I admit, I really judged Amsterdam before taking a trip there myself, and I am very happy I decided to give it a chance. When Dave and I decided to visit my best friend and her husband in Paris last year, we knew we wanted to take a day trip or two. I planned on Germany, London, or South France or somewhere in-between, never did I ever plan to go to Amsterdam. I had such a bad image of this wonderful city, and I feel terrible about judging a city by it’s movie reputation of drugs and the Red Light District.
First, I will share my experience from driving from Paris to Amsterdam. It was such a beautiful scenic drive, and I didn’t even think twice about having to be in a very tiny car for 6 hours. We made an overnight stop on the way in Brussels, which is another beautiful, amazing, fun and historical city. When we were back on the road, I really enjoyed seeing all of the tiny farm houses, interesting architecture and even a KFC in the shape of a bucket of chicken. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to get from one country to another, it was like driving into another state, except the GPS would flash the country flag wherever we were to get to another country line. As we drove into Amsterdam, I could’t wait to explore the city. Everything looked so beautiful, and the canals were breathtaking.
I was in awe as we walked around, I tried to soak it all in during our 30 hours in the city, but I’m not sure any amount of time would have been enough. There was a great family atmosphere during the day, and a fun and exciting nightlife. I wanted to do everything I could, but my main goal was to see the “I AMSTERDAM” letters, since they move I didn’t know if we would be able to find them, but we did as soon as we arrived. Check off of the Bucket List!
Something we decided to do spontaneously was take a canal ride. The canal throughout the city was amazing, it was actually quite magical. I can’t imagine getting places by boat all of the time, what a wonderful life. As we were walking down one of the main streets, I happened to ask how much a ride was 10 euros each..I am in! The four of us hopped in, got great seats next to the window and were able to enjoy the sunset via boat. I highly recommend taking a canal trip during the day, and in the evening.
My favorite part was the amount of motor vehicles, or lack of actually! Almost everyone had a bike, you would see them on the street, locked to the canal fence, in the bike parking garage..yes, you read that right a BIKE parking garage! It was a very cool experience, I would love to go back one day and rent a bike for several hours.
I will be going back to Amsterdam at some point, and really hope I am able to stay for a few days. Since it is impossible to put into words how amazing this city is, here are some pictures to help you day dream!