I love Amsterdam. All its noise ,trendy shops, charming but very busy street life. There´s something about the charming canals through the city, and the lines of beautiful Architecture of Dutch gable houses that makes the city such a magnet for international visitors.Looking at each windows and tiny doors with detailed porches and balconies adorned with lights and blooms makes such a statement.Well, at least I love it. Dutch are not so fond of having curtains on their houses so most windows are see-through. There´s a unique sense of it!
There´s something about this city that really captivates me but one thing for sure, the bike culture in this city is so enormous.Everywhere I see bikes, bicycles,or Fiets as they locally called it, and they all come in different forms.The children of my sister-in-law all grew up riding their bikes to school and to everwhere else. It´s like when you don´t know how to ride your bike, then it´s a big handicap! One thing, Dutch people are not so fond of wearing Helmets while riding their bikes, which is very unlikely here in Germany where even pre schoolers wore their helmets!
I guess they are not bothered by wind either!
Now I can´t imagine walking to this city without a sight of these bicycles, and the coffee shops, and the provocative yet always “trendy” restaurants and Cafe´s along the streets.Just like Germans, Dutch people also loved to sit and have a cup of coffee and a slice of a cake, or Apple pie even in midday! There´s always time to take a break, and simply enjoy time outdoors with friends and families.Sitting in circles? yes, that is actually very typical Dutch!
What else have I ´ve seen? Hmm, In Amsterdam, there´s always a time to have a sip of traditional Dutch beer and stroll along the canals.There is no Beer gardens like here in Germany but people also love to sit under a shady outdoor restaurants, with a view of the canals.They are busy drinking wine at 10 a.m, having Kroketten for breaksfast and Bitterballen.
How do people kill time? People watching, admiring the blooms and count the countless “Lovelocks” hanged on each bridges.I guess it´s very common as well to have a feeling of “Coziness” or “Gezellig” even just by lying on a picnic mat and killing time in Vondelpark or sitting under the shady trees near Museumplein.
I saw people screaming and climbing on giant letters. Definitely a “must” for every Instragram worthy post or story.Toddlers can learn early their ABC´s!
Though the beautiful fields of Tulips is in the countryside of Lisse, Amsterdam has it´s own Flower attraction in the Flower markets in the old city.There I have seen so much variety of flowers and different bulbs whatever you called it. From decorative flowers to significant varieties, they have it all. I love these dried flowers in particular.They even have their own National Tulips Day in the middle of Winter .It is held on every third Saturday in January!
Of course, exploring Amsterdam always made me appreciate more of the Dutch Golden Age of Contemporary Fine Arts. A visit to Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Rembrandt House would definitely quench your artistic hunger and satisfy your curiosity.I visited the Rijksmuseum with a toddler and it was a success. Pre-covid, everything was quite different but nowadays, visiting a museum requires early online bookings.
Amsterdam is a place where I have got to know more of the Dutch culture and it´s masters from 20th century up to the Middle age up to the modern day Artworks.World-famous highlights from the Dutch Golden Age, including Rembrandt van Rijn’s Night Watch and Johannes Vermeer’s The Milkmaid, can be admired at the Rijksmuseum.
During our visit, the museum was quite packed that mit was actually hard to get a full glimpse of the Night Watch, but with little patience, we enjoyed admiring every little details of it. This painting was so beautiful and the use of lighting is really superb.
Boat houses, sunbathing while boating, drinking and having lunch on a boat is quite a typical sight in the canals of Amsterdam.We visited around summer so I have seen it all. If you have time to kill, you can have your own boat experience and live like a Dutch cruising the canals as well.
Probably not for everybody´s taste but Amsterdam is a very liberal capital. Besides the Family friendly strolls along the canals, there was quite an adult show, which came to us by surprise in the Red Light District area. I gasped at the sight of it but now, I fully understand why it is so. For first timers, this might come a shock to you. A sight of scantily-clad women in bright colored windows having a parade show might not be a suitable sight for young children so you need to plan your walks if you pass by to this area.
If its not for your liking, you might skip this area and turn into the other parts of the city. This is a city with intertwining bridges and small nooks where the choices are endless.
If you see the same Gable Houses which you have seen before, don´t worry, they might actually looked all the same , but there are quite a number of them and you are not lost.As long as you have the canals on your sight, you are still definitely in Amsterdam.
Aside from Cheeses and hand made delicious Praline chocolates, I have seen thousands of these wooden clogs and souvenir- kinds in Amsterdam. I got myself one so I guess I have been strucked by Dutch´s charm.
Ever wondered why the Yellow Cube Houses in Rotterdam are such a tourist magnet? Or why Keukenhof is the most beautiful Spring Garden in the world? I still have so much to right about what I have seen in Amsterdam but then I reminded myself that yes,I almost forget to mention, actually, my husband is Dutch!
What´s not to love about the Netherlands, anyway? It´s The Netherlands, the land with more Bicycles than people!
Have a happy week, stay well & Tschüss!