I arrived in Amsterdam on a cloudy afternoon and the first thing I noticed about the city was the energy. Everyone seemed to be having a good time (myself included) and I was eager to check out the museums that my good friend had told me so much about.
My friend had actually give me a list of all the must see places in Amsterdam, and I promised her that I was going to see them all (and I did). The list was extremely helpful, and in fact, it may even be the reason why I started LazyTourists in the first place. She had written down all the places (in order of importance) and even had a comment section on the spreadsheet she created, telling me why I would enjoy each thing.
I had already seen the Vatican Museum and Louvre museum earlier in my trip, and both were extremely crowded (waiting 20 minutes to take a picture of the surprisingly small Mona Lisa painting while being shoved in every direction). Which is why I was so pleasantly surprised by the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmusuem! I highly recommend the audio tours (5-7 euros), as they give you some much needed context to each painting, and therefore allowing you to appreciate the art even more. An important lesson was learned at these museums, photography was not permitted. I was very disappointed, but I still took photos of everything I wanted, i’m not proud of it, and I was even yelled at by security at each floor for doing so.
FYI, Weed and magic mushrooms are legal in Amsterdam, and they made the museum experience even better!
I met some cool people at the hotel I was staying at and we decided to go out to one of the many bars in the red light district. The Heineken beer (my favorite) are served extra cold and everyone was very friendly and just looking to have a good time. Afterwards, we went to one of the many fast food FEBO locations ( a must try). In fact, I was only in Amsterdam for three days but I visited two FEBO locations so often in that short time that I became known by the employees (not proud but so good!).
Prior to this trip, I had never really appreciated architecture (probably because I live in California where everything looks the same). But the gothic architecture combined with the canals in the city, made Amsterdam truly breathtaking, I felt like I was walking in a dream. I think Amsterdam is the most unique city that I have ever visited, and even today, I still think about the city often.
Once in Amsterdam, you will notice just how many people ride bicycles, but I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone. The locals are all familiar with the roads, and they have little patience for tourists going slow. It was intimidating but I had promised my friend that I would try. I decided to visit Vondelpark (a must see) and rented a bike to explore the huge park. It was a fun experience and I am very glad I did it!
Overall, Amsterdam was truly spectacular, and although it may not be the ideal family trip, I would recommend that everyone visits it at least once.