You may be wondering why the beautiful city of Amsterdam is the first thing in the travel section of my website. Thing is that even though I have lived in Amsterdam, I still feel like a tourist every now and then. Today, when I walked around central station during my lunch break, I found myself still looking around at the tall buildings, the people and smiling my way through the many alleys the city has. I lived in South-East Amsterdam for two years, but I didn’t go to the city center all that often. Now that I work pretty much next to central station, I go there a lot more and I still absolutely love it each and every time. Over the next few weeks I would like to highlight the city, writing articles about different things you can do in the city, supported by photos. All feedback and suggestions are more than welcome, so please feel free to provide me with some 🙂
The journey starts, as it usually does for me; at Amsterdam Central Station. Not only do I love the building’s architecture, but also the busyness of the whole area around the station. I love to hear people speak in all different languages and to see them smile and laugh, wondering what the city is going to be like. Many people I know don’t like the touristic areas in Amsterdam, but I absolutely love it. When I worked at Schiphol Airport, I loved to just walk around the airport in my lunch-breaks, seeing if anyone needed help or directions getting around. When I moved away from Amsterdam, I was super excited to start my new adventure in Leeds. Although I missed my friends in Amsterdam every now and then, I never really missed the city. However, when I got back here after being away for half a year, I fell in love with the city all over again.
I am wanting to explore Amsterdam a lot more now, because my current job at Amsterdam Marketing aka Iamsterdam, makes me realise how amazing this city is. I get to read articles about the city on a daily basis, as well as tell visitors about what they can do here and where to go. How better to inform people than to know what you are actually talking about, by having it seen/done yourself? Of course I am wanting to visit the many museums in the city, so far I have only been to the Anne Frank house, Rijksmuseum and the Amsterdam Dungeon, but I would also LOVE to go onto the swing on the new A’DAM Tower. Okay, I am rambling again, so let me take you on a little walk through Amsterdam (this is a route I often take)…
From central station, I usually walk towards the Victoria hotel and then follow the road towards Dam square. For all of you first time visitors; it’s not difficult to find. You just have to follow the stream of tourists and you will end up there within a few minutes. On Dam square you will find the Bijenkorf; a huge shoppingmall, Madame Tussauds; a wax museum, De Nieuwe Kerk; a huge church, and of course our gorgeous Royal Palace, see the picture above. Now, in contrast to many other countries, our royal family doesn’t actually live in this palace. More about our royal family (and more importantly; their birthdays aka KINGSDAY!) can be found in my King’s Day blog.
After admiring the amazing buildings at Dam square for a bit and getting annoyed photobombing so many pictures, I decide to continue my journey in the Kalverstraat. I can never stop myself from quickly peeking into the Taksteeg. It’s nothing special really, but that is where my grandma lived when she was about my age and studied in Amsterdam. Then I walk and walk, usually lost in thoughts, and end up at the Kalvertoren. I LOVE this place. On the opposite side of the Kalvertoren you’ll find La Place, which is a ‘healthy’ sort of takeaway restaurant. I don’t know, you can sit there to enjoy your sandwich/salad/smoothie or take it with you as you please. Then, in the Kalvertoren is the Hema, a warehouse with a little restaurant where you can enjoy a nice cup of coffee/tea with a little pastry. If you want to go here, I would recommend going for breakfast, or just after 4 o’clock for a cup of coffee or tea.
If you finished your coffee at the Hema, you can continue your journey a little bit further down the same road and end up at Muntplein. This is where you will find the super cute looking Munttoren or ‘coin tower’, see photo above, with a little hidden shop in there where they sell Delfts Blauwe items. Before crossing the street to De Munt, nickname of the coin tower, you will find the English bookstore on your left. I can never walk by without going in and I always end up buying a book of some kind. There is actually also a Waterstones earlier on in the Kalverstraat, close to the Taksteeg, but the English bookstore is cheap and cute.
When you walk through the tower, you will see the Flower market on your right. I always love walking there, because of all the happy colours coming from the flowers and the different stands there. I also keep finding it funny as well as interesting, that you can buy so many different types of plants here. They literally sell plants varying from Tulips till your very own cannabis starters kit. I kid you not; they actually do sell that stuff!
I think this is where it started pouring down with rain, so I didn’t really take pictures after this. I guess the weather is something to keep in mind when visiting Amsterdam. Today they actually gave ‘code orange’ for most of the Netherlands, because of the stormy weather. I still went outside for a walk in my lunch break though, and I couldn’t help but smile and still be amazed about the beauty of this place. I love it and I hope my writing shows that <3
Should you have any questions about Amsterdam or anything really, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am more than willing to help you out 🙂