Thursday, August 6, 2015

Amsterdam - Netherlands

Amsterdam is such an amazing city! I had been here once before in spring but only for a day, so I didn't really get to experience much that time, plus it was still pretty cold, but thankfully I have returned with my amazing husband :)

There are quite a few "must" visit places in Amsterdam, one of them is the Heineken Brewery which is made here, and so you know the recipe hasn't change since it was created around 1864. The bottles have definitely changed into many sizes, back in the day they really looked like medicine bottles!
The cool thing about the experience is the combination of history and technology, they have tons of interactive games that are just simply fun.

Also the tour includes 2 beers with the entrance fee (€18pp - however you can buy the tickets online which will save you 2 euro and also waiting in line, so buy them before you go). Same idea for the Van Gogh museum, the wait can be 2 hours so buy the tickets in advance, you get to pick the date and time and go right  in.

Another must see is the Rembrandt House, it's unique as it is where he lived and worked for 20 years, so you don't only get to see some of his paintings but also the prints that used to be very popular back in the 1800's. Better yet, there are couple of workshops where you can create your own print, and also a demo on how to do it. We asked If we could buy the sample from one of Rembrandt's prints made at the demo and it was just given to us for free!. (Ask and you shall receive!)

Amsterdam is a very progressive city, there are all kinds of ways to get around the city center and to the airport (train, tram, bus, taxi, rent a bike or simply walk as everything seems to be close). I would recommend buying the tram ticket valid for more than a day if you know you are staying for few days, it is worth it as it would take you eveywhere. Here is the map to give you a a idea.

There are also bikes EVERYWHERE! it is kinda fun to see how old people, Moms with kids, people dressed up probably on the way to work and pretty much everybody just rides bikes, which explains why everybody seems to be in great shape! 

And on top of that if you enjoy trying different food and hitting different restaurants. You will find cool shops, bars, restaurants and pubs pretty much everywhere around the city center. Here are some of the areas:

- center - please find this cheese shop, they have samples of all the different kinds of cheeses that you can imagine! We literally tried them all! :)
Then take some wine and cheese to have a little picnic by the canals 

- center - also have some waffles, you won't regret it!
- Leidseplein  - clubs and what it looks like an exclusive area

And if you like markets, there are tons of flea markets happening in multiple areas of the city. The best part is that they are open and full of people during the weekdays. David and I were wondering if people in Amsterdam just don't go to work, or if the city was simply full of tourist (which might be the case during the summer). 

While walking we spoted the flower market where they sell all kinds of tulips in cans!! I almost bought one but then I thought.. Am I really going to carry a can of tulips for 5 months with me? ;) - either way very interesting.

And if you have enough time, try to fit in a canal cruise at night. We bought some wine and some snacks and took that with us on the boat so it was pretty enjoyable.

One of my favorites cities for sure, at least in the summer time.

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