Iamsterdam

                Looks like I’m moving to Amsterdam! I wish, but my trip there this weekend made me fall in love with this quaint canal town. I was expecting Amsterdam to be beautiful, but I was not prepared for how much I would really love it. The canal houses, cozy cafes, and bountiful bikers give a homey feeling. Aaron and I stayed in a nice area within walking distance to all the museums and sites. Plus the public transportation is so easy there; you can hop on the tram, a bus, or rent a bike.
                On our first day, Thursday, we visited the Anne Frank Haus. The emptiness of where two families once hid left an eerie feeling. The attic is pretty much vacant now, with only a few posters stuck up on the walls for decoration. It is hard to imagine anyone living there, in darkness day in and day out. The exhibits were well done, plus I learned more about her father Otto, and how they kept his company running while in hiding.
                We needed a bit of a pick me up afterwards, so we walked across the street to the Amsterdam Tulip Museum. It was a small museum that explained the process of farming tulips in the Netherlands. It actually was really fun and inspired me to purchase some tulip bulbs to plant when I return!

Quick pick outside the adorable Tulip Museum
                To finish off the day we went to the Heineken Experience, located at the old Heineken Brewery. It was a self-guided tour where we learned about the history of the company as well as some sampling. After the main tour there was a lounge/bar with all sorts of games, music, and TV’s to hang out. It was a nice way to end the evening.
Photo-op at the Heineken Experience

                Friday was museum day. We started at the Rijksmuseum, which houses several Dutch artists including tons of Rembrandt pieces. The museum itself is incredible, the architecture outside resembles a palace while the inside is modernized and sleek. It was hard to pick a favorite piece in the museum, because there was so much to see. We spent around 4 hours in the museum, then had a lunch break and made our way down to the Van Gogh museum. The Van Gogh was much more manageable and went chronologically through Van Gogh’s life and work.

                Exhausted from the day of museums, we decided to take a Canal Cruise on Saturday. We walked around the central area which is more populated with tourists and got our tickets. The cruise lasted about an hour where we learned more about the city’s history. Then we did some shopping, some eating, and lots of picture taking.
Aaron and I on the Canal Cruise

                If you are ever in Amsterdam, you HAVE to ride a bike. There are designated bike lines throughout the entire city; it is really crazy but so much fun. We rented bikes in the central area and rode everywhere. Now I understand why everyone does it! We rode through Vondelpark, under the Rijksmuseum, to the Anne Frank Haus, everywhere. I almost wish we had rented bikes for the duration of the trip, because it’s so much quicker to get around.

Biking at Vondel Park

                Afterwards we stopped for some lunch and finished up souvenir shopping and headed to the airport for our return to Firenze. I’m so glad this was my last trip and lived up to all of my expectations. The city is so vibrant and diverse, we ate all different types of food (Tapas, Chinese, Dutch), in just one weekend. I would love to return here in the future, or maybe for an extended time ;).

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9 comments

  1. I loved reading about your trip to Amsterdam. The Anne Frank Haus has been one of the many exhibits around the world that I plan on visiting in the future. I loved how you embraced the quaint life of this small town and did not need extravagant surroundings to find beauty and entertainment in the things around you.

  2. Wow this post really takes me back! Two summers ago I visited Amsterdam with my family and absolutely loved it. When you said, “canal houses, cozy cafes and bountiful bikers give a homey feeling” I knew exactly what you were talking about. All those things made me fall in love with Amsterdam too. The fact that you had the courage to ride a bike there is amazing. I was too worried about being killed by a biker let alone try to join the pack! I am very jealous you got to go to this amazing place. I really hope to go again.

  3. Your trip to Amsterdam sounded like it was absolutely amazing. It reminded me of the three times I had been there previously. Throughout those three times there I had gone to almost all of the museums you went to but never rented a bike because I always thought id crash into another biker or someone walking but now I really wish I would have done so. Reading this made me very excited because I love hearing other people's great experiences in places they are not used to being in.

  4. This whole blog entry made me want to go to Amsterdam 10x more! It sounds amazing and looks absolutely beautiful. I've heard riding bikes around is tricky but you got through it! This is one of many places that I hope I will be able to visit in the coming years!

  5. Your whole experience sounds wonderful. I've always wanted to travel to Europe (I've actually never been out of the U.S.) and over the last couple years I've been hearing more and more great things about Amsterdam, that I think it's moving towards the top of the list. Anne Frank's story has always fascinated me; I'm sure visiting her house must've been surreal. And all the museums! I'm sincerely jealous of your fantastic trip.

  6. Your trip sounds amazing and it makes me want to visit Amsterdam myself even more than I did before. I imagine that seeing how beautiful it is in pictures doesn't come close to how amazing it is to actually be there. You're so brave to ride a bike around, I can't imagine doing that in any city, or even my small hometown. Being on a bike surrounded by cars? I don't think I could do it.

  7. I feel like most D&m majors automatically think of London, Paris, and Italy when you think of fashion cities. But I think its interesting how Amsterdam never really comes into the picture. But my whole life I have always wanted to go to Amsterdam. I really like how you devoted a paragraph to bike riding, because my whole life I have always been so into bike riding. Also this blog has really enhanced my interest in wanting to study abroad in Amsterdamn.

  8. I always had and urge to go to Amsterdam and reading this makes me want to hop on a plane tomorrow. I think most people expect Amsterdam to be this wild place with no rules when that's clearly not the case. The museums all sound beautiful and the Anne Frank Haus tour seems specifically thrilling. I can't imagine what that was like to literally walk into history. I can only hope that I will be able to experience that for myself in the future.

  9. I love this so much! Thanks so much for posting all of your photos and inspiring me to go somewhere atypical of a d&m major. I feel like most students travel to Paris and London but like you, I really want to go somewhere where I won't probably travel again! Amsterdam is definitely on my list now!

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