Happy almost the weekend! I was chatting with a colleague today, and he was telling me about a friend who was being relocated to Amsterdam for work. This made me realize I hadn’t done a travel post in quite some time, and what better to post about than Amsterdam, one of my all time favorite cities?
I have been to Amsterdam 5 times, the first when I was in college in Ireland and visiting a friend who was studying in Leiden. I fell in love with its beautiful architecture, international cuisine, slower way of life, and yes, the partying. As I have gotten older, I go to bed much earlier, my party hours have changed, but my love for Amsterdam has just grown.
A short train ride from Schipol International Airport, Amsterdam is a nonstop flight from many US cities, and is a really easy place to visit if you have never been to Europe. The Dutch speak English well, and even many things in Dutch bear a resemblance to English words. Go to Amsterdam to walk a LOT, to take in art by Van Gogh in the Van Gogh museum and other masterpieces in the Rijksmuseum, run or bike ride along the canals, or learn about the cities interesting and at times tragic history. Two museums that I have visited multiple times are the Anne Frank House and the Joods Historisch Museum, the Jewish Museum of Amsterdam. As you can imagine, both places are very moving. The Anne Frank House brought me chills and tears that came on and wouldn’t stop. You can put yourselves in the shoes of this young girl when you are in the cramped quarters that she and her family hid in. And every time we walked along the canal, I could imagine how terrifying it must have been to live during her time. The Jewish Museum also addresses the Holocaust, but it also shows the many beautiful traditions, art, and history of Judaism which I have always found very interesting.
Of course, no holiday for me is complete without great food and drinks. Vasso Italian restaurant is in a cozy little old house, and the food is incredible. Sorry for the lack of photos, but their caprese salad, gnocchi, and ravioli are all fresh, homemade, and delicious. Amsterdam is famous for its Indonesian, and while I have eaten at several great Indonesian restaurants, I don’t remember the names! I am hoping to go to Amsterdam sometime in the next year, and I promise to write down everything!
Perhaps my favorite food of all in Amsterdam is the falafel, which is available everywhere in the city. Maoz, just a fast food chain, offers hot, tasty falafel with a serve yourself toppings bar. When we go to Amsterdam, we eat a lot of falafel. Its cheap, and though fried, becomes a bit healthier when you pile on the beets, pickles, lettuce, onions, carrots, hot sauce, and tahini. It is SO good. Maoz has a few US locations, and if they opened one in Boston I would be one happy foodie!