Amsterdam was my first trip abroad that was not a repeat trip, and I was more than stoked. I wanted to see it all, and for some reason, I had a really good feeling about this city.
When we got there on Thursday, we immediately took the Tram into the center of the city.We, unfortunately, did not stay close to the city center because it was cheaper for our big group to stay around 30 minutes outside of it, but if this is like you, do not worry at all! The Tram is extremely easy to use, the pass for 72 hours was around 17 Euros, and the airport sells these passes and most hotels will, too!
First Stop? Van Gogh Museum.
Set up through his psychiatric demise, the museum takes you through his inner thoughts and his paintings throughout the years. As you climb the stairs, you get deeper and deeper inside his mind. As a psychology major, I really enjoyed how the museum was set up. It was very detailed and very well thought through. Each level consisted of his artwork from that year, but also letters he wrote to his family members. You can truly see his drive and desire to paint and to create, but throughout the museum, you can also see how his love of painting and his fine, perfected details turn into thick, blurry lines and a distress call for help.
Second Stop? Anne Frank House
You need tickets to get inside the Anne Frank House before 3 pm. With that being said, if you want to get inside the Anne Frank House without tickets around 3 pm, you need to get there at the latest 2 pm. The line starts snaking around the block and if you get there even a little too late, there’s a chance you’ll wait in this line for nothing and that the museum will close (as told to us by a person ushering us inside).
If you are a literary nerd like me, or if you have excessively read The Diary of Anne Frank like me, you’re going to love this museum. I went with some people who didn’t even read the book and they were moved. The last room is the saddest, and it’s where you hear her father, Otto Frank and the sole survivor of the Frank family, talk about Anne. It was here, in the quietest section of the house, where most people shed their tears – Where most people were moved by the impact of a young girl living in this house.
Third Stop? The Heineken Experience
What else would we do in a country besides booze? But in reality, this Heineken Tour was so incredibly fun and interactive. It was educational and I actually feel like I know a lot more about beer and that I appreciate it more, too!
The best part is at the end of your tour when you go to the Heineken Roof Top Bar. From here, you can see all of Amsterdam and then some. Not only is this an incredible view, but my friends and I got a little bit more than lucky as the sun decided to peep in and come out for us.
Up here, you get to experience 2 pints of Heineken for free and there are some food options you can get as well if you pay. We stayed for a very long time, chatting and admiring the beautiful city below us.
Fourth Stop? Can’t forget about Those Dam Boat Guys
Collectively, our favorite part of the trip was the canal tour.
Although quite touristy, the canals are beautiful and the tour is an even more beautiful way to see the city and to learn about it. There were enough of us that we basically bought out the entire boat. Those Dam Boat Guys are different from other canal tours as they are in a smaller, more intimate boat and they make an effort to get to know you.
It’s also BYOB and BYOW (weed, if you’re into that sort of thing — when in Amsterdam?!). We opted to each get our own bottle of wine, and we selected a tour during sunset. The views blew my mind and the booze kept us warm as the city got cooler and calmer. It was the perfect way to end our stay in Amsterdam.
I’ll be seeing you Amsterdam ?