Hallo, Amsterdam! What a magical place with so many things to enjoy! This made it difficult to keep to the 30 euro a day budget, but .. when in Rome! We walked around the city all day, got lost in the narrow side streets, stumbled upon the prettiest canals lined with house boats all while feeling completely free. Holland is one of the most accepting and open places that I have ever visited. You can find people from all walks of life here, living the way that they choose, and being embraced for who they are. Not to mention we soaked up a lot of history here, through visits to the Ann Frank house and the Van Gogh museum, and from just walking the streets and seeing what we bumped into! This post is precisely centered around what we bumped into! There were a few must see locations on the list, like the Anne Frank house, but the rest of the magic was found on our wanders!
Houseboats & Canals
The canals of Amsterdam are a beautiful characteristic of the city; lined with houseboats and flowers. There are over 100 kilometers of canals connecting the maze of little islands that make up the city. Lucky for us, the weather was lovely during our 5 day visit. The sunshine made for beautiful walks, as well as beautiful photo memories!
The Twinkly Canals Taking In The Sunset
Noordermarkt, Farmers Market
I adore markets… and if you do too… then Noordermarket is the place for you! We stumbled upon Noordermarket on a Saturday morning stroll, and couldn’t be happier with our findings! This lively market was packed with fresh, local produce. Just a walk through the isles of vendors, taking in the aromas and sights of the edible creations will have you ready to feast. We purchased a smorgasbord of items for our city picnic; from roasted eggplant quiche, to cheesecake with a local raspberry topping, to the longest string beans you’ve ever seen, Noordermarket has more than you could ever dream of!
Sites To See
The Morning Commute
Watching The Morning Commute While Enjoying A Coffee
Peanut butter & jelly…Yin & yang… Amsterdam & bicycles! There are bikes as far as the eye can see here in Amsterdam. Instead of dodging cars, we were dodging bikes while strolling through the streets. There are even parking garages for bikes! This is just straight up unique. How many cities the size of Amsterdam can comfortably accommodate SO many cyclists? When I get where I am going, wherever that may be, I want to be a bike commuter. You can exercise, make an energy-efficient choice, and slow life down a bit, all from using a bike as your main mode of transport.
For the few that navigate motor operated vehicles, the unfamiliar trend continues. Europe is home to smaller cars than what I am used to back home in the USA, but Amsterdam takes the cake for some of the ittiest bittiest of vehicles known to man! So cute you could squeeze them!
The church tower is the highest in Amsterdam! To the left of the Westerkerk is the Anne Frank house. If you look at this picture closely, you can see the long line of people that wait about an hour to enter Anne’s house. It is 100% worth the wait and the fee to enter, even for travelers on a budget. We spent over 2 hours walking through the Anne Frank house, learning about her family, and the days that were spent in hiding. The reality is tragic and chilling, but extremely important and a story that many of us have read about in Anne’s diary.
The Anne Frank House
What a place. There are no words to describe the impact that the visit to the Anne Frank house left on me. A humbling visit that made me extra grateful for the comfort and safety that I have experienced in my life. This place is incredibly moving. Not only is it powerful to walk through Anne’s historic house which is in close to its original state, but the interactive museum brings Anne’s story to life and communicates the severity of the tragedies that occurred during WWII. It would be pretty easy to completely lose faith in humanity, but the museum experience has the opposite effect. Instead, your duty as a human is tapped into, the desire to never allow anything like what happened during WWII to ever happen again.. ever. Please go here if you find yourself in Amsterdam, you will be happy you did.
After the Anne Frank house, we needed something uplifting, and what could be more uplifting than a yummy lunch on a sunny houseboat cafe?
The Homomonument was the first monument in the world that payed tribute to homosexuals who were killed by the Nazi’s. The powerful inscription reads as follows:
“Commemorates all women and men ever oppressed and persecuted because of their homosexuality. Supports the International Lesbian and Gay movement in their struggle against discrimination and oppression. Demonstrates that we are not alone. Calls for permanent vigilance.”
Van Gogh Museum
Another great stop, especially for the art appreciator (which I am not, but I still enjoyed!)! Get lost in the journey that was Van Gogh’s life. Learn about his influences and his hardships through the works of art that fill the museum!
Enjoying our last breakfast from the balcony of our temporary home in Amsterdam’s Jordaan district. All in all, our stop in Amsterdam was wonderful! Ciao, Amsterdam! Dank je for the good times!
Do you have a favorite memory from a visit to Amsterdam?