It has officially been one month since I have arrived in London. Last weekend, I took my first weekend trip and traveled to Amsterdam in the Netherlands. My friends and I booked the trip only a few weeks ago, but we were excited to be spontaneous and explore all that the city has to offer.
The city of Amsterdam is stunning. Known as “the Venice of the North,” Amsterdam is a place for pure enjoyment and appreciation. The intricate townhouses, plentiful canals, and charming houseboats fill the city. Local bakeries, pottery shops and cozy cafes are only blocks away from lively bars, “coffeeshops,” and the famed Red Light District. There’s a sense of relaxation in the air, despite bicyclists speeding through bustling streets. The city is a good mix of the exciting and the calm, the old and the new. Whether you plan to spend one week or 48 hours in Amsterdam, you are in for a one-of-a-kind trip.
One activity that I highly recommend is the A’dam Lookout. The top floors offer unparalleled, 360-degree views of the entire city, including the historic centers and harbor. Unfortunately, we were unable to visit the outdoor deck due to high winds, but the views from the top of the A’dam Lookout gave me an entirely new perspective of the city.
A visit to the Van Gogh Museum is a must-do while in Amsterdam. The museum is dedicated to the works of Vincent Van Gogh, showcasing his finest paintings and sketches while chronicling his complex personal life.
The most stunning parts of Amsterdam are the canal views. I was constantly in awe with every turn I made while strolling through the city. The charming townhouses are all slightly different from one another, and the man-made canals make Amsterdam one of the most special destinations in Europe.
The top recommendation that I received for Amsterdam was to see the city on its water. Getting whisked away via the canals allowed us to see many buildings that we hadn’t had a chance to check out, as well as gain deeper knowledge of Amsterdam’s rich history.
The Heineken Experience was truly one of the most fun and memorable experiences that I had on this trip. The original brewery serves as a massive ode to Heineken beer by operating as a historical museum and an interactive space. We learned about the history of the Heineken brand, how the beer is made (with only four ingredients!), and even had the chance to taste a few samples.
As agreed upon by me and my friends, Blue Amsterdam is one of the best places to go to in the city. The cafe-restaurant has the entire package — great views, comfortable seating, and amazing food. Blue Amsterdam is located at the very top of a glass tower in the city centre, offering 360-degree panoramic views of Amsterdam. The eatery serves brunch, snacks and drinks, all of which include fresh ingredients and jaw-dropping presentations. The chicken sandwich, lentil and sweet potato burger, and overnight oats were some of our favorites.
One cannot leave Amsterdam without trying its gastronomic highlights. I highly recommend ordering a Dutch baby pancake, which tastes like a mouth-watering crossover between an American popover and a Parisian crepe. Amsterdam is also famous for their frites and stroopwafels, both of which personally changed my life. Don’t forget to bring some home as souvenirs!
We spent our last morning on Sunday strolling the quiet streets of Jordaan, which are usually bustling with locals and tourists exploring the trendy boutiques and hip eateries of the neighborhood. We stumbled upon a dessert shop named Polaberry, which my friend found on Instagram. The shop specializes in fresh chocolate-covered strawberries and homemade chocolate bars. All of their products are artistically designed and make for incredible photos. My friends and I unanimously agreed that these were the best chocolate-covered strawberries we have ever had — enough to bring us back to Amsterdam another day.
Celeste Lim, Study Abroad Correspondent
Celeste Lim is a junior at Boston University, majoring in public relations. She is currently studying abroad in London, England, and will be interning at United Airlines. In Boston, Celeste is a member and PR Director of Her Campus Boston University. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, taking photos, and consuming vast amounts of lattes.