Bonjour! I just spent a few days in Amsterdam. Truly a lovely experience.
Amsterdam is a stunning city…. that is for sure. Everywhere you look you smile… the grin will line your face. The charm there is contagious. There is a quaintness and old world flare. It is a one of a kind city and my weekend was outstanding. I am going to list everything I took in over the 48 hours I was there! Pictures included bien sur.
One of my best friends, Mandy, and I hopped on a train in Paris and were in Amsterdam 4 hours later.
We arrived at our fabulous hotel! Hotel De L’Europe.
Our hotel was located in the absolute heart of Amsterdam… and right on the Amstel River! It was pretty magical. I give 5 stars. Honestly. Luxurious.
We were greeted with Champagne Cocktails, and a tour of the hotel, then shown to our suite.
After feeling giddy with excitement over our stunning suite with views of the city…we set out to stroll the sidewalks and canals.
This town I would quickly realize has a theme of tulips, bicycles, canals, bridges and charming boutiques.
Amsterdam is very easy to navigate. With our map in hand… we strolled all canals. We also tried to hit as many shops as we could. There is a very central shopping area…then side streets lined with coffee shops, restaurants, home design, clothing boutiques, art galleries, and book stores. I was a happy girl! Each cafe or store front has its own charm…. and the waterways everywhere make this city incredibly romantic.
There are also a handful of museums. We went to the Anne Frank House (museum) which was very eye-opening and I would highly recommend. Despite the hour to hour and 1/2 wait.
We had to try the specialty…Stroopwafles. A dutch traditional sweet. A thin waffle wafer stuffed with sticky sweet spread. Either honey or caramel and chocolate. Stroopwafles are said to have originated in the late 18th century in Gouda… where it was known as the poor man’s cookie. We tried a fresh one from the cafe above…as well as packaged. Delicious… and packaged was our preference with espresso. You can purchase the packaged ones at any cheese store…yes there are cheese stores everywhere… I loved this aspect! Cheese tasting anyone?! Yum!
After a full day of strolling and shopping….Saturday night ended in the Red Light District… where we observed the night scene of this very popular neighborhood. This is historical and a must witness in Amsterdam. This is the district where prostitution is blatantly legal and weed brownies are sold at every coffee shop corner. Very very interesting evening. I was an observer 😉
Amsterdam is also known for their sweet and savory pancake houses. We went to Sara’s Pancakes for brunch. We shared a chorizo and mushroom omelet and then finished with this delightful sweet pancake…roasted apples, cinnamon, raisins, whipped cream, peanut butter and maple syrup. Wow. Scrumptiously memorable.
We then went to a few more museums (The Red Light Secrets of the Red Light District)…. And more shopping. We finished the daylight with a bottle of Pinot Grigio watching the passersby on the edge of the canal.
A rest in the hotel lobby with fresh spearmint tea… followed by getting pretty to attend dinner at the Hoofdstad Brasserie…..located in our Hotel with fantastic water views.
I opted for the dutch shrimps followed by the special of the day (Confit De Canard). Both dishes were tasty! Canard was falling off the bone… as it should be. Service excellent and atmosphere unforgettable.
I simply love to travel. This was a very memorable trip and I cannot wait for my next adventure. Amsterdam is definitely a perfect, long weekend getaway location. There is not an overwhelming amount to do in this city but just enough to fill your days and take in the beauty at the same time. It was a very peaceful place. Stunning. Charming. Fairytale-esque.
Next, Cognac France. Leaving Early Wednesday morning…. Until the next post!