City Guide: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Second stop on my 2018 Euro Trip was Amsterdam! To be completely honest, this was a city that I wasn’t the most excited about. Mainly because when you think about it, the first thoughts are the Red Light District (although intriguing, def not my thing) and smoking (may have tried it a time or two). I was anticipating it to be one big party, which as I have mentioned, was not my intention for this trip, so you can imagine my hesitation. However, when I stepped out of the train station, my entire thought process on the city was instantly changed.

But first, a tiny train story, because I asked in my IG polls and you guys said you wanted to hear these (and I literally have one for every time I’ve been on one, although this one isn’t my best). So you know how I said you don’t need a reservation for most trains? This is true for the ride from Brussels to Amsterdam. So I hop on the train and as I’m walking down the aisle trying to find a spot, I keep seeing people with tickets looking for their seats and as I looked above each of them, there was a tiny sign that said reserved. “Oh shit,” I thought, “here we go again, I’m going to have to pay $200 for another ticket or the conductor is going to come around looking at the tickets and see that I don’t have one and boot me off in the middle of nowhere – I’m screwed.” So I frantically made my way through the entire train TWICE to find a seat that didn’t say reserved. Couldn’t find one. By then, the train was literally about to pull away so I found myself an empty row and plopped down, forcing myself to fall asleep so that if the conductor came, he’d feel bad and not wake me up. Thankfully, that didn’t happen but some random man did nudge me (very hard, I might add) and told me I was in his seat. I groggily got up and found myself a new spot, which I also eventually got kicked out of. This happened two more times over the course of the four hour train ride. Lesson, still don’t get a reserved ticket but be prepared to move multiple times.

Now, back to walking out of the train station. The view of the canal with the cute little trams circling the center and multi colored buildings instantly melted my heart. I already knew this was going to be my favorite city and that I absolutely must come back again. I stayed a little bit further out of the city center (it was SO much cheaper) but transportation with the tram was super easy. Definitely get yourself the 48 hour pass if you are visiting! Amsterdam is bigger than I expected and with the pass, you can cover more ground than trying to walk it all.

To be honest, there wasn’t a thing I didn’t like while in Amsterdam. However, a few of my favorites in regards to food & drinks include Brouwerij ‘t IJ, a brewery under a windmill along the canal (get the flight! All 5 of the beers were great! Which is typically not the case when it’s their choice), the poffertjes aka mini pancakes I had at a restaurant in the Bloemenmarkt (the shops are all the same and SUPER crowded but these mini pancakes are worth it to go), Italia Oggi, recommended to me by my old boss, it was decently priced but the food was absolutely incredible! Plus the experience was amazing – they brought out a giant wheel of parmesan cheese, stuck my steaming hot pasta inside and swirled it around until it was covered #YUM.

Food & Drinks

As for things to see, literally just walk down the street and there will be so much! There is a canal in just about every direction and with the buildings being all different colors, it’s all so beautiful. A few iconic things though, the I Amsterdam sign, get there EARLY. And I mean early like 6am because this thing gets packed and it’s not possible to get a good picture or not get stepped on… multiple times. The Anne Frank House – this is a must see! But you need to pre-purchase your tickets! I got mine 2 months ahead but idiot me bought them for the wrong day. However! If you don’t pre-purchase, you can refresh the webpage throughout the day and see if tickets open up. Beware though, this isn’t always likely, I just happened to get lucky! I also did another bnb experience after my successful Paris bike tour – this one was a photography walking tour. It was amazing to walk around with a local who was not only hilarious but brought us to some tourist and local spots that were her favorite. HIGHLY recommend doing this if you’re visiting. Lastly, I made a bold move and went to the Museum of Prostitution. SO interesting. Still not for it but I learned so much. I mean if you’re there, you gotta check it out amiright?!

Sights To See

Follow me on my journey:

Brussels, Belgium

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Berlin, Germany

Prague, Czech Republic

Munich, Germany

Athens, Greece

Barcelona, Spain

Rome, Italy

Naples, Italy

London, England

 

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