[Travel Advice] Amsterdam

Random Observation/Comment #758: I could see myself living in Amsterdam.

Things Amsterdam Does Well

  • Beautiful canals and wandering – There’s no shortage of scenic bridge photos overlooking into a canal. I think every corner is just gorgeous and it’s lovely just being surprised.
  • Biking commute – There’s still cars on some major streets and crazy thin one-way roads, but bikes are everywhere. The road designs are very much geared towards biker and walker right-of-way.
  • Bike watching – In Colorado, you’d see more road and mountain bikes. In NY, you would see a lot more road bikes. In Amsterdam, there’s a super weird high handlebar design based on comfort and balance. It’s not meant for speed or adventure, but true commuting and reliability.
  • Happy hours – Shameless outdoor rose and Aperol spritz drinking is what I like to see in a thriving neighborhood. The cafes are everywhere and tables precariously placed next to every canal spot you can find.
  • Dutch snacks – Savory crepes, street chips, pancakes, and stroopwafels are super delicious for any walk wandering through town.
  • Outdoor seating – It’s a tight spot for everyone, but they make it work. Tables are splayed everywhere and people with houses even put their own chairs outside of their front door to have a few glasses of wine at 5pm.
  • 24/7 trains for Central station – This was an incredible surprise as most places have some last calls. I was luckily able to get home from a party a few stops away.
  • Coffee shops – In Colorado, you get these Apple store feel for high tech variation storefronts. In Amsterdam, these are literally just bars with a simple menu and interaction with other smokers.

Things to be aware of

  • Always look both ways before crossing the street – I don’t even know how kids get around, but I’m the most paranoid about getting hit by a stray bicycle. Shakes fist at tourists.
  • Cobblestone Wear sensible shoes because it’s all cobblestone and probably not great for heels.
  • No uber/lyft in city areas – Taxis take forever to get to weird one-way streets. It kept saying 15 minutes because of all the one-ways.
  • April to May is the best time to visit – I got so lucky with the weather and blooming season for the tulips. I really want to come here every year during this time.

Agenda

Day 1 – Tuesday

Walking around to understand the distances on maps. This is always my “grounding” context so I know how long it takes to get to places

De Bierkoning – Beer from a cool guy. Came back here at least 4 times.

Tried to get to table tennis, but couldn’t get a taxi, so I just kept walking for 3 hours. Duck Street crepe from Dumplings was delicious

Felt a bit of a fever and fatigue, so slept for almost 20 hours

Day 2 – Wednesday

Greenwoods Singel – late afternoon poached eggs was amazing

Walked to Bloemenmarkt to see some beautiful flowers

Heineken Experience beer tour (1.5 hrs)

Dinner with ribs at Cafe de Klos

Day 3 – Thursday

Moco wandering some Banksy and NFTs (1 hrs)

House of bols and Cocktail making workshop (1.5 hrs)

Boat party with super fluid – The boat didn’t move

After party in Lodi

Day 4 – Friday

Walking around and taking photos

Rijksmuseum walking around

Midtown grill steaks and mashed potatoes

Day 5 – Saturday

Walked around Vondel Park

Street food marketplace street East of Rijksmuseum

Sat at the boat and had a beer

Science museum rooftop area

Dinner at bar du champagne

Day 6 – Sunday

For those returning to the US, you need a negative covid test from 1 day before. There is a 2x more expensive place at the airport called testfly that does a 20 min test result for $54EUR, but it’s usually easier to just book something from the day before. Unfortunately, I tested positive and needed to just quarantine. I wound up downloading a lot of movies and buying some random meals from Sunday to Thursday.

Kings Day

Towards the last day of quarantine, I decided to walk outside for some fresh air and see the scenes of Kings day before it gets too crowded. The morning (11am) is super tame – just a lot of kids selling garage sale items and playing instruments in the streets. The stores and restaurants moving some food out to the street and handing out $3EUR beers. Next time, I would have loved to get on a boat and see that saxophone guy.

~See Lemons Love Amsterdam