Tulips, Canals and Bikes: a few days in Amsterdam

Whenever I told anyone that I was including Amsterdam in my travel plans, I always got the same reaction. They would get this mischievous grin on their face and ask, “Are you going to any coffeeshops?”

So for the hundredth time, no! I’m not against anyone going there or anything, it’s legal, do what you want, but I am more interested in Amsterdam for its charming canals, beautiful flowers and its art museums of course!

amsterdam

And I was completely blown away by the beauty of this city. There are flowers on every street, and the canals are lined with all types of different house boats. The cute little buildings are so narrow they look like they were squished up against each other, and many of them are a lot older than they seem.

river

On my first day I spent a few hours enjoying the art in the Rijksmuseum, which houses mostly Dutch works, including Rembrandt’s Nightwatch. Be prepared for a large crowd surrounding that painting though, and plan for a few hours here, it’s a lot bigger than it looks from the outside!

rijks

Next we walked over to the Anne Frank House, thinking that would be a nice way to end our day. When we got there, however, there was a very long line and we decided to come back first thing the next morning. So instead we walked over to the floating flower markets and fell in love with the clogs hanging on the walls in every color. And there are flowers. Literally. Everywhere. Around your feet, on shelves, hanging from the ceiling even! It was amazing, and smelled sooo good.

flowermarket

So the next day we returned to the Anne Frank House, only to find ourselves in an even longer line than the day before. But since it was a long walk from our hostel, we stayed, and we waited. For FOUR hours. It was like waiting to ride Splash Mountain on a busy day in Disneyland. So we took turns walking around the block a few times to keep our blood moving, and eventually made it into the museum. If you are planning on ever visiting, either go in the afternoon/evening, or line up before the place opens!

The last thing we did in our short time in Amsterdam was visit the Van Gogh museum. We bought our tickets the day before so we could skip the line, and it was totally worth it. Van Gogh is my favorite artist, so that museum was definitely a highlight of my stay.

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Other than that, we had such a great time just wandering up and down the narrow streets, taking in the scenery, and dodging the bikes (seriously, I’ve never been more afraid of being hit by a bike in my life). We tasted some Dutch cheeses and failed miserably at learning a few of their words. Overall, it was a great experience!

amsterdam
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