My favorite time spent traveling is usually the time spent wandering around and usually getting lost. Even though Amsterdam was windy and cold the February weekend we were there, it was no exception to this rule/universal truth. The canals are gorgeous, the architecture is charming and the Red Light District is, obviously, very interesting. One of our favorite neighborhoods, De Pijp, was a little bit of a walk south of the city center, but ended up being worth the numb toes.
More crooked buildings
Highlights and must-sees in Amsterdam:
Coffee shop hang
- Abraxas was by far the best coffee shop we went to. Amazing vibe, huge and potent selection of…treats and…accessories? (ok y’all, weed and vaporizers). I can’t exactly remember how many times we frequented Abraxas but it outshone the rest of the coffee shops we went to, which all had a frat party/“LET’S GET FUCKED UP” vibe (probably our mistake – I’m sure there are several other amazing shops we missed). Abraxas is the cooler, chiller big brother of more touristy locations like The Bulldog.
- Van Dobben is an authentic Dutch diner tucked away from the busier streets with amazing croquetten – a traditional Dutch snack, which is basically fried mashed potatoes on a bun – and other small dishes. None of us were brave enough to try one of their hot commodities, “meat salad,” mostly because they couldn’t tell us what kind of meat it was made out of. This type od ambiguous meat is something I’ve slowly gotten used to in Germany…y’all grossed out yet?
- Street waffles. Don’t miss out. I’m already regretting not eating more.
The Old Church (left) is right in the heart of the Red Light District (right)
- Sexmuseum Amsterdam, which is basically the history of porn in print, is a fun diversion for only 4 €.
- Of course, the Anne Frank House is something that I hope every tourist does when visiting Amsterdam. I loved her diary in middle school, and being able to visit the warehouse where Anne, her family and several others lived was profound and chilling. We had to wait for about an hour, but it was absolutely worth the wait.
Every store we went into in Amsterdam (not because any of us had really budgeted any shopping in, but because it was so cold we had no other choice but to shamelessly look but not buy) was full of GORGEOUS things. Among my favorites were Hutspot, Maison NL, Art Unlimited and two markets we stumbled on – one in De Pijp - and a beautiful book and poster market near the city center.
Almost bought this guy
Next up: Barcelona.