I went to Amsterdam in November and it was the most amazing experience. My friend Fancesca (also studying in Bilbao) and I arrived on Thursday night so we got two full days in this magical city before leaving on Sunday. As soon as we arrived I felt like I was in a Christmas village since they had their lights set up for Christmas!
We stayed in a hostel in the Red Light District (which wasn’t as sketchy as it sounds) and ate Wok (two nights in a row) for dinner because it was the cheapest option (study abroad life). Here is a pic of Kayla and I enjoying our Wok and people watching….
That night, Francesca and I walked around the Red Light District which was very uncomfortable and shocking to see these women standing in windows and to see men go up to them made it so much more real.
The next day, we walked around the city center and shopping areas. The amount of bridges and canals was unreal!
We bought a hop-on-hop-off bus and boat tour which was SO worth it because it took us through each part of the city we wanted to see and they gave us a ton of fun facts. We also got to tour a diamond factory and try on some fancy jewelry (apparently Amsterdam is well known for its Diamonds as well).
This is a pic of me talking about how expensive this diamond ring is.
The boat tour was so fun because we got to see the city by water!
There were so many house boats which kind of reminded me of Seattle!
Something I noticed about Amsterdam was the abundant amount of waffles, crepes and Nutella. And BOY were they GOOD. There were so many toppings piled on the waffles, I was in heaven (and thus did not remember to take any pictures of them).
Saturday was a packed day. We went to the cutest brunch place and FEASTED before our busy day.
After brunch, we stumbled upon the cutest, most quaint local market I’ve ever seen! They sold juices, tulips, clogs and much more!
We then headed to Anne Frank’s house which was an incredible experience. It was both heart wrenching and inspiring- especially since we visited the concentration camp in Munich earlier this semester. It is incomprehensible how negatively the Holocaust impacted the world forever. Pictured below is the scenery outside of Anne Frank’s house and the church right next door.
Next, we got back on the boats and road through the canal again.
We met up with our group at the iAmsterdam sign and you can see below my complete fail, trying to take a picture with the famous sign (there were seriously so many tourists).
As the sun started to set, it started POURING rain so we took cover in an irish pub and ordered some well deserved fries. That night we all had tickets for the Heineken Experience where we got to tour their factory. I was surprised at how much fun it was!
They had a lot of technology including a Photobooth, Xbox video games, videos, karaoke and much more for tourists to spend too many hours there. There was also a big room/bar with a DJ at the end which was a fun ending to the tour!
Our last day we tried renting bikes but it was pouring rain again so we decided to instead take a ferry to the giant swing that looks out over the city! It was so windy but extremely worth it.
The views were incredible! There was also a second iAmsterdam sign with no tourists in sight!
Amsterdam was SO MUCH FUN! It’s crazy to me that some of the best english speakers in Europe have Dutch as their first language. Wow. Humans are amazing.
I definitely could see myself traveling back here. I loved the quaint neighborhoods pressed up against major areas like the Red Light District and the culture preserved in the architecture of the houses throughout the city. You can tell it has endured a lot (plagues, disasters etc). Amsterdam I love ya!
Hasta luego chicos,