Yet another great weekend in another great country. Although my feet were completely covered in blisters and my shoes were just about done for.. I had an amazing time in Holland! My husband and I felt like we walked the entire city of Amsterdam and we may have been a little exhausted by the end, but we couldn’t help but want to explore every inch of this gorgeous place. Amsterdam is just one of those european cities that everyone needs to visit at some point in their lives. Aside from the Red Light District, (rather shocking) It was just so so beautiful!!! From the canals, to the bridges, and the food, to the buildings.. it was just an all around breathtaking place.
Our hotel was located right in the center of Amsterdam and nestled between the many waterways that run throughout the city. We really liked having a central location because Amsterdam is a big walking and biking city so being close to everything was key. For our first day there, we spent our afternoon for the most part just strolling the canals and walking by the various little neighborhoods. We did get lost a few times because it seemed like every street looked exactly the same. BUT we couldn’t complain for getting lost in a place with so much beauty! We ended our sightseeing with dinner at a delicious Indian restaurant in the center of town. Dinner wise, Amsterdam isn’t particularly known for their Dutch cuisine, so finding those authentic Dutch restaurants can be tough. However, the melting pot of cultural cuisines such as Indian, French, Italian, and Mediterranean can be found throughout the city and are worth trying out.
You may have to get creative when looking for dutch dinner places in Amsterdam, but for every other meal? eat the DUTCH FOOD!!!! On day 2 here it felt like all we did was eat, eat, eat! I kept telling my husband that he was going to have to roll me all the way home from Holland! We started our day by trying out some authentic Dutch pancakes at the restaurant Pancakes! (makes sense). The great thing about these pancakes was that they weren’t thick and soggy like American pancakes, but they weren’t as thin as French crepes.. they were right in the middle, and so unbelievably good! We ordered the strawberry and the bacon pancakes… Yep, pancakes with BACON on the inside! We were so impressed with this place that we told our waitress that they were the best pancakes we had ever had! And fun fact: at the end of every meal they will also give you the cutest little Dutch shoe key chain as a free souvenir 🙂 After having that fantastic breakfast we headed down to the main center of the city to explore De Bloemenmarkt, which is home to Amsterdam’s most famous flower market. Here you will find every flower imaginable including the classic tulips of Holland. We also liked exploring the many clothing stores, and cheese shops that lined the market. Our favorite thing to do was to walk into the cheese shops, and taste the FREE samples of Holland cheese. Pumping our stomachs full of cheese was absolute heaven for us.
When lunch time rolled around, we made our way through downtown Amsterdam to Vleminckx Fries. The Dutch fries are absolutely incredible! They are the perfect combination of salt and crispness, and they also come with the best sauces to dip them in. Just seeing the long line of people waiting to get these fries means you know its good. You’ll find many different fry places in Amsterdam, but don’t be fooled and settle for less. Come to Vleminckx for the most unforgettable fries in town! After picking up some fries, we headed to the edge of Amsterdam to Vondelpark. We needed to relax after all that eating and walking around, and Vondelpark was the perfect place to do that. The park is full of beautiful mini gardens and ponds that reminded me a little bit of New York’s Central Park. Just be careful not to run into the people smoking weed here.. (unless that’s your thing).
Close to Vondelpark you can find the famous “I Amsterdam” sign which is located in the art and museum district of Amsterdam. Here you can find some pretty fabulous museums including the Van Gogh Museum. Unfortunately we didn’t get the chance to explore the museums because of the early closing times. It was such a bummer, but we now have a major reason to go back and visit right?? So if you head to the Art district, prepare for high prices, long lines, and early closing times (except on Friday) because you don’t want to make the same mistake we did.
One of the last things we did in Amsterdam was take a canal boat ride to see the sights of the city. This had to have been our favorite thing we did here! This is a must to do in Amsterdam, because you truly get to see the beauty of the canals and places that you might only see by boat. The canals of Amsterdam are truly enchanting, and we were lucky enough to get on the boat during the sunset to get some stunning photographs.
See what I mean by beautiful?!! Amsterdam was such an outstanding place to visit and we would definitely go back.. especially for the food! We ended our evening by having dinner at the tasty Winkel and having some of the best apple pie we have ever had!
And to finish up our trip on day 3, before heading home, we stopped by to eat at Pancakes! AND Vleminckx Fries AGAIN! We almost never go to a food place more than once while on vacation but Amsterdam, you were the exception! We hope to go home and work off the food we ate so we can come back and visit Holland again someday! 🙂
The Savvy Suitcase Top 3 Picks:
1. Dutch Food. Literally some of the best in Europe
2. Canal Boat Ride. Absolute best way to see the city
3. Cheese Shops. Free samples & so good
*Stay tuned for an upcoming Scotland blog post!