Saturday, June 8, 2013

amsterdam is a place to return to

Amsterdam has the popular attraction as being the place to party with lively clubs and brown cafés but it is so much more than that. We took a train from Berlin during the day so we were able to see the glorious countryside of The Netherlands. There were acres of green agriculture and sheep galore!

This city blew my mind with its beauty. The buildings, are old but very well kept up, there are flower pots everywhere and of course canals around every corner. I could not believe how gorgeous and sophisticated all the house boats were - they were painted with lots of flowers much like the homes and lawn chairs on their patios or roofs. 

Of course, I had to rent a bike which was one of the highlights of my trip! It was scary at first because there were so many bikes zooming past, but it was comforting that there are completely separate bike lanes from the cars. Once I got the hang of it, I felt like a local!

Susie at Moulin Rouge

If you can only do one thing in Amsterdam, you should go to the Anne Frank House! You are taken on an incredible tour of the their home. You enter the home through the bookcase which was the original secret entrance. There is no furniture in the annex but they have models in the middle of the rooms showing how the spaces used to look. Coming here was so surreal, especially  after going to the Dachau concentration camp in Munich. It was very emotional to actually feel what it might be like to be in the camps and in hiding.

*It's best to go in the early morning or evening to avoid crowds. You can buy a ticket online to avoid ques.

Years ago I took a summer art class and painted "Sunflowers" by Van Gogh which my mom still has hanging in her office. It was really cool to see the real deal in person! There are three spatious floors of his artwork and of his art supplies. The gift shop is massive, you can purchase just about anything with 'Van Gogh's' artwork on it!

I have been on many brewery tours before, but nothing like this. You are taken on the Heineken experience and shown how they brew the beer, the history of the  beer came , how to properly drink a beer and fun games along the way. The highlight of tour for me was going on the boat ride down the river which was included in the admission ticket. 

* You are given a gift after the tour - we each got a Heineken bottle opener! The entry price of the tour was 18 euros which I thought was a bit pricey.

This amazing restaurant is located in an old Dutch church and filled with lots and colour. Upon entering you are amazed by the exciting buzz, tiles on the walls and two floors of people enjoying delicious Middle-Eastern food. If you are hungry and on a budget, the portions are really big!

If you are looking for a laid back, comfortable place to stay that feels like home, Coco Mama is where you need to be. This hostel has high ceilings, the most comfortable beds, a pretty backyard and an amazing basement with a full kitchen and complimentary condiments. 

* Fun fact about this hostel - it used to be a brothel! They have pictures of the previous owner with his lady friends and one of the poles on display!

Hostel Rating
Hospitality      ****
Cleanliness     ****
Location         ****
* They have wifi throughout the whole hostel

{Images by Sara + Susie}

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xo sara

1 comment:

Thanks for stopping by + taking the time to comment!

xo sara