Usually, everywhere we go, we always love it but agree London is home. I still think London is my favorite, but Amsterdam is the first place that gives it a run for it’s money. Amsterdam is beautiful, the people are so kind, and it just feels so laid back and safe. Maggie said it felt like a Disney movie and she was waiting for an animal to come out and talk to us, ha.
We bought these hats, with the intention of being space cowboys for Halloween with some colored wigs. The costumes never happened, they don’t really dress up in Amsterdam, but we wore them on the airplane and thought we were so funny. This was our first time flying Veuling, and they shot straight to the top of my favorite airline list. They allowed a trolley bag and personal item to carry on, and our flight was pretty much empty so we each got our own row to sit in.
We arrived in Amsterdam late Wednesday night and checked into our hostel, The Flying Pig Uptown. I think this is my favorite hostel yet, and you know I’ve loved them all. The staff here were the absolute friendliest and gave the best recommendations.
Thursday morning, we visited the Anne Frank House. This was by far the most interesting and my personal favorite museum I’ve done. We booked our tickets over a month ahead of time and barely got in, so definitely book this as soon as you book your trip. It is so worth it! I remember reading the Anne Frank diaries in school, but now having visited a concentration camp, just being older, and understanding the history a lot more made being inside the house so much more real. I would really like to reread the book now because I will likely get a lot more out of it.
“How wonderful is it that no one has to wait even a minute to start gradually changing the world”-Anne Frank
After the Anne Frank House, we walked next door to Pancake Amsterdam. I saw Dutch pancakes on the menu and got so excited. In America, my favorite place is the Iron Whisk (Cobden people, you already know) and the Dutch Baby is always my FAVORITE… Maybe I’m biased, but I think the Iron Whisk does Dutch pancakes better than the Dutch, ha. Tara, if you happen to be reading this, I have been eyeing the Cookie Monster for weeks now. Please, please, please have it on the specials board in December when I come home!;)
We then started walking to the Van Gogh museum. On the way we wandered into the House Boat Museum (4.50 euro), and the Kernel De Vreedy art gallery. The House Boat museum was actually so cool. There are 2,500 houseboats in Amsterdam and rent is actually cheaper on the water, but insurance is higher. The structure of the museum was an actual houseboat so we were able to picture what life would be like.
The Kernel De Vreedy art gallery was also quite cool. The artist’s daughter was working and she explained that her mother makes all the pieces with only her hands. And the first picture, is the most famous piece of work which many have offered to buy but they decided it was too special and they wanted to share it in an art gallery.
We finally made it to the Van Gogh museum and decided to spring for the five euro audioguides. This is a “luxury” I usually forego but we actually agreed it was totally worth it here and the information was really good. I thought the famous painting, Starry Night, would be there but unfortunately it is displayed in New York. But the other works of art were quite interesting and hearing the audioguide explain the meaning and how they were created definitely added to the experience.
We also visited the Bloemenmarkt which is the only floating flower market in the world.
We didn’t have any other plans for the night and we walked by a movie theatre that happened to be playing the Joker in fifteen minutes so we decided that would be a fun way to relax for a bit. The theatre itself was like a nice theatre for plays in the United States and the architecture was beautiful. Unfortunately, they don’t butter the popcorn in Europe (at least we haven’t found it), but they do salt the popcorn in Amsterdam (unlike London), so we were excited to have a bit of a taste of home. The Joker was soooooo good. I won’t post any spoilers, but if you’ve seen the movie, slide in my dms and let me know what you think of the ending because we’ve had several long debates about it and I have a lot of thoughts!;)
After the movie, we went to the restaurant Fondue & Fondue for dinner. The restaurant was full when we got there so he told us to come back in a couple hours and they would seat us. We were close to our hostel so we went there to freshen up, then when we returned they were still full. The people in Amsterdam are seriously so nice, he told us to go next door to the bar and have a beer (cider in my case, ha) and he would come over and get us when a table opened up. So we went next door for a drink, and came back for a delicious three course fondue dinner (27.50 euro special). We agreed, the experience at the Parisian fondue place was better, but we think the food and staff were better here. We started with a shrimp appetizer. Then we had bread and salad before a spread of truffle cheese fondue, vegetables, more bread, four types of meat, and oil to cook it in. It was FANTASTIC. For dessert we split chocolate fondue, fruit, marshmallows, and cheesecake.
To finish the night, we went to Maxim Piano Bar. I have always wanted to visit a piano bar, and I love to dance to some classic rock (shoutout mom and dad for keeping me cultured on your songs) so this was totally my scene. I was talking to the manager and he explained that this bar brings in pianists from all over the world, and the night we were there the artist was from Australia. He played Elton John, Dolly Parton and Van Halen and I LOVED it.