Amsterdam

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Amsterdam Has Something For Every Taste
Historic canals, state-of-art cafes, art at every street corner and hundred of chic bicycles: Amsterdam in a few words. In this fascinating capital, I spent one my most entertaining holidays.

I arrived in Holland on a sunny day and had a chance to admire the colorful building facades along the way and the retro bicycles of the citizens with a quirky, but the admirable sense of fashion. The apartment I rented was in Oostelijke Eilanden (Eastern Docklands), where buildings are surrounded by water on both sides. My room was dark and cool and I spent late evenings with my door open, sipping a glass of wine, resting on the comfortable mattress and admiring the reflection of the starry sky into the surface of the water.

In Oostelijke Eilanden, repurposed buildings of the old harbor mix with futuristic buildings. Here I took a two- hour guided tour of the area to discover local works of renowned architects like Soeters, Coenen, and Kolhoff and the same day I visited National Maritime Museum. Also, I tasted some local beer(delicious!) at the lovely brewery Brouwerij 't IJ, next to the De Gooyer windmill. Such a laid-back and lovely atmosphere!

On my first morning in Amsterdam, I had a serving of poffertjes (which is a plate of fluffy mini pancakes) on my way to the city center, where I planned to have a coffee in the bustling canal bistros and then rent a bike. But I changed my mind and had my coffee on a boat, enjoying a refreshing cruise. It was a great introduction to the history of the city! I later took a bike to explore Jordaan, a quarter filled with art galleries, boutiques, restaurants, quaint houses and intimate courtyard gardens.

The outdoors Amsterdam is so picturesque, so I hardly convinced myself to enter museums. I chose the renowned Van Gogh Museum and then opted for the less popular Tropenmuseum - Museum of World Culture, where you can find out about habits and rituals of the populations around the globe. This might be one of the most complex museums I have ever seen.

I was impressed by the beauty of the Zaanse Schans, a place dedicated to the 18th and 19th-century Dutch countryside. The wooden houses, the windmills, the cheese factory, and bakery museum made this place a restful getaway from the fuss of Amsterdam. Back in the city, I visited Bloemenmarkt, the floating flower market and got dizzy from its sweet smells. I ended the day in Westergasbafriek, a thriving cultural hub. Here I socialized with locals and enjoyed Dutch food: delicious thick fries, meatballs, smelly cheeses and crunchy waffles.

For one day, I wandered around some of the city's neighborhoods: the green and elegant De Plantage, the Latin Quarter De Pijp, the diverse Oost.

I ended my Amsterdam trip with a day in the North, where I caught a tan, had a swim and then relaxed with cocktails and seafood in a beach hangout listening to some jazz and watching the waves.

Amsterdam is the paradise of the passionate traveler. There is so much to explore, from the hidden gardens of the city center and the lively neighborhoods to the North Sea unspoiled coastline and the dreamy landscapes of the Dutch countryside.
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Amsterdam, Netherlands