As I mentioned in my last blog post, I went to Amsterdam for a workshop. Although I’ve seen plenty of pictures of Dutch buildings, canals and bikes, I didn’t quite know what to expect. What I love about a place is usually the atmosphere and that can be hard to capture in photos.
I had a wonderfully relaxed train ride there and when I got off the train the first thing I saw was the harbour. Perfect start, I love the sea and I’m so sad I don’t get to see it more often. The train station already had a couple of cute shops and the building itself is also quite impressive. I wandered around for a bit, and even though this wouldn’t be my favourite part of town (weed smell and lots of tourists everywhere) you just can’t help but fall in love with those typical Dutch buildings lined up along the canal.
We had booked an Airbnb in the neighbourhood of De Pijp, south-east of the centre. And oh, this was the best decision. The apartment was pretty much my dream apartment (dark hardwood floors ♥) and endless cafés, restaurants, markets, parks and little shops (all the good stuff) were literally around the corner. And a big plus, the area hasn’t really been discovered by tourists. Funnily enough though, it seems to be quite international: When we were sitting in a café on Sunday morning, every person that came in was speaking English.
Our workshop took place in Jordaan which is located west of the centre. It’s just as easy there to find pretty cafés and shops there and strolling through the streets you won’t encounter as many people/bikes/cars, so perfect for taking some uninterrupted pictures.
Not many doesn’t mean any bikes, though, they are EVERYWHERE. You have to pay attention to them at anytime because they might surprisingly come around the corner and they won’t be too happy about you doing #strideby photos in the middle of the street 😉 . I really love that everyone in Amsterdam is taking the bike, but it definitely takes some getting used to. I’m glad we opted for the 24h-tram-cards (€7,50) because I think biking as a tourist in Amsterdam would be less than ideal, looking at the map and stopping for photos ops would just cause traffic jams and annoyance in the bike lanes. Depending where your accommodation is and how good you are at walking all day, you probably don’t even need a tram ticket, everything is in a radius of about 5k.
The feeling I got from the city reminded me a lot of the hygge concept of Scandinavian countries. There’s a visible effort to make houses and venues looks beautiful and inviting, with flowers and candles everywhere. People are really friendly (besides some bikers) without being obstrusive. Especially in our neighbourhood everyone was sitting outside in the evenings enjoying the sunny weather, us included.
This city is definitely one of my favourites I’ve ever visited, I think I’m really drawn to the lifestyle of Northern countries. I can already see myself living there (Fingers crossed they have a Masters programme I can do…) 😀
Look out for Part 2 of my Amsterdam ‘guide’ where I will give you my favourite cafés, bakeries, markets for you to note down.
Have you been to Amsterdam or are you planning to go? What are your impressions of this city? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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