I know a lot of people have been asking when I will post about my trip to Amsterdam, so I figured that I should go ahead and get that online.
We awoke to a bright Amsterdam morning on Saturday. Not in any hurry, we had a leisurely brunch in a small café and went to find our ride. We had purchased tickets for the hop on hop off bus, and rode it around to all of Amsterdam’s historic sights. Around lunch we hopped off at the Anne Frank house. Next door was a lovely church where Rembrandt was buried.
What we wanted to see the most was the Anne Frank House. I enjoyed the museum, even if the content was rather gloomy. There was a sense of hope, especially in the later exhibits. Afterwards, we set off to find the Skinny Bridge. Our bus tour had mentioned the bridge, only one row thick due to lack of materials while it was being built, but we had been unable to get a good look at it. In what was foreshadowing for many other occasions, we got a bit lost. We quickly discovered that Amsterdam was very small, but incredibly confusing. Despite none-too-shabby map skills we spent a lot of our trip discovering unplanned parts of the city.
We had been told that the best way to truly experience Amsterdam was to rent bikes. We did just that, with plans for a picnic and bike ride around Vondel Park for lunch. Before that the forecast threatened rain, so we rode over to the Katten Kabinet, a 17th century canal house that had been filled almost entirely with cat artwork.It was a great stop for two cat lovers.
On our way we also stumbled across Rembrandt Plaza, where they host an art show every Sunday. They also had an impressive array of statues to honor Rembrandt. Stumbling on that was a happy accident.
We had big plans for lunch. We bought ourselves a lovely picnic at the supermarket and rode our bikes over to Vondel Park. The rain had let up and it was a beautiful Sunday afternoon, so the park was filled with families, dogs, bicyclists, and people rollerblading. We found a lovely lunch spot near a pond, and fed our strawberry ends to some hungry ducks.We spent a relaxing, sun soaked afternoon biking around the park.
For dinner we returned to the Katten Kabinet to the cute café next door, P. King Café. We had gotten tea there earlier, and noticed that they had a dinner menu. This was, surprisingly, a rarity in Amsterdam. If you are looking for coffee, tea, or beer there are cafes on every corner, but a full meal at a reasonable price is harder to find.
It was awesome to get a weekend to relax and explore Amsterdam with one of my best friends. We saw and learned a lot, including some tips for visiting next time.
Tips if you are also planning a trip to Amsterdam:
- Don’t be too proud to shop at the supermarket.
- While you are there, buy as many Stroop Waffles as you can carry. They are ambrosia from the gods.
- Check out the Holland Pass to save time and money on museum entrances. We didn’t learn about this until too late, so we missed most of Amsterdam’s biggest museums.
- Buy your tickets online for the Anne Frank House, otherwise the line can be quite lengthy.
- Riding bikes was great, but is not for the amateur cyclist. Bikes are treated exactly the same as cars there, so some skill is required.