Anne Frank House: Located on the beautiful Prinsengracht Canal, Anne Frank’s House stands as a testimony to a brave girl in an ugly world. Each room has a collection of quotes from her famous diary, salvaged photos of the Frank family and a model of what the rooms looked like. The museum is opened from 9am to 10pm and recommends you purchase tickets in advance. But if you’re like me and enjoy last minute plans you can purchase tickets at the door after 3:30pm, but beware of the line—it can go all around the nearby church and take up to an hour and a half!
Van Gogh Museum: The story of Vincent Van Gogh unveils itself in this modern museum based on his letters sent to his brother, Theo. From the ground floor to the third floor one gets an inkling of the sane madness within his psyche and how art became his very essence. Catch a glimpse of the artists that influenced him and of his sketches, but ultimately find the classic Van Gogh’s like his self-portraits, his sunflowers, his almond blossoms, his room and many more.
Tulip Museum: Curious why the tulip is huge in Holland? Look no further than the Tulip Museum, also located on the scenic Prinsengracht. This is an excellent place to see the famous flower outside of spring and discover its complex history. The exhibit is small, but very informative and offers relatively cheaper memorabilia of the Dutch Tulips.
Chocolat’l: Famous for the chocoshot (think espresso sized cup with thick, fresh melted hot chocolate), this local favorite serves hot chocolate and coffee. Its charismatic and chocoholic owner will quickly discuss the process of chocolate production and the varying types of cocoa beans throughout the world before ushering his visitor to a table to sample his chocolates before successfully persuading the individual to purchase a hot chocolate.
Pancake Bakery: Established in 1973, The Pancake Bakery is the perfect place for people looking for something to satisfy the pancake or crepe craving. The Dutch pancake, prepared like a French crepe is soft and fluffy like an American pancake, but slightly crispy like a French crepe. The restaurant offers a wide variety of pancakes, from sweet to savory. Try the chorizo and Dutch cheese pancake for a wonderful salty and creamy experience.
Tasca Bellota: This far north of Europe you wouldn’t expect to find a Spanish restaurant, but this tapa and wine restaurant is quick to dismiss any skepticism. Order a Spanish sangria with bits of apples, oranges, and pineapples to complement the tapas. Traditionally tapas are eaten for social events and to be enjoyed for a few hours. But the restaurant is so busy at night that those who cannot get a reservation are welcomed to come between 5pm and 8pm to try the food. For a red wine try the calamari, roasted potatoes, chorizo and honey drizzled, goat-cheese stuffed dates pairing.
Noordermarkt: A weekly Saturday market featuring local farmers, bakeries and artisans. Great place to sample cured meats, Dutch cheese, Dutch pastries and coffee. Rather than spending 10 to 20 euros on lunch come to this market to support the local vendors and get a little taste of everything the Netherlands has to offer.
Bloemenmarkt: See tulips, orchids, sunflowers, roses and more throughout the stalls at the floating market of the Singel Canal—it’s the only one in the world! Along with flowers this unique market sells Holland trinkets and food. Parallel to the Bloemenmarkt find a year round Christmas store or sit down for a coffee at one of its cafes.
Susana Pastrana, a public relations major, is concluding her time as an undergraduate at Boston University interning and studying abroad in London. With her big hair, loud voice, and smile you can find her strolling the streets of London and dorking out to its history, literary references and culture. Follow her on Instagram for a glimpse of her adventures.