This past weekend we took our first trip out of Belgium to Amsterdam (which is in The Netherlands).
I knew Amsterdam mostly for the “sketchy” stuff before I went, but there is so much more to this city than meets the eye. The city is full of amazing architecture, beautiful canals, friendly people and amazing museums.
On the first day, we stopped at the “I am Amsterdam” sign because we are cheesy American tourists and want to take cheesy touristy pictures.
We also went for a canal tour of the city. I have always wanted to go on a canal tour, so that was definitely a great experience. The city has amazing architecture and it is all so much more beautiful by being on the canals. I highly recommend going on a canal tour if you ever get the chance to go to Amsterdam.
We got dinner at this amazing non-touristy restaurant. I couldn’t understand the menu because it was in Dutch, so I thought I ordered pasta. Well… the waiter brought a pear with some raw bacon on top in front of me. You could say I was pretty hungry because I actually ate it and it wasn’t as bad as it sounds.
Here is where I am going to leave you in the dark about the rest of that day.
The next morning, we got up at 6:30 to get to the Anne Frank House at 7:30 (yeah, we pretty much didn’t sleep). However, pre-ordered tickets were sold out and we heard that if you go early that is pretty much your only chance of getting in without wasting the entire day in line. Let me tell you, it was worth it. I’ve read the Diary of Anne Frank twice and loved it, so it was really cool to see where they lived when they were hiding. It was larger than I pictured when reading it, but then again there were a lot of people living there for a long time. The saddest part was definitely hearing Otto Frank talk on video about when he found out that his entire family had been killed in concentration camps. I really can’t put the tour into words, but if you ever get the chance, you NEED to go. I will definitely pull that book out for a third-read when I get home.
We then got lunch at this cute restaurant right on the canal across from the Anne Frank House. Every single one of us loved our food and it had a lot of charm. The food came down in a little cater-waiter, which I loved.
Then, we went to the Van Ghouh museum. It was really cool to see all his paintings, but I’m disappointed that Starry Night isn’t at that museum because that is my favorite. Oh well, it was still a great experience.
I would say that Amsterdam was a bit of a risk for the first trip, but we made it out alive and we saw all of the major things that we wanted to see!
My final words for people who want to or are going to travel to Europe: DO NOT shy away from Amsterdam because you think it is sketchy. From my experience, there are so many museums to see, it was much safer than Brussels, and the architecture and canals make it 100% worth it. Don’t judge a book by its cover. From my experience, Amsterdam seems to be the best of all worlds.