About a year ago from now me and my friend Alma did a weekend trip to Amsterdam which was absolutely amazing. First of all, I love love love tulips. Dah. Secondly, the architecture is very different from what you see in Paris or Brussels and is unforgettable. Thirdly, Dutch people are super nice and friendly and to top it all, have a great sense in design/style. But before I go into too much details, just a few highlights on travel info:
From Paris to Amsterdam: you can get there with megabus.com for about 15 € one way
Accommodation: that was the first time I used airbnb.com and was SO happy with it. We had amazing hosts Frederique and David who were so welcoming and gave us some useful tips and locations I’ll mention later on
Getting around: we had used neither public transport nor bicycles. We walked on foot all around the city because we love walking and it is free of charge
If we take all expenses on two ways ticket plus accommodation for two nights, in all, we spent around 70 € per person. Isn’t it amazing? Bare in mind that both of us are students in an university so best deals matter to us.
On our very first morning in Amsterdam we headed to Open Bar Bibliotheek, a library with a bar what a name would suggest. There’s no entrance fee and on the last floor of the building you can get a view of the city as well as enjoy library atmosphere. And just next door to Bibliotheek we got our morning coffee in a very good coffee shop [not one of those famous Dutch coffee shops! a regular one] called Coffeecompany [way to much coffee going on there!]. To situate you on the map: Oosterdokskade 137, Amsterdam, North Holland.
Amsterdam is a lovely city in general and we simply walked all around not picking any place in particular. My only advice would be to look at your map and visually divide it in zones yourself or just follow the canals. And if you’re a walker like us, quite soon you will get hungry and want something delicious and local to eat. Well, according to what we heard, there’s no something like Dutch cuisine [pardon me if I’m wrong]. As one of the top financial centres in Europe back in times and the oldest stock exchange, over the time citizens adopted all kinds of food and different cuisines from all over the world. Thus, Amsterdam is a great place to explore a variety of food without going overseas. Restaurants are quite densely situated around Nieuwmarkt area. And while we’re at it, there are two food related things you absolutely have to try there: apple pie and stroopwafels.
An apple pie out of this world: Winkel 43 Noordemarkt 43, 1015 NA Amsterdam. There apple pies seriously taste like heaven!
Stroopwafels: you can get them pretty much everywhere and they are very cheap in supermarkets. But the best freshly baked stroopwafels you can find at Albert Cuypstraat Markt.
Of course, when you’re in Amsterdam, you have to visit flower markets. The biggest one is situated in Bloemenmarkt Singel 630 to 600, 1017 AZ, Amsterdam. You can shop there for tulips as well as for souvenirs and flowers that come in little pots that you can get as a souvenir and is easily transported. I got a bunch of tulip bulbs for my friend’s garden for under 10 euros.
Another thing I would highly recommend to anyone who’s into design would be looking out for little shops. In my opinion, Dutch people have a great taste in design and some boutiques sell beautiful home objects as well as good quality clothes which are not the cheapest, but are worth it.
Unfortunately, I can’t share any funny story about Dutch coffee shops [wink, wink] as it wasn’t in our spectrum of interests and we didn’t have time. For the same time issue, we left museums for our next trip there. Nonetheless, we witnessed quite a queue for Anne Frank’s museum, so anyone who’s going there, buckle up and take a book to kill some time.
So that’s about everything I wanted to tell about my trip to Amsterdam. But just before I stop typing, Alma, my partner in crime, recently started a blog called The Travelling Lama. Can you see it? Alma -> Lama [wink, wink].
More of my photos from Amsterdam you can see -> here <-