Get ready for many many many pictures of boats, canals, and bikes. Then some more pictures of boats, canals, and bikes. Amsterdam was such a magical place to visit that I thought I would share a little peek at what my sister and I had a chance to see over our three day trip:
Our first stop the day we arrived was dinner at Pancakes Amsterdam. That’s right, pancakes for dinner and I wouldn’t change a thing. We ordered ours with bacon and apple (so good!) and then an order of poffertjes (tiny pancakes dusted in powdered sugar) to split for dessert. It’s quite a tiny place with no reservations accepted and is only open until 7pm, so it’s probably best to go early if you decide to go the breakfast for dinner route like we did! I almost went back another day, it was that good.
After that we walked to the Anne Frank House, which isn’t too far away and as you would anticipate is lined up at all times — we decided to try for the next night around 7pm in the hopes of a slighly shorter line (that’s the best time to go according to our hotel). To say that visiting the Anne Frank House was an incredibly moving experience is an understatement, it is well worth a visit.
The next day we headed bright and early to a few of the museums, which are all located near each other. First up was The Rijksmuseum, where we had a beautiful lunch in their atrium upstairs and I admired the tiny tiny details of the “children’s playhouses”:
The Van Gogh Museum was also very beautiful. I’d recommend to go early in the day or try to book advanced tickets – we didn’t know our schedule for the day and chose to just wing it and ended up standing outside in the midday sun for quite some time! While standing in line we overheard a guard say that usually after dinner there isn’t a wait at all.
The Stedelijk Museum was another highlight, which we visited for the Matisse exhibit (also pictured, the stairwell in the museum, which I loved just as much as the Matisse exhibit. Seriously, simplicity at its very best).
Nearby is the Heineken Experience tour, which was kindly recommended to us by our sister. It was really fun to do if you are in the area – I loved seeing all of the copper vats and the pretty typography of Heineken along the tour.
A quick mention about some more of the food we ate: at breakfast each morning I’d have the apple juice (appelsap) which I loved since it was more like cider, but even better if you can believe it. Alongside our Heinekens one night we had bitterballen (little fried croquettes with beef and potatoes) overlooking a beautiful canal, Prinsengracht. We also couldn’t resist a pit stop for stroopwafels one day at Stroopwafel Heaven (located quite close to the Anne Frank House in case you’re looking for a snack for the long lines!). You could seriously smell the scents of the waffels from outside and the woman who worked there couldn’t have been sweeter. Plus, the blue & white wallpaper?! Can you tell I LOVED it there?!
The next day we took a canal tour, which was so wonderful since you get to see all of the houseboats and homes from a lower vantage point, and to see all of the locals and their families and friends cruising alongside you in their boats.
Last but not least we rented bikes and rode through Vondelpark! It was a bit nerve-wracking to say the least considering I haven’t really ridden a bike since I was a kid, but the park was absolutely beautiful to see (while clutching my handlebars in mild panic. just kidding. The winding roads through the park were quite wide and accommodated my random swerving to the left and right quite nicely, I would say haha!).
There really are so many people biking everywhere in Amsterdam, it was so inspiring to watch, especially the families riding with their very young children — sometimes one on the front and one seated at the back of the bike. It is definitely a city with very fit people!
Hope you enjoyed my little look at Amsterdam — it’s such a beautiful city that I hope to be lucky enough to return to some day! Up next, a tour of Copenhagen and Stockholm. More bikes & more beauty everywhere you look. I hope to post those very soon!