“You’re nursing a drink in a canal café when you hear Bach. A man with a wild hairdo is playing the organ and trumpet on a nutshell of a boat, while his feet do the steering. Only in Amsterdam…” (Lonely Planet)
Probably one of the quirkiest, most open minded, and most beautiful European cities I know. Not to mention the most ridiculous amount of cyclers on bicycles within the confines of one space. No other city in Europe has streets, drive thrus’, and parking garages dedicated to bikes like I AMsterdam. If so, please tell me where.
You can breathe easy: the soul-searching is over. The core values of Dutch society that we knew and loved have emerged intact. Newcomers who integrate are welcome; practicing a faith is OK, as is the right to turn away from it. You like reefer madness? Fine, hit up a coffeeshop. A studded jockstrap for skate night? No problem, that’s crazy enough. Tolerance hasn’t gone out of fashion, it’s just had a makeover.
Wander over the canals, especially in De Jordaan area or 5 Straatjes for shopping. Do the Van Gough and Rijksmuseum classics, beautiful. Go for lunch on the other side of the Het IJ. Take a boat on the backside of the Central Station where you’ll discover new architecture and eat Haring fish and some good cheese. Not that touristy stuff.
Things To Do and Places to Visit in Amsterdam
Jordaan: The must go to area of the city. On a Saturday there is a market around the Noordermarkt. Nearby there are some intrinsic bars/restaurants especially good on a sunny day. Get lost in and out of the crossing streets rearing over the canal like Westerstraat, Lindengracht, Rozengracht, and Elandsgracht. Werck is a nice restaurant with a huge terrace upstairs and downstairs.
Anne Frank House: Located 1 minute from the Werck restaurant in Jordaan.
Rent a Bike: The best way to take in the city.
De negenstraatjes: Where you’ll find an array of creative shops.
Vondelpark: When the weather is merciful, you’ll find everyone here soaking up the sun.
Albert Cuyp Market: EAT A STROOPWAFEL! Undoubtedly the best tasting treat from the Netherlands. It’s truly amazing and hands down my favorite. If you’re a meat lover, check out the Eetcafe Loetje but good to make a reservation. From here you can take a short walk to the museumplein (museum square), where you’ll find the I AMsterdam logo, Van Gogh Museum, and Stedelijk Museum.
Kalverstraat/ Dam Square: Touristy, but good nonetheless. Plus it’s not too far from the…
Red Light District: Be forewarned. They don’t call this a ‘liberal’ city for nothing. And yes- if you’re into blazing or giving it a try for the first time without getting handcuffed, Amsterdam is the place for a plethora of hydroponic options.
It’s whimsical to think of how much there is to do in Amsterdam. Just go. -Tnoëly