Charming Amsterdam was quite a surprise for me (the high prices were the bad surprise, the lovely canals were the good surprise). It seems to be a town where everything is shrinked: the streets are tight, which explain why most people use bikes to commute around, and, the buildings are quite narrow as well. The small scale makes the city more cosy, in a way, and, easy to walk through it.
The first day we walked to the city center to see Dam Square with the National monument and the Royal Palace. Strolling around the many canals we stumbled upon the Bloemenmarket, a huge flower market. Next on our list was to go up North and visit Saint-Nicolas church, Heineken brewery, Central stations and the Eye museum.
In the South part of the city, the Museum Quartier reveals many great institutions like the Rikjmuseum, Van Gogh museum and Moco. To take a break after a long day of walking, I stopped at Vondelpark just before the sunset.
At night time, the most famous part of the city lights up in red neons. Walking through the Red light district, cafés (not coffee shop) advertise their many brands of weed and marijuana-derived products. Of course, the main attraction were these windows revealing prostitutes in lingeries. Although I never understood the hype behind this, I still don’t get why prostitution is actually a touristic attraction. Crowds of tourists watching sexualized girls as if it was a casual thing kind of blew my mind. But that’s my own opinion.
We decided to spend the last day at Zaanse Schans, a Dutch town in the North of Amsterdam. This rural neighbourhood is famous for its historic windmills and distinctive green wooden houses. Small shops sell cheese, chocolate and many souvenirs for tourists. This last stop in the Netherlands was a nice break from our hectic travelling schedule, before hoping to the next destination.