Amsterdam - city of bicycles, canals and lights
Ever wondered why my website background picture is an Amsterdam canal view? Read below to find out why!
As defined by Wikipedia, Amsterdam is the capital and most populous municipality of the Netherlands. As defined by myself, Amsterdam is the BEST city I have ever visited!!! So different than other capitals in Europe, Amsterdam has its own architectural style and its unique flavor - and I am not talking about weed here :)))
Getting to visit Amsterdam last December came as a full surprise as it was not at all on my list of to-see cities in the near future. So I have been confronted with a speed up decision to take ... "I am going to Amsterdam for business next week. Are you coming with me?". Yeeey! So no weeks to think about it, to change my mind a million times, to reverse the decision on all its sides? F**k!... Ahhhh... I'm in! Whatever it takes! Bought my plane ticket, reserved the hotel and I was ready for the adventure! And I have not regretted my decision for one second.
Five days in Amsterdam left me so relaxed and refilled like I have been in a 2 weeks lavish vacation! This city has something in the air! It is the air of freedom, of a slow paced life, enjoying every moment, stress-free and traffic-free. And also the period I visited Amsterdam may have contributed to my peace of mind: the city was getting prepared for the Winter Holidays and it was full of light!
Photo source: pixabay.com
I would return to Amsterdam a million times, to take its pulse in every season, experience new places and feelings. If you are not a museum addict and you would like to feel Amsterdam in a different way, I have prepared a list of things you can do to enjoy Amsterdam at its best.
And because Amsterdam is a city to be tasted, not to be talked about, I will leave the pictures inspire you - and who knows, maybe even book your trip NOW :) and feel the Amsterdam vibes by yourself!
1. Shop at the De Bijenkorf and Magnum Plaza.
Either you want to shop for Christmas presents or just admire the wonderful window designs, a visit here is a must. The inside and outside architecture, as well as the Christmas decorations are stunning! At some point you get to wonder if you are in a museum or in a store.
2. Cycle around the city and breath the cool fresh air of an early morning.
It is amazing - and hard to understand for a tourist coming from a heavy traffic city - how the Dutch drivers, cyclists and pedestrians get along and respect each other, and how comes they have such a stress-free and horn-free traffic. Did you know that the total number of bicycles owned by Amsterdam residents is 850.000? Bonus fact: up to 15,000 bikes are fished up every year from city’s canals.
3. Walk on Vondelpark alleys and its surroundings in a beautiful autumn day.
Vondelpark and the neighboring Museum Quarter are known as a pot of art, history and culture. The area is mainly residential, with quiet and cosy streets just perfect to wander around and admire the architecture of the buildings and the Dutch lifestyle. The neighborhood is also home to some of the world's most famous museums, high-end shopping and fancy restaurants.
4. Enjoy a day at the Heineken Experience, no matter the season.
The brewery was established in Amsterdam in 1864 and today Heineken is a huge multinational company, one of the three largest beer producers in the world. Even the brewery moved its activity outside Amsterdam, the old building was arranged as a museum where you can see the Heineken beer history over the years. It is an interesting fact that the company is still owned by the Heineken family.
5. Take a train trip to Harlem and lose yourself on its streets.
7. Take a boat trip on Amstel river at sunset during Amsterdam Light Festival season.
This is the best experience you can have in Amsterdam during the Holidays season. It is not cheap, but for sure it is worth the money!
8. Walk on the streets of Red Light District at night - or enjoy it more than that, depending on your taste :) . It looks totally different than in the daylight (picture).
9. Shop for souvenirs - wooden tulips and white blue ceramic figures. Or even traditional wooden shoes.
10. Visit Bloemenmarkt - the world's only floating flower market. You can find whatever you dream of - starting from fresh tulips, tulip bulbs and thousands of souvenirs to cannabis starter kits - you'd better not try to get the latest out of Holland as you might become friends with the customs at your home airport :D (that is a joke!)
All in one, I highly recommend you consider putting Amsterdam on your bucket list and get a plane ticket soon.
As for me ... I can't wait to be back for the bloomed tulips season!
Spread the joy!