The past few days were spent in Amsterdam. I traveled there with my boyfriend to start a trip to Europe over Thanksgiving. We found a really great deal on round trip tickets and went to three different cities. The first one we landed in was Amsterdam. We got there at 5AM in the morning and couldn’t check into our AirBnb until 5PM so it was a LONG first day of walking.
Since we arrived so early in the morning, we got to see the city as it was waking up. The streets were empty and it allowed us to view the architecture unobscured. The block pattern you see were old biscuit molds recycled into wall decoration.
It was a cold first morning and it took all our energy to stay awake but we got a ton done in the first day.
One of the first things you clearly see about the buildings is that the old ones are not built straight. At first, I really thought I was just tired, but after some quick googling, we realized that they were designed that way.
We made it clear through lunch and swung through Gassan Diamonds for a free tour.
Then we went to the MOCO Museum. They were featuring an exhibit on Bansky and other contemporary artists. I enjoyed walking through the modern pieces in the old home.
The construction really was some of my favorite part of visiting Amsterdam.
I could just wander the canals soaking in the buildings.
Of course, the food was excellent too. My favorite meal was at Broodje Bert, a sandwich shop. It was cozy and intimate and the food prepped incredibly. Their lattes were also a great pick me up. But the best thing I ate was a Von Stapele cookie. Inside each dark chocolate cookie was a melty white chocolate center. The line was out the door for good reason, so I bought a tin to take with us.
I also loved dining at Foodhallen. Inside, there were lots of little booths where you could try different cuisines. I ended up getting some steak and a gin & tonic.
At the end of the day, we went to Tales & Spirits, an amazing cocktail venue. When researching for the trip, I had it high on my list and then once we arrived, we realized it was just around the corner from our AirBnB. The drinks were decadent and over the top. The snacks were delicious and the bartenders, perfect company. In their long menu, they had a poem printed that I plan on letterpressing sometime.
The Van Gogh Museum was much larger than I thought. The first exhibit to catch my eye was one that outlined the hidden things in his work. More so, it dove into the science of it. They revealed the grid patterns, underlying pieces and even flecks of sand buried in the paint from when he stood by the sea.
They also had an interactive exhibit where you walked through some of his major life events in an immersive experience.
The stairs leading up to our Airbnb were the most challenging part of our fist city. The staircase was winding and narrow and took careful navigation and coordinating to get up and down (especially with luggage)! But once we were out, we were off to Brussels.