Top Things We Loved About Amsterdam
Amsterdam has our hearts. We were lucky enough to spend about a week in Amsterdam and loved each and every minute of it. We wanted to share a few reasons we loved this enchanting city.
1.) Markets. Collin and I love a good outdoor market and luckily Amsterdam has a ton of fantastic ones!
We visited Albert Cuyp, Waterlooplein, and a great food market called Foodhallen. But our absolute favorite was Westergasfabriek.
We went to the Sunday market which only happens once a month and we were so glad we were in town for it. It was a beautiful but chilly Sunday and we were starved by the time we arrived.
The food, oh my God, the food was so good. The exterior was lined with stalls with everything you could possibly think of to shop for. Vintage clothes, food, cupcakes, adorable baby clothes (which we actually wanted to buy because they were so freaking cute), and more.
Inside was an amazing display of beautiful clothes, amazing home decor, artwork, and more. Collin and I kept calling out to each other finding something new we wished we could buy - but our suitcases are just too small.
2.) Canals. Luckily for Collin and I our favorite thing to do in every city we visit is actually free. We love to just walk around.
No matter what city we are visiting we allow time every day to just explore the streets. But there are no better streets for exploring than the streets of Amsterdam and her amazing canals.
We would point out the amazing houses we would love to live in and stroll along taking in the amazing scenery. I bet it is even more breathtaking in the spring when everything is in bloom but we loved every chilly day we got to spend there.
3.) Coffee Shops. The coffee culture in Amsterdam is one of the best we have found.
Their coffee is fantastic and every time we found a shop with a place for us to squeeze in we took full advantage.
I didn't really like coffee before starting our travels but cappuccinos are my new best friend.
4.) Dutch Pea Soup. Yes, this seems like a weird thing to list as a favorite but holy moly it is delicious.
Don't let the name deter you (or the picture above) - pea soup doesn't sound that appetizing but trust me. Our first encounter with pea soup was at a market and we were hooked from the first bite.
It is a hearty soup that warms you to the bone on a chilly day. It is filled with potatoes, sausage, carrots, and of course peas - yum. Collin and I found a great restaurant on one of our last days that is within a stone's throw from the Rijksmuseum. It was so great we went back the next day so I could order my own bowl!
5.) Museums. Amsterdam is home to some fabulous museums. We visited the Rijksmuseum on our first day in Amsterdam but unfortunately didn't get to finish every floor as we got there only a couple hours before they closed - it's a big place.
But nonetheless every part we saw was incredible. The array of artifacts and paintings covers centuries of history. Every floor houses a different era of the past.
We wanted to go back to finish the rest but time got away from us and we never got a chance. When we visit Amsterdam again we will definitely finish.
The Van Gough museum was unsurprisingly wonderful. I'm so glad we visited in the off-season as there was still a large amount of people scrambling to see each painting.
We took our time and waited for big groups to pass us so that we could really look at each one. We learned that Van Gough's legacy is known thanks to his sister-in-law and nephew. Collin and I definitely recommend visiting to see his amazing talent in person.
Things to avoid:
I also thought I would mention a couple of things we would suggest avoiding simply because they weren't as impressive as we thought they would be.
1.) Canal Cruises. Surprising I know. We felt that the cruise was definitely lacking. In every way.
We so enjoyed walking around the canals and experiencing them in that respect but the canal cruise was boring. The facts were scarce and you could hardly see over to street level. If you're up for it, put your walking shoes on and take time to explore the Nine Streets and surrounding areas - it's much more enjoyable.
2.) Stedelijk Museum. Although this is a bit more subjective we did not enjoy the modern art museum in the least. Now I will tell you that Collin and I enjoy certain modern and contemporary styles but very few pieces in this museum fit our description of good modern art.
There were about a handful of pieces that we truly liked but the rest fell flat. It wasn't worth the money.
Amsterdam is definitely on our list of return trips. We'll be back!