I visited Amsterdam, which is the capital of the Netherlands. At first I didn’t realize that Amsterdam and Holland are the same place. There are 12 provinces within the Netherlands and 2 of them have Holland in their name. Amsterdam is in North Holland. I like to keep things simple, so I am going to call it Amsterdam, which is what I always call it anyway.
I completely enjoyed my trip to Amsterdam. It might help that I love to bike and since Amsterdam is the city of bikes, it was perfect. It is not really the city of bikes, but I like to call it that because they are everywhere. I found that the best way to get around the city is by bike. It wasn’t a problem to find one because there are literally everywhere. I enjoyed taking guided tours of the city and then pedaling off on my own.
Biking was so affordable and I felt like I was getting exercise, although my backside got a little sore. There is so much happening in this city from the flowers to the markets to the food. There is so much history in this city that I was completely swept away.
I meet so many relaxed and welcoming natives of Amsterdam. I spent most of my time surrounded by flowers. Like bikes, there are everywhere, too. Amsterdam is home to the tulip and they are present all year long. I found them in abundance around the canal. My favorite part was taking a cruise down the canal. I know I looked like a tourist, but I didn’t care. I chose both the traditional canal boat and the faster mini boat tours. I loved them both for different reasons.
There are so many museums and galleries awaiting you in Amsterdam. Honestly, this city is bustling with history. The Rijkmuseam, which has over 800 years of Dutch history, including the Dutch Golden Age. I saw the Van Gogh Museum in Museum Square. This Museum has the largest collection of work by Van Gogh and on Friday nights, it is like a party there. I stay there late and really enjoyed the performers and DJs. Another must see is the moving museum of Anne Frank’s house. I saw her hiding place and the actual diary. I remember reading the book about her life and I was just as moved seeing it in person.
The nightlife is on point in Amsterdam and I had a great time in the evenings. It does not matter what atmosphere I wanted, it was all there. There are cafes for when I wanted a more casual scene. There are many bars that provide cocktails and ambiance. When I was ready to party, the city was, too with so many clubs complete with DJs, music, and lasers.
Really no city is complete without experiencing the local food. Amsterdam takes many things seriously, including its food. There are many highly rated restaurants where I enjoyed the local cuisine. I am not a beer fan, so I skipped the Heineken Experience. I know many of you are gasping, but it just was not for me. Many of my friends went and loved it. I had a hard time getting them to leave. Amsterdam left its mark on me and I can’t wait to go back.