I have never had any desire to go to Amsterdam… Never really had any urgency to go anywhere in Europe. When I think of places I want to vacation my thoughts are always directed to tropical islands with beaches. Europe sounds cold. The opposite of tropical. But I definitely couldn’t say no to the opportunity.
So, on the way back from Portugal we had a layover in Amsterdam that allowed us to explore the town. We took advantage of this because it was the weekend in Dubai so we wouldn’t be missing anything back at home base.
Amsterdam surprised me. In a very good way. Maybe going into it with not so high expectations helped. I don’t do drugs and I had this image in my head of Amsterdam being a place for all the stoners, drug users and sleazy sex addicts. They could go stare at all the drugs that they can legally buy even though they do the same drugs at home where it’s illegal. What’s the difference? Being frustrated with these people is a reason I thought Amsterdam was going to suck a little. Like get over it already.
Well I was wrong. Very very wrong. I suppose Amsterdam does have a faint smell of marajunana walking around some of the streets but one could argue Austin, TX has a stronger smell around their streets… just saying. Legal/Illegal = Potato/Patato
Amsterdam had so much more to offer than my little neive brain allowed me to think. There were HUGE castle style buildings all over the place. You could feel the history walking around the city. The outsides looked so old and cultured while the insides of the buildings felt so new and posh. There was so much crammed into this one little city too. Small boutique shops, or large department store shopping. Chain restaurants near hole in the wall delicacies. Museums, churches, excursions, canal rides, flower markets, prostitues. All in walking distance! Ok, the prostitues were easily avoidable, just felt I needed to throw it in there.
I think there really was something for everyone. We were worried about how we would get around everywhere, trying to be budget friendly, but quickly noticed it wasn’t going to be a problem.
The first day it was really cold. Maybe like 50 degrees, windy and kind of raining. I didn’t have a jacket so I borrowed one of Wafiq’s warmest sweaters to walk around the first day hoping it would do the trick. As we were making our fridged walk to the rental bike shop we had to stop at an elegant looking street corner with a large, beautiful lantern. On the lantern was a fat bird. The fat bird decided to take a poo poo. Right on Katie’s shoulder. “Hmmmmmm, that rain drop felt extra large, and extra heavy,” I thought to myself. Oh! It’s bird crap! Not a rain drop silly. Bird crap, on the nice warm sweater I was wearing. Awwww yes, nothing like bird poo on our first step out the doors in Amsterdam to get you cheery.
After changing into the only sweater I had, determined to keep spirits high, we decided to skip the bike rental. It wasn’t meant to be. Also, it was so cold I thought whizzing around on the bike would only bring the chill straight to my bone . Yeah, with how I’m talking I’m sure all my Minnesotans are cringing with embarrassment of my weakness to the “cold”. I apologize for this.
I think both Wafiq and I can say, not having a bike the first day worked in our favor. We were able to make our way around most of the city by foot pretty easily. Being on foot was nice because we were able to stop everywhere and take our time exploring. I think if we were there for a longer amount of time a bike would be nice and an easy way to get around… But for us, our feet did the trick.
My mom asked me what my favorite part of the trip was. I told her walking around and looking at the buildings, people, commotion, parks, and flowers was the best part. Amsterdam was that easy to enjoy. I didn’t even have time to miss a tropical beach. Anyone planning a vacation that tends to lean towards the tropical areas, I challenge you to try something different and head to Amsterdam. You won’t regret it 🙂
I would share more information about the museums because I know they’re a hit attraction in Amsterdam… I know this because of the long lines at all of them 🙂 I would suggest purchasing your tickets online before you go, I know most of the museums have a fast track line when you do that. Anyways, we only had time to pick one. The only place I really wanted to check out was the Anne Frank house because I read so much about her when I was younger. We waited in line for an hour or so but I think it was worth the wait. Other museums had much longer lines.
Overall, I only have good things to say about Amsterdam. I would highly recommend anyone to go. I think it can satisfy whatever type of vacation you’re looking for. I would keep in mind it definitely has a winter, so if cold isn’t your thing I would hit it up in the summer time. Also, hit me up if you’re going. Maybe I can find an excuse to go back. Thanks!