Amsterdam

I’ve visited Amsterdam more times than I can count. When I was living in Germany it was only a short train ride away, so when I had a day off (or 2, on rare occasions), I’d hop on the train and go. Let me start off by saying I’m no Amsterdam expert….most of the times I visited I would just walk around and enjoy the beauty of the city. However, I do know a bit about what to do or see when you only have a short amount of time in the city!

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One of my favorite things to go see is the flower market (Bloemenmarkt). It’s located between Muntplein and Koningsplein.  I don’t have many pictures of it, and those that I do have don’t do it justice. You just have to see it for yourself! This is also a great place to get souvenirs that aren’t super cheesy. Speaking of cheesy, while your perusing the market  stop in and try some local cheeses at the cheese shop! You’ll see a little cellar with this outside:

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Well, minus the cutie. You can sample to your hearts desire! But don’t fill up, because there are so many little places to get really random and weird foods that you may (or may not 😁) wanna try! Particularly in the vicinity of the Red Light District. This is actually another must see….you just have to. Grab a beer and walk on down, because if you don’t go you’ll miss the swans!

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If you’re feeling super touristy, there is a really fun tour that will take you to see some windmills! It’s  a half-day trip, so you would need to block off a good amount of time for this.

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The tour is about $50 (U.S. Dollars, so less in Euros), and will take you to the Zaanse Schans Windmills, Marken, and Volendam.

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You will get to see how cheese is made, how traditional wooden clogs are made, and tour the windmills and town surrounding them. The tour lets you off in Volendam, a little fishing village, for lunch. I’d recommend eating at Restaurant Cafe de Dijk and getting the local fish. If you want something quicker they have food carts serving up the catch of the day and pommes frites (you must try these at least somewhere in The Netherlands….SO GOOD!), and then you’ll have time to get some treats from here:

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That translates to “The Spotted Cow chocolate art,” and they’re not messin’ around.

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If this tour does not strike your fancy, don’t fret. There are plenty other places to see and things to do. Visit The Anne Frank House, spend a couple hours at the Rijksmuseum or Van Gogh Museum,  go on The Amsterdam Dungeon tour.

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This tour sounds silly, but if you like scary stuff and history it’s actually really fun!

If you’re a beer lover, visit the Heineken factory.

IMG_0897Learn to pour a beer the correct way and see how their world famous beer is made!

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Amsterdam has fun nightlife, specifically around Leidesplain. Stop by one of the bustling bars and share a beer with locals out on the patio, or dance all night at Chicago Social Club.

Whatever you do, just enjoy the city around you. There’s a laid back vibe in most places (with the exception of The Red Light District) and you never know what might pop up. Like this amazing symphony on the water at dusk:

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Soak it all in and have a blast!

“Doei!”

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