9 days. March 2015.
The best time to experience Amsterdam, the ‘Venice of the North’, is in spring/summer when the sun is shining bright, planters with blooms adorn the many canal bridges and the Keukenhof tulip festival is on. But when your favorite couple have called this city their home, any time is a good time!
The best way to see Amsterdam is to walk around and hop into a tram when you are tired, or take a bike. But with the number of tourists on the road (even in March) we preferred the former.
Walking around different neighbourhoods and canal rings we saw the city through the eyes of a local.
Amsterdam has over 50 museums. Though Rijksmuseum is the most visited we somehow skipped it and made it to only one museum – Van Gogh’s. We took the multimedia tour and thoroughly loved the whole experience. Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh and Stedelijk Museum are all located in Museumplein. Concertgebouw, opposite to Van Gogh museum, has a free concert every Wednesday at 12:30; it’s fabulous.
Here are a few pictures from in and around the Canal ring, Jordaan, Dam square, Bloemenmarkt, Albert Cuyp market, Rembrandt Square, Blauwbrug.
To see what the locals are doing, consider picnicking in Vondelpark.
We enjoyed everything from discovering the smallest house in Amsterdam (located at Oude Hoogstraat 22 in the old city), sampling different kinds of cheese at the many cheese shops, stuffing ourselves with ‘Belgian fries’ at Manneken Pis, taking the free ferry across IJ to north Amsterdam, trying to see which house was more crooked and to which century it belonged, roaming in red light district and experiencing coffee shops and brown cafes (traditional Dutch pub). While on a boat tour with Reederij P.Kooij we also saw the narrowest house in Amsterdam.
While there’s nothing elaborate with the Dutch cuisine; a simple ham and cheese sandwich itself is delicious; fresh bread with world class cheese. You should definitely try the national snack- Herring, Dutch style and not in a sandwich; love it. Also sample bitterballen, freshly made stroopwaffels (carry a pack home as well), light and fluffy poffertjes and stamppot with sausages (this one we had home-made).
Amsterdam has a good number of authentic Indonesian and Surinamese restaurants.
If you want to know the best pizza place, contact me. 😉
What we missed is seeing a working windmill in Zansee Sanchs, but we spent a wonderful day with our German friends in Koln; three hours by train from Amsterdam Central.