Since reading her book as a child, I’ve dreamed about the day I would get to see Anne Frank’s secret annex. I was so glad we booked ahead of time because the lineup is huge, even in the early morning. It is a solemn and moving experience that hurts your heart and brings tears to your eyes. Learning more about what she and others experienced still leaves me reeling and should remind us to see the humanity in all people. The stillness of that annex and her words will be with me forever and I hope any traveller to Amsterdam takes in this time capsule to commemorate her and the other victims of WWII.
Not far from the Anne Frank House is where we rented a boat to cruise the canal on our own. The sun came out for our little adventure and we packed a picnic with wine, cheese and other goodies. I loved having our freedom and doing it on our own, but it isn’t easy! There are lots of boats, turns and bridges to watch out for. This was by far the highlight of my trip to Amsterdam and something I will never forget. For those who aren’t comfortable doing it on their own, I tried the 1 hour guided canal cruise too! Seeing the city from the water is a must.
I love the diverse food options here! Looking for delicious Italian cuisine? Look no further than an Italian restaurant called Impero. My pasta was cooked in a flaming cheese wheel…. sending me into flavour overload and into a food coma! I also visited Amsterdam’s “Food Hallen” located in a trendy, up and coming area. It’s basically a big food court in a historic building filled with hungry hipsters. Tons of vendors to choose from and specialty bars, plus some live music. A foodie’s delight!
Off to Sweden!
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When life sends you to Amsterdam, you must eat pancakes (aka Pannenkoek)!
Amsterdam is a city bustling with amazing sights, a rich history and delicious food. Everywhere you go, you feel positive energy all over and it can’t help but put a smile on your face. The Dutch are quite possibly the friendliest people I’ve ever met. Look out for their bicycles peddling down every road. They aren’t so friendly if you are in the way… yikes!
We are staying within walking distance to some of the must sees: Dam Square, Red Light District, Anne Frank House, Amsterdam Central Station and more.
This lady needs to see it all in the four days we are here and I had to start with the classic Windmill Tour to Zaans Schans. Just a short drive from Amsterdam, takes you to this little quaint town where you learn all about the pioneering methods the Dutch used to prepare everything from wheat, paint, cooking oil and more using these beautiful windmills. It’s incredible what they were able to achieve using wind power back in the day. It’s even more fascinating that all the windmills remain operational 600 years later. We were not expecting rain but the downpour didn’t sour the mood at all because there was plenty of Gouda cheese samples to enjoy. And shopping for shoes always makes me happy… even when they are wooden clogs!
By night, we were curious to see the infamous Red Light District where the streets are just insanity! Tons of foreigners, including us, come to get a glimpse at the spectacle and learn more about the oldest profession in the world. Do not take pictures of these hard working “ladies of the night”. They are not afraid to come outside and hit you over the head.
Uber has been key to take us to some of those attractions a little further like the Rijksmuseum and the Heineken Experience. Both tours can’t be missed since the Rijksmuseum has a lot of different art pieces important to the Netherlands and Heineken gives you an incredible tour and beers at the end! I would have never guessed that Heineken even had a “ride” which I liken to a mini Universal Studios experience.
Time to hit the canals and visit Anne Frank’s house…