Amsterdam is, seemingly, a city of contrast. Charming canals, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Red Light District, legal soft drugs. You would think that listing all these words in one sentence is hardly possible, yet Amsterdam is a perfect example that the opposite attract and can function in unison.
Amsterdam is a super compact city, therefore, my friend and I decided to break our Saturday routine of shopping and catching up on laundry and spend a day in a different city. I do admit that seeing everything in one day is not physically possible but we managed to get to know the city or at least its main sights.
We did not follow a map. We followed charming canals and went wherever our eyes took us. We ended up in some of the places several times- granted. But wandering round and discovering charming streets and canals covered in autumnal shades of orange and red was so much better that sticking to a map religiously.
One of the most amazing and welcoming museums I have ever visited. Grand in style and with so many masterpieces under one roof, it will surely blow your mind. The finest masterpieces by Dutch and world painters admired by people from every single corner of the world. This time (unlike 3 years ago), I paid very close attention to the doll house that became an inspiration for The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. No spoiler alerts- you need to read the book!
A few steps from Rijksmuseum is the very famous sign that might just be even more popular that some other cultural attractions in the city! A risky and shaky statement but I am only going by the amount of people taking pictures with the giant letters. Always so envious of those brave and agile who can climb up all the way to the top!
Red Light District
Not a single person leaves Amsterdam before, at least, taking a stroll in Red Light District. With its specific approach to soft drugs and prostitution, the narrow alleys offer some frills for the visitors. Probably the prudish ancestors from a couple of hundred years ago would not approve the way their tenement houses are used today; however, this part of the city is still quite picturesque during the day and interesting and luring during the night.
Fuelled with good coffee and delicious food, you can keep exploring Amsterdam for days. We had to make sure that we get a well-rounded experience of Amsterdam in under 12 hours. But there are so many more things to see! We paid a very quick visit to a flower market (my dream is to visit a tulip farm one day), you also should make sure you see Van Gogh’s masterpieces and Anne Frank Museum– a poignant reminder of the evil in this world. Make sure you stroll through the streets of The Jordaan– charming, quaint and with some seriously good vintage shops! Try some cheese (Edam and Gouda lovers out there?), pancakes are always a winner, try a stroopwafel (thin caramel waffles) if you have a sweet tooth. And if you’re still hungry, remember there are 52 Saturdays in a year. What are you waiting for?