If Amsterdam isn’t already on your “places to see in Europe” list, it needs to be. Amsterdam is one of the friendliest cities I’ve visited on this continent, and in more way than one. The people there are happy and helpful. The buildings are whimsical and colorful. The streets are bustling and musical. And at night, the lights shimmer, reflecting in the canals like candles in darkened windows.
I visited Amsterdam with my best friend for two days after Christmas. It made a perfect escape from Paris. The minute I stepped out of the car, I could tell that the air was cleaner and the sun was a little brighter. As we started to explore the city, I noticed that the streets moved a little slower and the people I shared them with were a little less agressive. I felt welcome from the beginning.
While in Amsterdam, we stayed at Amsterdam Hostel Leidseplein, which I can’t recommend highly enough. Not only is this hostel comfortable, accommodating and well-equipped, but it happens to be in a great location: Leidseplein.
This bustling square has everything you need, from cozy bistros to local coffee shops. Amsterdam is small enough that you’ll have no problem walking from Leidseplein to attractions like the Red Light district, the I Amsterdam sign and museums.
We were able to use Leidseplein as a home-base while we explored the rest of Amsterdam. Here are some places we discovered, both near and far:
For dancing, music and a great show:
Tel: + 31 20 622 11 11
For an authentic, local coffee shop experience:
Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 77-79
For a burger that will make you melt and a cozy-casual atmosphere (all for a great price!):
Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 102
For art that makes your head spin:
Open daily 12:00-18:00
Look! Savannah can make animated gifs! =D
Anyway… Amsterdam is a fun city and your time there will be well spent. One of my favorite parts of being there was simply strolling through the streets, looking at the architecture and meandering into every interesting place we found. I never knew what we would stumble upon next, whether it was the I Amsterdam sign or a giant swing. Amsterdam has won my heart, and I can’t wait to return.
Are you planning a trip to Amsterdam? Here are a few sites we used to get ready for our adventure:
If you know of other great sites, places to go, or things to do in Amsterdam, feel free to add them in the comments!