Finally!!! I can show you and tell you all about my favorite city that I visited this semester!
I know that is a big claim but Amsterdam was beautiful and I want to live there later in life (maybe?). I actually was just enjoying my time there so much that I forgot to take photos. It felt like a home-y city. Ya know?
So after Geneva, and a long day of two train rides and a nice chunk of time in between out trains, we arrived in Amsterdam at night. We got an Uber (thank goodness for Ubers and not just prearranged taxis) and headed straight for our Airbnb.
The next morning we went to a Brunch spot called Bakers and Roasters. We passed by what I call “the museum strip” but what we saw first was the huge Rijksmuseum.
At breakfast, Sarah and I split the Eggs Florentine and the Banana Bread French Toast. We also ordered DIY Mimosas and Flat Whites.
The eggs were good but the Banana Bread French Toast was absolutely fantastic. It was actual banana bread that they turned into french toast and they topped it with this caramelized banana sauce that was amazing. It also was topped with bacon that added the perfect savory bite.
After breakfast, we started walking through the “museum strip” and found the IAmsterdam sign and a place were we could sign up to do a canal cruise and go to the Amsterdam Ice Bar. So we signed up and started walking over to our canal cruise meeting point.
While on the canal cruise we were told about the history of Amsterdam and little historical quirks. It was super cool to be riding along in the canal and looking up at the buildings. It gives you an entirely different view of Amsterdam.
After our cruise was over, we started making our way through Vondel Park. It is this massive park near the Rijksmuseum. There are so many bikers, runners, walkers and dogs running around. It was a beautiful day and we were so happy to see some greenery and to be in such a large park. Something I never knew I would treasure as much as I do now. Sadly there aren’t really any parks in the middle of Florence.
But we walked through the park to a beauty store called Babassu. I believe they are the only retailer of Gisou in Amsterdam. They also had the other products from Gisou, but unfortunately I couldn’t get them because of the liquid restriction we would have on our flight back to Italy.
After my early-early birthday present purchase to myself (my Gisou), we walked back to the other side of the park and toward FoodHallen.
FoodHallen is like the Chelsea Market (in NYC) of Amsterdam. In Portland we have the Pine Street Market that is the same concept. Basically it is one huge building with a bunch of vendors selling food and drinks.
On our walk there we passed this cute building. Each apartment had a sweet little windowed in patio. If I had one, I would put a chaise lounge and read books all day.
Finally inside of FoodHallen, Sarah got calamari, and I got Mexican food (something Italy doesn’t have or doesn’t do well) but with a healthy twist. The stand was called Fento! I highly recommend. Technically I got nachos but set up completely different, and my nachos were amazing. I also got a ginger shot, since I was feeling a little under the weather from all the travel. I also got a cider from another vendor that was a not traditional, but still refreshing pairing to my food.
Across from FoodHallen, there was a shop where everything stocked was made in Amsterdam. We found this super cute vodka that is actually for sale in the airport! So pick one up there since there is no VAT and it is after security.
Almost immediately after we were done eating and shopping, we walked straight to Icebar Amsterdam to complete our cruise and drinking combo. We only stayed in there for like 20 minutes because it was FREEZING (of course, duh it is an ice bar) and then went back into the warmth and had a couple drinks after.
After the icebar, we walked back to our Airbnb’s neighborhood, grabbed a few drinks, and our first classic Dutch dinner at De Blauwe Hollander which was right next to our Airbnb. It was a good dinner and then it was off to bed!