For a city with a reputation that’s not so charming, Amsterdam actually has a lot of charm. It is also pedestrian and bike friendly, which is always a plus. When I walked out of the train station, I was greeted by more bikes than cars.
The best part about the city was that there’s really something for everyone. For the art lovers, there’s the Van Gogh museum and the classic architecture of the canal homes. For the backpackers on a budget, there’s cheap food options (including fast food vegetarian), welcoming hostels, and free walking tours. And for me and my friends on a weekend getaway, we discovered Nine Streets, a cute area lined with shops, restaurants, and cafes. Perfect for Saturday morning pancakes and shopping. Also great for bike riding. After a morning of shopping, we stopped by the Anne Frank house, one of the main sites in the city. Saturday night we ate at Werck, and then explored more. As beautiful as the city is by day, it’s even more breathtaking at night with the lights along the bridges and the reflections in the canals.
Amsterdam was modern and funky in an unexpected way. An article in The New York Times in 2007 said that “Amsterdam is angling to become Europe’s creative capital, and it’s doing so without even inhaling.” It’s only a few years later and Amsterdam seems to booming with creativity from the pop-up art galleries to the chic boutiques and restaurants.