I was lucky enough to visit Amsterdam in a very sunny day during this dull an cloudy winter, therefore needless to say it is in my heart. I spent only a weekend there and I got most of it, therefore I would totally recommend it for a short weekend trip. I landed there Friday night right after work and left late Sunday evening. If you have more time, definitely go at least Friday morning, because when I arrived at the hotel around 22:00 I realised transportation was only available until around 23:00. I stayed east of the airport, south of station Zuid.
Despite that, Amsterdam (like Stockholm) is the perfect city to be discovered on foot. I decided to go against the traditional recommendation of the canal tours and just walk. Freezingly cold but equally wonderful. The city is full of canals, bicycles and happy faces and is truly an international community.
During Saturday and half Sunday (Sunday evening was picking up luggage and heading to the airport, very time consuming and came as a surprise to me), I split the centre on the map and started walking randomly, trying not to repeat the same places but manage to see as much as possible from my small pocket guide.
This was my only preparation for this weekend trip: a pocket guide that I browsed shortly and off we go.
And the outcome is: this city is perfect choice for last minute unprepared trip!
1. Bicycle culture in Amsterdam (similar in Copenhagen)
2. I amsterdam sign, very touristy but lively area
3. Transportation in Amsterdam is miniature
4. Golden hour
5. Discovering that the old city gates are turned into a fancy cafe
6. Absorbing the nostalgic vibe from walking in the canals
7. Loving the big tables in cafes
8. By night
9. Observing alternative architecture (also here)
Canals were filled by houses fixed inside the canals. You can see my impression here.
10. Sunshine and powerwalk
11. Choosing one canal house gallery out of many
The number of museums and galleries has no limit. I just had to choose one and I enjoyed it. Here is Museum Van Loon here with a beautiful garden and well kept rooms.
12. Locking love on the bridges
13. Buying cheese and tulips in the street markets
14. Observing architecture
15. Free tour at a diamond shop
I admit I took it because it was free. But how often do you get to see real diamonds and how they are made in front of you?
If you are not able to distinguish real from fake, first is real, second is fake. The second picture is where we explained the basics of this ‘science’.
My boyfriend took a short tour in the Rijksmuseum. If you do have some extra time and will to , I think it is worth it.
All in all, I think I managed to do quite a lot in a weekend. There is still a huge number of things I was not able to experience or see, like the so called brown cafes for example. It’s up to you to choose what would be the best from the vast variety of options this city offers! Hope you enjoyed reading!