloped country’… not Netherlands in Europe… I don’t know… something I just needed to add. A great and beautiful city with lots of trash around… sad! Is it about culture? education? developed or less-developed country? I’m the person if I see someone leaving garbage behind, I’ll tell them. Here, in Venezuela, they look at me in a weird way…
Let’s take care of our planet! Keep it clean!
You can enjoy AT29‘s video about Amsterdam here.