When me and my friend Tania, who currently lives in France and runs her blog over at Taking the First Leap, were deciding where to travel to for a weekend, it didn’t take much time to decide on Amsterdam. Geographically, it’s an easy train ride for both of us from Germany and France. But of course, Amsterdam, with its lure of plentiful coffee shops, scenic canals, pancake restaurants, cultural museums, and legendary night life, it was a city that topped me and Tania’s to do list (along with thousands of others!) despite where it’s located. And we certainly weren’t disappointed!
In my upcoming blog posts, I’m going to talk about the nightlife and our day trip to Zaanse Schans in more detail, but here are some of our highlights of our time in Amsterdam!
The Anne Frank Huis
The line up to the Anne Frank Huis was astonishingly long, but being a history buff and having read Anne Frank’s Diary years ago, it was a place I knew I had to see before leaving Amsterdam. The exterior of the building itself was also surprisingly modern looking, that we accidentally walked past it the first time! The wait to go inside must have been almost 40 minutes long, but it was worth it. Inside, all the furniture was removed, but there were lots of photos, pages from Anne’s diary and videos throughout the tour. Going into the secret bookcase entrance, and up to the attic felt especially surreal. It was very touching, devastating, and momentous.
The Pancake Bakery
Located on Prinsengracht, its one of Amsterdam’s most famous pancake restaurants and only a few minutes away from the Anne Frank House. There was a small line-up, but totally worth the wait…especially when we got our plate sized pancakes – lekker!
Amsterdam has an endless selection of eye-catching shops, which if you’re not careful, you could end up spending hours in! The most interesting ones range from the smart shops which sell magic truffles and happiness pills, to the famous Condomerie!
FEBO is definitely the most interesting fast food joint I’ve been to, where all the food are kept in a machine. You have to insert your coins into a slot, sort of like a vending machine, in order to open one of the food compartments! Their food selection ranges from hamburgers to these croquettes filled with beef, cheese or chicken. For 1.5 to 2 euros, they’re also surprisingly good! FEBOs are also open till dawn, which is especially convenient for satisfying your hunger on a wild night out.
As I was telling Tania, Amsterdam is probably the only place I’ve traveled to, didn’t drink at all, and still have my share of crazy stories. From the prostitutes standing in the window displays that line the Red Light District, to the plentiful coffee shop offerings of “space cakes,” and weed (which you can buy in pre-rolled joints or grams), there is something for everyone. (And for a city, whose flag has three “X’s,” sometimes what happens in Amsterdam best remains in Amsterdam!)
Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3, as well as me and Tania’s upcoming trip to London!