I just got back from a long weekend holiday/exploration in Amsterdam. It's weird, places like Amsterdam (for me at least) have always seemed like a dream you hoped to see in real life, but never fully believed would come true until a random moment occurs in a Starbucks on a cold snowy Monday. Before you can even fully comprehend, flights and accommodations are booked, and you find yourself standing in the taxi line at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
Planning this trip (as you now know) was sort of a last minute decision, and what I now have come to understand is the beauty of studying abroad. We decided on Monday morning we'd go, booked tickets Monday evening, and found ourselves on a full flight by Thursday night. The flight was a quick 50 minutes, and also happened to take place on full moon—which meant I got to see the moon in all her glory as we made our descent into Amsterdam (seriously the most magical thing ever).
So some quick little travel pointers if you're planning on going to Amsterdam:
- Amsterdam seems like it has pretty good public transport! But because it was freezing, nighttime, and we'd have to transfer 3 times in order to get to our hostel, we decided to take a taxi. The only thing I can say is if you're taking a car anywhere, UBER IT! Our taxi was insanely expensive and definitely a slight bummer as we made our way into the main city.
Moving on to better and lighter things, we checked into our hostel 👉🏼 Generator Amsterdam fairly quickly and it was the coolest place ever. Right when we walked in, music was playing, people were everywhere doing their thing, and food was being dished out left and right. If you ever get a chance to go to Amsterdam and are looking for a somewhat cheap but cool place to stay, you GOTTA stay here (also pretty sure they have accommodations in locations around the world—including the states).
On Friday morning we headed to👉🏼 Dignita Hoftuin for the best breakfast/brunch eats EVER. I got the avocado toast which was topped with greens and added a poached egg for some more sustenance. I also ordered a flat white which was so smooth. Like I'm convinced everything is just 10x's better in Amsterdam.
We hit up the botanical gardens after breakfast 👉🏼 Hortus Botanicus
Going to the botanical gardens was just so nice and I think when you visit any major city, it's therapeutic to kind of surround yourself with as much greenery and nature as you can. Cities—as amazing as they are—can feel overwhelming, so taking some time to slow down and take in the beauty of the natural side of the city kind of seems like a must on my to-do list now whenever I visit somewhere new.
So our hostel was pretty much a 20-30+ minute walk from things which seems sort of shitty in the beginning, but honestly it was the best.
Amsterdam is pretty much a biking/walking city so if you're not biking...you're walking! There's so many beautiful things to look at, so that was also a major plus. 40 minute walks literally felt like 10 minutes. It's sort of wild when you take a few minutes to pause and take in your surroundings and realize that this city is a place so many people call home.
Because walking geared up an appetite, we headed to 👉🏼 Winkel 43 for some of the BEST apple pie w/ whipped cream EVER (shout out to Chelsea Dennis for this stop!) We didn't have time to take a photo (literally devoured so quickly) but here are some photos I found for you!
Also, Winkel 43 is a sort of small cafe and you may encounter a line, but no fear. The line basically lasts like 5-10 minutes and seating is first come, first serve. So, if you spy some seats, grab em! You can also get some pies to go so if it's nice out, head right up to the bar!
We finished up our stay in Amsterdam with a canal cruise by 👉🏼 Blue Boat Company, The Van Gogh Museum + Stedelijk Museum (modern art) and of course, The Heineken Experience. P.S. if you're planning on doing any sort of popular excursions, book tickets online! We were able to get tickets for all these things last minute, but even on the Monday when we were booking everything just to get to Amsterdam, we saw that tickets for the Anne Frank house was completely sold out!
That was basically my trip to Amsterdam—short and sweet!
It was so nice to do something in the moment and find myself in another country ☺︎