The first attempt at Amsterdam left us with somewhat of a bad taste in our mouth. Short story: we bummed around Amsterdam for a night at the beginning of our trip. The second time around was a lot of fun, though. Three nights was plenty of time to really experience the city and see what it’s all about.
An insanely liberal core and a beautiful, laid back shell best explain the geography of Amsterdam. Pot smokers, general drug users, and prostitute purchasers flock to the middle of the city to pick their poison, but there is more to the city than meets the eye. The canal network is less exotic than Venice but still impressive and beautiful. The buildings and houses are all stacked next to each other like bricks in a wall, making for a wonderful city block. Each building has a hook at the top of its facade, which is used to pulley furniture up; most houses’ staircases are too narrow for furniture.
Sites we saw include the Van Gogh museum, Rijksmuseum, and Anne Frank’s house. Dutch pancakes and French fries (frites) are MONEY, and we managed to find some unbelievable North African food, which was mostly meat, rice, and a few vegetables.
One of my favorite pieces of Amsterdam is its bike community. Bikes outnumber cars at least ten-to-one; it truly seems like everyone has a bike. It’s awesome! We rented three bikes for a day and managed to ride around with six people. It was totally fun and totally sketchy :).
At the end of the day, Amsterdam wasn’t really my scene. I don’t smoke or do drugs and I don’t buy prostitutes, but I definitely enjoyed everything else the city had to offer. We managed to meet some really fun people as well.
Learn more about my Europe trip here.