“Amsterdam in the air, tomorrow on my mind…” Rick Ross Amsterdam
A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting Amsterdam, Netherlands for a weekend trip. As a first time visitor, I had some preconceptions about the city, mostly based on popular media and reviews from my friends. Before I proceed with the details of my trip, this isn’t a post about the notable Amsterdam behaviors. Yes, there is marijuana in Amsterdam. No, it’s not legal. Yes, people smoke in Amsterdam. They also curate a lot of awesome museums, drink lots of good coffee, eat lots of amazing fries and really delicious pancakes and waffles. Here are some of my highlights [no pun intended].
Located in Dam Square, Art’otel was one of the most creative hotels I have stayed in thus far. The hotel could double for an art gallery because there was lots of amazing art to gaze at in every corner of the hotel. I definitely recommend this hotel for any future trips to Amsterdam. Lots of amenities including an in house art gallery, indoor pool, restaurant which served hot breakfast daily, and library.
Amsterdam is home to the popular Heineken lager. The Heineken Experience tour is an interactive experience, beginning with a traditional museum exhibit feel, then a 3D ride describing the making of a bottle of Heineken, and ending with a tour of factory equipment, Heineken horses and of course a lager tasting. Definitely worth checking out.
Food! Amsterdam features lots of familiar foods like fries, pizza, I even saw some fast food chains like KFC while walking around Dam Square. I don’t know what the secret is, but I had some of the best fries ever in Amsterdam. I went with the place that had the longest line, Manneken Pis and it did not disappoint.
Try crossing the street with cars, a tram and bikes. Lots and lots of bikes. I can’t remember the statistic as heard, but it is one of the top countries for bike riders because of it’s flat terrain. In addition to the canal rides, there’s lots of public transportation options including trains, taxis and buses. The train was very easy to use to get to the airport and cost about $6 one way.
Overall, I really enjoyed the Euro vibe that Amsterdam gives. The people are helpful and real. As a tourist, I felt comfortable with perusing through the alleys and shops with no problems. It’s a great place to visit with friends and surprisingly there were a lot of people with children, which surprised me for a place with such an infamous reputation. With only two days I didn’t get a chance to explore very much so needless to say, I definitely look forward to returning to Amsterdam in the future.