Three days in Amsterdam and I turned into the stereotypical high school senior who goes to Europe for the first time and corrects everyone’s pronunciation of Bar-tha-lona [if you do this, no one likes you].
Amsterdam as a city is absolutely beautiful; the brick building, its people, open air markets, the winding canals and death defying cyclists.
We stayed in an AirBnB in the Jordaan neighborhood and though it is residential, it has a ton of great restaurants, galleries and bars. it was developed in the 17th century for service workers and has since then been repopulated by young urban professionals with access to open-air markets. Word of advice, most apartments that aren’t on the ground level have incredibly narrow, steep, uneven staircases so choose wisely.
The Jordaan neighbourhood is a fantastic mix of old and new; if you want a taste of authentic dutch, check out Gent aan de Schinkel or head over to La Oliva for spanish tapas and drinks. A short distance away there’s the Noodermarkt Flea market (Saturday and Monday) and the Waterlooplien Flea Market (Monday – Saturday). These bazaars are HUGE, you can buy anything from cheese to sheepskin.. you can even get a tattoo!
There’s no way we could see so much fruit, meats and cheese and not grab a (okay a couple..) bottle of roses and headed to Vondelpark! When I’m old and useless, just dump me in Vondelpark. Vondelpark is Amsterdam’s largest public park (120 acres!) with tons of paths for joggers, cyclists, and dogs — I did not partake in any physical activity. For the lazy bones in us, there are a few cafes, restaurants and food trucks scattered across the park.
That night we decided to stop at the Red Light District; I went.. I saw.. I peeked…I left. Looking back on it, I would’ve preferred to go during the day time and take advantage of what the historic core of Amsterdam had to offer besides booze, women and weed. Didn’t take a ton of pictures due to obvious reasons.. but I’m sure your imagine is wide enough.
The next day we decided to cleanse our souls and get in some culture so the Van Gogh museum it is! Let me be honest and say I’m not a museum go-er but the “Verge of Insanity” exhibit was AMAZING!!!! It brings transparency to Van Gogh’s mental state that led to his self inflicted ear injury and subsequently his suicide illustrated through artwork, letters, photographs and diary publications. Unfortunately, the museum was against photography.. but it wouldn’t have done is justice anyway. The Van Gogh museum is surrounded by a huge outdoor park that doubles as an outdoor music venue in addition to food and craft festivals. There was a festival going on while we were there so I stuffed by face with giant meats!
We actually spent our last solid day in Vondelpark (again) with Amsterdam treats, charcuterie, wine and a good book. I have zero regrets as I said earlier…..just leave me in Vondelpark to my own devices.
Tell me all about your experience in Amsterdam!! Did I miss any ‘must-dos’? Please let me know with your comments.