Amsterdam Adventures: Exploring Canals, Museums, and Culinary Delights
Hey there, fellow travelers! Grab a cup of coffee and settle in as I take you on a laid-back journey through our five-night escapade in the enchanting city of Amsterdam. From museum marvels to amazing tulip displays and gastronomic delights, here’s a casual recount of our Amsterdam adventure.
Day One: Art and Thai Cuisine
Jet lagged and slightly exhausted, we kicked off our adventure with a visit to the Van Gogh Museum. I must say, the museum experience has certainly evolved – timed entries and engaging headsets turned what could have been a snooze-fest into an art extravaganza. All the museums in Amsterdam have the same model and they’ve really perfected it. Even non-museum folks like us were hooked!
Our hotel was in the Leidseplein Square which is convenient to all the museums and has plenty of restaurants and cafes to walk to for meals.
For dinner, we stumbled upon Sawaadee Ka, a Thai restaurant that filled the air with tantalizing aromas. It was around the corner from our hotel and allowed us to have a quick and tasty meal before passing out from a day of travel.
Day Two: Hop On, Hop Off and Distillery Delights
Day two was all about taking it easy while exploring. The hop-on-hop-off tour gave us a laid-back way to soak in the city’s picturesque charm. And speaking of charm, our visit to the Bols Distillery was a hoot – learning about spirits and enjoying a cocktail made for a fantastic afternoon. Even an alcohol museum had those little headsets with interactive exhibits to keep you entertained! And we got to enjoy a cocktail with their very own genever at the end of the tour.
For dinner we visited Momo, an asian restaurant with a top notch bar program. A must visit while you are in Amsterdam!
Day Three: Windmills and Reflections
Renting a car, we embarked on a road trip to the Keukenhof Gardens and Zaanse Schans. While plenty of public transit options exist, traveling by car is very easy and gave us more freedom. Ample parking exists at the gardens and you can prepay online. The gardens were a kaleidoscope of colors, my expectations were low for looking at a bunch of flowers, but boy was I wrong! This was really something else. After the gardens we got back in the car and traveled to Zaanse Schans to see its historic windmills. The car also allowed us to visit a small town near the gardens for lunch and coffee.
The Anne Frank Museum at night was a moving experience, even though the crowds made moving through the museum challenging! The museum was so tightly packed the crowd just moved from room to room in one giant queue. The museum is also very vertical (it was her real life house where she lived in the attic after all) so there was a lot of stair climbing.
Day Four: Pancakes, Canals, and Rembrandt
Breakfast at the Pancake Club was a delightful surprise – who knew crepes by the canal could be this good? We then visited the Rembrandt Museum, which was also interesting thanks to the interactive headsets that were provided.
We capped off the day with a canal boat tour that offered wine and snacks onboard. There are so many canal tour companies and you can book tickets day of. We went with one of the bigger vendors who had boats that were enclosed as the forecast called for rain. This let us sit at a comfy table and enjoy our wine and snacks. The tour was pre-recorded and via headset, like the hop on hop off bus. Other canal tours had live guides onboard and looked a little more personal.
Day Five: Tulips, Cheese, and Culinary Finale
Our last day saw us visiting the Tulip and Gouda Museums, which were more like charming stores with a small history display tucked in the back. I also learned how to properly pronounce Gouda!
For a culinary masterpiece, dinner at Daalder was a fitting end, leaving our taste buds in awe. This Michelin star restaurant offered us flavors and tastes we had never experienced!