We woke up with fuzzy heads, but a delicious view. Rain pattered against the window of our bedroom, shrouding the terracotta rooftops and chimneys next to our apartment. Venturing out in the rain doesn’t usually appeal to me, but when it’s in an exciting city that you’re keen to explore, it doesn’t get in the way.
We set off to warm up with proper Dutch breakfasts.
Then got ready for plenty of exploring across Amsterdam’s streets. First, we got hold of a canal day pass, and hopped on a boat to head across to the Bloemenmarkt district.
More coffee stops of course – this time a Nutella latte. Calorific but delicious. And, if you haven’t yet noticed Europe’s obsession with Nutella, you will in Amsterdam.
Everywhere you walk, you’re treated to sugary visions and fragrances of tasty treats. It’s pretty much impossible to resist…
Leaving the bakery with sugar highs, we set off in search of more authentic Amsterdam, passing shop windows that are displayed beautifully, full of intriguing little bits and bobs.
You can’t visit Amsterdam and not try their famous cheese. So, so gouda.
A shop full of cheese and traditional Dutch dress – what more could you possibly want in this city…?
We were all pretty amazed at the amount of flavours gouda comes in, so we made sure to taste as much of it as we could. After much deliberation, we settled on a giant pesto gouda and what can only be described as a sweet mustard to form part of our apartment picnic later that night.
Feeling pretty pleased with our purchases but sad we couldn’t take most of the shop with us back home, we stepped outside the shop which was slap bang in the Bloemenmarkt, Amsterdam’s famous flower market.
So many beautiful flowers – we all made a pact that if we ever lived in Amsterdam, each day we’d have to visit the market to pick a fresh bunch of tulips for our apartments.
Our next stop was one of the world’s most famous museums – the Rijksmuseum, famous for its incredibly intricate and adorable dolls houses.
There was so much amazing art that you really need to take a trip to see it for yourself. Even the museum’s grounds are magnificent, and the buskers perform classical music for passers-by to enjoy.
Another hour, another area of Amsterdam to explore. Grabbing some sushi for a quick bite to eat, we hopped aboard a canal tour to set off for the Jordaan.
I’d really recommend taking the canal boat tour. It’s really relaxing, you take in so much, and the information is really interesting. We learnt all about how the canal-side apartments were built to tip forwards slightly to give the impression of a bigger property than the reality.
Did you know, none of these apartments have house numbers either? That’s because each house would have it’s own plaque that’s relevant to the family living inside – perhaps an emblem, or a symbol to indicate the breadwinner’s profession, and the postman would recognise each and every one of these.
We floated past Anne Frank’s House too, but more on that tomorrow.
The Jordaan is such a cool district. It feels quite grungy, but up-and-coming with some stylish barbers and boutique shops. It really reminded me of Gastown in Vancouver, and indeed certain districts of New York City.
How cute is this cafe?
Having done enough walking for one day, we headed back home for a power nap and a picnic of all our favourite Dutch treats – fresh bread, meats, gouda, and much more.
Before getting ready to party the night away at Club Air.
Clubbing in Amsterdam was a foreign experience to us (literally!) You turn up and have to pay for a locker to put all of your belongings away, then put all the money you want to spend onto a special card to pay for your drinks. Handy that you don’t have to carry anything I guess!
Sweet dreams from Amsterdam.