In a recent update post, I mentioned that I was visiting Amsterdam and Paris during the Easter break with some friends, and guess where I am now?
Well, that probably wasn’t that surprising was it? I’m glad that everything has pretty much turned out right so far, me and my friends are here and on the right track.
I wanted to blog more often this April, since I’m traveling and thereby shall have loads to share with you, and also because I might not be able to do this too regularly in May – 3 2000-word essays due on the same day in May are waiting for me, so I’d better get my head ahead of the game.
Anyways, I don’t want to get into that too much lol. Right now I need to have fun first 😉
The girls and I had 2 full days in Holland, and we decided on the second day of our stay, we would explore Amsterdam and leave the last day for Keukenhof. From Almere, which was where we were staying in Holland, we took a 35-minute bus to Amsterdam Amstel railway station then hopped on a train to Amsterdam Centraal station, which took only 7 minutes. As I myself have been in the city before, it felt exciting to be back and I was eager to do as much photography as I could, especially of those places that I did not visit last time.
This was the first picture I took when we got out of Amsterdam Centraal station – one of those typical Amsterdam photos of the houses by the Canals:
We wanted to have brunch at Pancakes Amsterdam (the shop at the left corner of the picture) yet the giant sign on the door saying “No cash” stopped us! I remember we left in sorrow because the first thing that came to our minds when we got to Amsterdam on a cold day was some sweet deserts.
Dwaze Zaken definitely saved the day!!!! (This is not a sponsored article by the way) What a wonderful place! It has this cozy and artistic atmosphere that you’ll be immediately drawn into.
It was the first time that I had tried Chorizo, which my friend, Hang, suggested us having. Chorizo is a kind of pork sausage, and we had it on white sourdough bread, grilled, with cheese, pesto, tomato, sundried tomato and red onion. The sausage was cut into quite thick pieces and a bit salty for me, which apparently is what it’s supposed to be. Overall it was a decent dish on a fair price (7.9€), which effectively helped us charge our energy for a full day of exploring Amsterdam.
We also had sweet potato soup with brown breads (6.6€),
and Dutch breakfast tea (2.4€).
And let’s not forget the coolest bathroom on Earth!
Van Gogh Museum
The first place we visited was Van Gogh museum, which unfortunately we didn’t get the opportunity to get inside to admire his famous paintings because of the lack of time we had. Therefore the museum is definitely on my wishlist the next time I’m back in Amsterdam (very soon!). One tip is to always buy tickets online so that you could skip the long queue of fellow Van Gogh fans outside the venue.
Nevertheless, we were still very lucky as the surrounding of the museum was super picturesque, especially on a sunny afternoon. It was literally a park with the beautiful green grass, the blooming cherry blossom trees and people doing picnics under the pretty sunlight.
Rijksmuseum – “I amsterdam”
We couldn’t miss Rijkkmuseum and the famous giant “I amsterdam” letters behind it, which are only about 250m to the North of Van Gogh museum.
Paddle Boating along the Amsterdam Canals
This is probably the best part of the day!
The girls suggested hiring a paddle boat and having a little fun along the Amsterdam Canals. I hesitated a bit at first but then agreed to give it a shot anyways.
As soon as we got on the boat, I felt like it was one of the best decisions I’d ever made – Thank you Hang, Dieu Anh and Linh for talking me into this!
There were four of us and we took turn to paddle at the two front seats whilst the other two would do the photography of both the paddlers and the majestic view on the two sides of the Canals. It was a joyful experience, filled with laughter when our boat hit the bigger cruise ships along the way; intense moments when we sped up to avoid them – just like in any Hollywood action/thriller movies; dropping jaws as we were put under the spell of the peacefulness and charm of the Canals.
Going on a boat trip means you’ll be able to enjoy the magnificent view along the Canals with the iconic Dutch urban architecture, the famous Amsterdam bridges that you must have seen on postcards at least once…; feel the refreshing wind breeze running through your hair (valuable candid photo op ;)). Boating also allows you to capture the picture-perfect scenes in ways that being on the main road cannot.
Top tip: Play some music while boating – Boom Clap on repeat please (you know the deal).
I first came to Amsterdam in summer 2016, and I have to admit I was not too impressed with the city back then. The reason is probably because it was the tourist season – Amsterdam was packed with people, people and people, therefore I was not able to explore the city as much as I would like to. We are all selfish at times when it comes to traveling – we want the place all to ourselves and nobody else.
Plus, I can get a bit anxious when I’m surrounded by too many people. But at the end of the day, who can argue with the fact that the fewer people blocking your view, the easier your life gets in taking photos?
Spring is probably the best time to travel to Amsterdam (and Western European countries in general). The weather is just perfect – not too warm yet not too harsh, and you can get some sunshine pretty easily. But don’t forget to check the weather forecast beforehand. The city is expected to not be too touristy (YASSSSS!!!!!!). And hopefully your Easter vacation will give you enough time to travel, to temporarily forget about all the work you have and then come back fully recharged and ready for the game, or just to spend time with your friends, family and even just yourself, because why not? If you’re a busy bee, do try to give yourself a break – you deserve to have one!
I hope you enjoyed this blog post and somehow found it helpful or interesting (or both!) It feels more like a travel diary rather than a travel guide/review, because I deliberately make it personal for myself, yet still as relatable to my readers as possible. Will I ever write a proper travel guide? I may eventually – who knows! But right now thank you so much for all the love and support you’ve been giving me, my blog, my Instagram and just my photos in general ❤
I will come back in a few days (I’m desperately hoping to do so) with the Keukenhof blog. Stay tuned for some happy/colorful/spring-y floral photos!
Text and photography by ᴊᴜʟɪᴇʏᴛʜᴇ1sᴛ
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