Summer is that time of year when Europe’s weather is perfect for travel, especially in Holland! One great city that is perfect for travel is Amsterdam.
The most memorable part of our trip to Amsterdam is the Dutch way of life- easy going, common sense respect, and friendly. There is so much to do and see in Amsterdam, from great art museums to architectural sights, canal rides, theaters and markets. We were just not able to pack it all in on our short visit, but here is what I consider to be the very best of Amsterdam.
Amsterdam’s food options are a melting pot of many cultures – and it’s near impossible to find bad food, as the quality of their food is on par with that of any international city. Portions can be large, and even when small, they are satisfying. We spent a lot of time trying different appetizers at many different places throughout the day. Since we were walking to so many places, we found short stops for a cool drink and an appetizer allowed us to keep moving.
De Vergulde Gaper. – This little pub’s idea of bar food is our idea of appetizers at a high end restaurant. It’s located on the Prinsengracht canal in the Jordaan area on the corners of Prinsengracht and Prinsenstraat.
Jordaan is a great district to walk around, find a good pub or café, and relax with a good Holland frothy beer, glass of wine and array of appetizers.
The ‘mayo sauce’ is a must try delicacy. The Dutch mostly use it as dip for fries and call it fries sauce (it’s a lot like tartar, but butter, I mean, better).
Bitterballen is a very common Dutch appetizer and really good! We found they’re great even without the dip.
Café Kobalt (Near Centraal Station) – Here is where I found my favorite calamari in the Amsterdam metro area,. However, I’m sure there are many other great spots where calamari can be found!
And we must not forget the beer… ahhh the beer, smooth, fresh, foamy and just better than good! You will typically get served a smaller glass than you are used to, with lots of foam… enjoy and order more.
Things to see
The Anne Frank house is a must see. It’s done very well, and very eye opening to hear, see, and experience all the details of their plight.
Boom Chicago is a little theater in Leidseplein Square. The owner is from Chicago and has set up an improv theater in the tradition of Second City. Great little pub, with excellent American food ala Holland quality and hilarious theater! Their staff was very welcoming and friendly.
A canal ride is another must do in Amsterdam. Who offers the best canal ride in the city (in my opinion)? Boom Chicago! It’s like a ride on a friend’s big boat. You have to go to Boom Chicago and sign up, make sure to get there in the morning or you may be signing up for next day’s ride.
Those are my tips on Amsterdam. Of course, there is so much more to do and see but that would drag this post on to endless reading. But since we don’t want to do that, you just might have to go to Amsterdam and see for yourself!
If you have any Amsterdam travel tips, please leave them in a comment.