We were very excited to visit a place you always hear about, but never think you’ll really travel to. Of course, you always hear about the the Red Light District with the relaxed drugs laws and prostitutes, but we were very surprised at how clean and beautiful the city was. Canals cut through the city and we were shocked to find out that Amsterdam has more canals than Venice.
The main mode of transportation was clearly bikes. For us, we enjoy walking and not having to worry about a bike rental and where to lock it up, but that didn’t deter most of the city.
To be honest, we spent most of our time just getting lost and exploring the canals outside of the shopping and red light district. We spent several days in the city and the canals cutting through the streets never got old.
Amsterdam is full of many attractions outside of the Red Light District and exploring cafes. One of the cooler attractions was the Bloemenmarkt. This flower market is the only the only of its kind in the world, with each stall “floating” on houseboats. The market caters to tourists who come from all over the world to marvel at the thousands of blooms of every color and buy Dutch bulbs to take home. Oh, and they also sold starter kits for anyone wanting to grow marijuana, fitting.
We wanted to tour the historic Anne Frank House, but were shocked to see the line wind and fade several blocks from the entrance. I suppose the planning was poor on our part and we should have arrived when the museum opened… The line was easily 2 hours long and it was our last day in the city and we didn’t exactly feel like standing on street corners, so we continued on.
On our way into the city we noticed a windmill that was converted into a brewery, so we mapped out a route from the Anne Frank House and headed there for lunch. With our luck we should really do more research, as the brewery was closed and we had to settle for pizza and beers back in town, damn.
Now, no trip to Amsterdam is complete without exploring the red light district and cafes you hear so much about. Prior to arriving we had read about a cafe that was compared to a Starbucks (in atmosphere) and had several locations throughout the city, The Bulldog. It was a casual setting with great music and a fun crowd. Fun fact: Most Cafes in Amsterdam don’t serve alcohol. We stopped at this cafe several times and watched the world pass by with a cold coke and a full ashtray. The city is very walkable and there isn’t a better time to see the red light district than at night. Pictures aren’t welcomed in this area and we saw many tourists get yelled at by the girls and their inc0gnito handlers that casually stood by the crowds.
Amsterdam is an electric city with more to offer than just cafes and the red light district. We could easily go back tomorrow and explore new streets and spend time re-walking our favorites.