I’m planning to take quite a few European excursions while staying in the UK. The first excursion on that list was a trip to Amsterdam.
Amsterdam – home of the legal weed and endless canals!haha
Both statements are true. Canals are EVERYWHERE and so are Coffee Shops where you can purchase and smoke weed. I went inside one out of curiosity and let me just say, I’ve never seen so many flavors/knew there were so many flavors of weed. It reminded me of the back of a Jelly Belly box.
That wasn’t my first stop though. My first trip was to my hostel after a hellish flight just to get into the country (see previous blog). I was staying at the Generator – right behind Oosterpark.
After a pleasant stroll through the park (there were ducks, little bridges, greenery, etc), I came upon my hostel building. It was large and the outside gave me the feel that it might have an old vibe to it.
As I got closer however, I realized I was wrong. It was really modern on the inside. So modern, I couldn’t even figure out how to press the button for the elevator and instead walked the extra four flights to my room.
I originally wanted to cut down on my stay and get a bed in a shared room but due to the nature of my booking, went with what was free – a private twin room. It was great. My own space, my own bathroom, my own air! It was nice change of space after going from living on my own to staying with relatives while abroad (privacy is a beloved thing).
With literally one full day to tear through Amsterdam before my 7 AM flight, I started off by taking a two hour power nap in my room (partay animal). haha
10:30 AM – Get in my belly!
I’m starving. The last thing I ate was a bag of crisps and a bottle of fanta at around 1 AM during my awful airport experience. I needed a real meal. I pulled out my Google Maps (dude, I’d be LITERALLY lost without it) and looked for some places to sit and eat. I had croissant on the brain so was ideally looking for something in that alley but after a long and arduous eight minute search I said, forget this, let me just walk to the streets with all the shops and try my luck.
I wasn’t staying in city center, so I was clear of the tourist traps. I figured I could find something. I did, it was Maxwell Cafe.
The space was beyond cute and they had a nice little selection on the menu at a reasonable price. The only draw back? The menu was completely in Dutch. However I did have enough brain power to figure out what some of the dishes were like Tosti’s (basically panini) or used Google to translate for me. In the end, I went with something I thought was traditional which was Garnalenkroketten – shrimp croquettes. The aioli drew me in but the whole dish was quite tasty!
Highly recommend coming here if you’re near Oosterpark. The staff was very nice and the food was great. The only thing was after awhile, I wanted the check but it never came. I soon realized you had to go confront someone at the counter if you wanted to leave. Wish I had figured that out 15 minutes earlier.
1 PM – Weed Muffin Anyone?
Ran out to explore the neighborhood and look for a coffee shop that sold weed in edible form. Was curious on the offering as well as price. I also stopped in this cute chocolate shop called Van Veleze and got two chocolate lollipops. Tasty! Again, the staff was really nice and they had a slew of other desserts I wish my stomach could have handled. haha
3 PM- Time to get into city center and ride a bike!
It’s clear upon arrival into the city that biking is key. It’s no joke. There are actual biking paths just for bikes and tiny slivers of sidewalk for people. Biking is key and pedestrians must jump out of the way for them. With that in mind, I too had to explore Amsterdam by bike and ring my bells to make tourist hearts quiver with fear.
I rented a bike from this guy who told me that they take non EU visitor’s passports as collateral just because we look like easy targets for bike thieves. He also said we tend to get in more accidents. Nice boost in confidence guy. Any way, he shows me how to use the bike and I set off to check out the city.
During this ride I encounter the Heineken Factory, Endless Canals, A Mock Fifth Avenue, and more!
Later, I continue to stroll and find the Banksy exhibition, Ruk Museum, Van Gough Museum, etc. Everything was so perfectly manicured and maintained – the picture of perfection.
Eventually I ended my day with the items that were on my mind at the top of it – croissants – and chilled out at the hostel to check out some of the late night events happening there.
All in all, it was a fantastic trip filled with unexpected adventures and people watching. I definitely recommend you visit Amsterdam!