Ah, Amsterdam. The city of bikes, good design, and wonky buildings painted different colors on every street. Amsterdam is a city that is filled to the brim with rich culture and a laid-back lifestyle I could definitely get used to. With streets that line canal after canal, more bikes than people, and a value for it’s sweets, Amsterdam is a place you don’t want to miss.
We had about 4 days in Amsterdam and our favorite part of the whole trip was our Airbnb. Seriously, we lucked out. The apartment we stayed in was in a hip residential area called Oud-West, which is seated right behind the infamous VondelPark. Not only was our location a perfect distance from the hustle and tourism of the city center, but the streets were conveniently filled with markets, restaurants, and cafe’s to meet all of our needs. You can rent it yourself here!
One of the days, Kristie hit up the Van Gogh Museum (which is a must-see!) while Hannah and I rented a couple bikes and spent an afternoon in Vondelpark. Such a good decision. Everyone rides bikes in Amsterdam, so renting your own is like a MUST. Not only is it fun, but you get to feel like a local! Vondelpark is huge and filled with people enjoying the sun, reading, or just being with family and friends.
Amsterdam has a ton of great flea markets accessible in and around the city center. We went to a random one and really had a lot of fun. I don’t normally love thrifting (I’m just not good at it!) but going to this market was a fun experience. They had piles of clothes you had to sift through and gave you great deals on stuff. I got a book about Coco Chanel written in dutch and a black leather bag!
One of the best things about staying in an Airbnb is the fact that you have your own fully-stocked kitchen! We really took advantage of our set up by going out to the markets and getting ingredients for a meal that tasted like home. Zoodles are a favorite dish of mine (thats’ zucchini noodles), and when I saw that our host had the right utensils to make the dish, you better believe we did! It was so nice to have a relaxing night at home.
For our last night in Amsterdam, we knew we just HAD to stay at Lucky Lake Hostel. Think hippy glamping but way cuter. If you can even imagine. It was amazing! Lucky Lake Hostel is located in the countryside of Amsterdam and is a little getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. It was such a fun experience to get away, stay in a little camper, rent bikes, and explore the countryside. A perfect ending to our time in the Netherlands.
- Rent a bike! Ride around the city and visit VondelPark
- Our AIrbnb was the best.
- Nutella and belgium waffles are a staple, but be aware, they can be pretty pricey.
- Bloemenmarkt – a flower market! Visit KoKo Coffee + Design. It was by far the best cafe shop we came across. It’s half coffee & half clothing/home goods. The only bummer is that it’s oddly located at the end of the street in the Red Light District. I definitely recommend avoiding the Red Light District…so try to find a back entrance to this fun cafe!
- Additional advice: coffee shops in amsterdam are weed shops, cafe’s are for actual coffee.
- Hillsong Church has a campus in Amsterdam! Visit on a Sunday! They even have a canal boat especially for new visitors!
- Van Gogh Museum & Anne Frank House are two incredible museums to visit.
- Winkle 43 has an amazing apple pie!
- Spend some time at Lucky Lake Hostel! You won’t regret it.
- Try to take a boat ride through the canals!
- Take a stroll through the Jordaan District. It’s full of culture and interesting people.
Stay tuned for my LAST post on my Europe trip: Paris!!!