Recently Jeff and I went to Amsterdam to soak up the culture, drink Dutch brews, eat too many chips, explore the canals and bask in the beautiful architecture that is Amsterdam.
Thanks to the I Amsterdam card, it was super easy to get around and we went to a *lot* more museums than we probably would have otherwise! It was exhausting, but it was one very educational weekend packed with all sorts of art (hey van Gogh, Tim Hetherington, Rembrandt and Rijksmuseum!), an emotional visit to Anne Frank’s house, the zoo (so many baby animals!), the botanical gardens and loads of cafes, restaurants, bars and chip shops in between. (Links to some of my fave places we ended up at, just in case you fancy checking them out next time you’re in Amsterdam!)
Amsterdam is filled with such incredible architecture! One of the afternoons we had such gorgeous sunlight, and I nearly drove Jeff bonkers by stopping and taking pictures of *everything*. He’s sane now, and I’ve got dozens of beautiful pictures I need to edit and print! (Do you have any recommendations for where to print a good-quality photobook?)
The canals are probably Amsterdam’s most famous feature, and with the I Amsterdam card we got a great English-speaking tour of the canals. However, if you’ve ever been to Amsterdam – or looked at a map of the city – you’ll know that there are canals between nearly every street. And when it’s sunny, it’s impossible not to fall in love with their beauty.
We also spent a lot of time drinking. Surprised? I didn’t think you would be! My favourite local-to-Amsterdam brew was the Oedipus Mannenlidfe, which turns out to mean “man love” in Dutch! What a great name for a beer. I also really enjoyed the Zatte by Brouwerij ‘t IJ, which was much more widely available than the Mannenlidfe so I ordered it regularly.
As you would expect, Amsterdam is filled with cyclists. Cycling lanes (see below!), bike parks (like a car parks, but for bikes!) with capacity for 2000+ bicycles, and bike parking bays all over the city. The people of Amsterdam truly love their bicycles. However, I loved seeing how each bike was personalised. Just like my car back in the USA (with a miniature panda and police car fastened to the dashboard), each cyclist had put their own special touches on their bike.
We stayed at the Ramada Apollo, a 4* hotel about a 15 minute tram ride outside of the city centre. The best bit? The view. Breakfast on the 17th floor and a room on the 9th floor, both overlooking the city centre, were well worth that daily tram ride. Not to mention, our room was facing east so we got the most stunning sunrise every morning!
Of course, it wouldn’t be a trip to Amsterdam without visiting so many museums! I didn’t take pictures at most of them, but I just loved the Rembrandt House so much I wanted to share this picture from inside the house, peeking into one of the other rooms! Privacy, much? 😉
Hope you’ve enjoyed the roundup of our Amsterdam mini break!