Amazing Amsterdam

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!

Amsterdam at sundown

Amsterdam at sundown

Flower bulbs are everywhere, and in spring the fields are full of tulips. Its like nothing I have seen before.

Flower bulbs are everywhere, and in spring the fields are full of tulips. Its like nothing I have seen before.

The view from our room at the Park Hotel

The view from our room at the Park Hotel

As I mentioned, the night life in Amsterdam is a ton of fun. Whether you are looking for drinks and live music at the trio of Irish pubs in Leidseplein or having a cocktail and dancing and drinking fun cocktails at the Bulldog, you can find the type of nightlife you are looking for.  I like to start the evening with a glass of wine in the lovely bar at the Park Hotel and go from there.
If you do get to Amsterdam, I would say that the following are must-do’s:
1) A canal cruise
2)Spend some time sipping coffee in a cafe
3) Visit the museum district and go in at least one museum
4)Visit the Anne Frank House
5)Take the Heineken Brewery tour
6) Eat falafel!!!!!
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  1. MarathonVal’s avatar

    Love the pix!! It looks so fun – I hope to go one day……

    So I tried chia seeds again today and per your suggestion through in some almond milk. Not bad! I’d still love to hear your recipe though :)

    Reply

  2. burpexcuzme’s avatar

    I get wanderlust EVERY time I read your blog. It must truly be fantastic to be able to visit so many places, experience so many new cultures, and try new delicious foods!

    Reply

  3. leslie’s avatar

    lovely post. i only have 4 pictures from my time in amsterdam – it was a strange trip for me. but i do remember the amazing falafel (i love maoz in ny!) and the chocolate covered waffles at street stands. i totally agree about the art and history in the city being key to a visit.

    love your travel posts. :)

    Reply

  4. Bats’s avatar

    Amsterdum is really a beautiful place to explore. There are many places to visit like Anne Frank House, Vondelpark , Van Gogh Museum, Beach, artis zoo and many others.

    The beauty of Amsterdam lies in its unusual combination of culture, history, food, entertainment and good transport. Chekc out this article before planning your next holiday to Amsterdam for having an unforgettable experience.

    Reply

  5. traveleatlove’s avatar

    I totally forgot to respond last night! It really isn’t a recipe, but I take a little cup of chia seeds and cover it JUST the slightest bit above the top of the seeds with vanilla almond milk. I only let it sit for a couple of minutes, maybe 2-3. Then I just sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg and eat it! I bet it would be good blended up with a banana this way too. I really love the gelatinous texture, which is strange because anything gelatin totally grosses me out! If you find any other good chia uses let me know!

    Reply

  6. traveleatlove’s avatar

    I totally forgot to respond last night! It really isn’t a recipe, but I take a little cup of chia seeds and cover it JUST the slightest bit above the top of the seeds with vanilla almond milk. I only let it sit for a couple of minutes, maybe 2-3. Then I just sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg and eat it! I bet it would be good blended up with a banana this way too. I really love the gelatinous texture, which is strange because anything gelatin totally grosses me out! If you find any other good chia uses let me know!

    Reply

  7. traveleatlove’s avatar

    Next time I am visiting my mom in NJ I need to go to NY for Maoz!

    Reply

  8. traveleatlove’s avatar

    I agree, it is one of my favorite holiday destinations!

    Reply

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