It’s only appropriate to celebrate the first week of Spring by highlighting one of my favorite cities of the season, Amsterdam. With blossoming tulips, gorgeous canals, and countless outdoor cafes, Amsterdam is one of the best places to be.
Some people have the misconception that Amsterdam is all about coffee shops and the red light district, but it offers so much more. To get the full experience, I’d recommend at least 5 days in the city. Here are some of my top picks:
- I’m big on being centrally and conveniently located in cities, and the NH Carlton offered just that. It’s easily accessible by public transportation from the airport, and in walking distance to top sights. Major plus, is that it’s right next to the floating flower market, which is gorgeous in Spring.
- Shiva Indian Restaurant was a block away from the NH Carlton, and had great Indian food. Didn’t expect to find good Indian food in Amsterdam, so it was a pleasant surprise!
- For a more traditional Dutch treat, try the Old Dutch Pancake House. The apple pancake was more like a doughy crepe – far different from any pancake I’ve had in the U.S. and definitely worth trying.
- Vlaames fries can be found at various street vendor locations and are another traditional must have! While they are tradionally eaten with mayonaise, I opted for ketchup and they were equally good.
- Definitely recommend a canal ride to get a look at the house boats and architecture of the city, where I learned that gables on the top of each house are how furniture is brought into the narrow buildings.
- Not only did the Van Gogh Museum have the largest collection of his paintings (amazing!), but Friday nights offer entertainment and wine in the lobby
- The Anne Frank Museum artfully told the story of her life in an unforgettable way. The museum is a walking tour with various audio and visuals which made for a moving experience.
- There are a ton of fun bars and options for nightlife, which I won’t even attempt to list. However, one place is a bit more unique and worth mentioning. For hip-hop lovers, I recommend Café De Duivel – hidden gem that I stumbled upon with a local crowd and good vibe.
Lastly, no day is complete without a good Belgian beer. For any Spring time Amsterdam travelers, you are in for an awesome experience. Cheers!