24 Hours in Amsterdam
Updated: Aug 15, 2020
Following our bike ride through the breathtaking tulip fields, we returned to Leiden Centraal and proceeded to Amsterdam Centraal. Our Airbnb was actually outside of the main city in a little town called Volendam, and we proceeded there first to drop off our luggage. We took the Bus 316 at IJ-zijde Amsterdam Central Station and got off at Volendam-Centrum, as our Airbnb host Gré instructed. Volendam was possibly the best part of our trip to Amsterdam, as it was surprisingly quaint and authentic, while still being close to the big city.
Volendam’s cobbled streets and little Dutch houses made the 20 minute bus journey well worth it. Our Airbnb, a tiny house nestled into a Volendam neighborhood, was incredible (http://bit.ly/Greshouse). As we set down our bags and settled for a couple of minutes after arriving, we noticed a group of tourists taking pictures of OUR accommodation from the outside. How funny it was that we were able to spend a night in this house that other tourists wanted to capture. The weather was a little chilly, but we soon left and wandered around, stopping by the port to watch the boats and take it all in. Our walk took us to a Dutch cheese factory (http://bit.ly/cheesefactoryvolendam), a clog store (http://woodenshoefactoryvolendam.com/), and then back to our little nautical-themed Airbnb. Gré left us some eel to try, and Peter had high-praise for the delicacy (I was not brave enough to taste this local cuisine).
We returned to Amsterdam, where we would be meeting up with my friend Neelie, who I met over 10 years ago at summer camp. Neelie caught up with us just in time to hop on our evening boat tour through the canals of Amsterdam. There are many boat tour options, but we went with the 1-hour canal cruise from https://www.lovers.nl/ for €16 per adult. You can redeem this at any time of the day, but there is often a long line, so be prepared. The sunset time cruises are some of the most popular and I would advise to arrive at least an hour prior to your desired time in order to make it on the boat. We lucked out and began right around the sunset, getting both views of Amsterdam in the light and after dark. Our guide was very knowledgeable, telling us about each of the archways that we passed under, as well as fun facts such as, how many cars fall into Amsterdam canals each year (the fire department reports over 35 annually!).
View from the Canal Cruise Window – April 13th, 2019
In such a short time (4:30 PM April 13th – 7:00 AM April 14th), we were able to: go on a canal boat ride, walk the streets of Amsterdam and Volendam, stay in an authentic Dutch home, try on some wooden clogs, drink a Heineken from the local brewery, try some Dutch cheese, and more! This area of the world is charming and perfect for the world-traveler, and I cannot wait to return. After some hot drinks, we retired to bed, eagerly awaiting our early morning wake up call and travels to the next stop, Frankfurt, Germany.
Places on the itinerary that we did not make it to, but would like to check out next time:
-Foodhallen at De Hallen: a massive food hall that has something for everyone, in one of Amsterdam’s hip and trendy neighborhoods
-Breakfast/Cafes: 1. Omelegg for breakfast 2. Nescio for lunch, located within the Generator Hostel but popular with locals as well 3. Blue Amsterdam, noted for its views of the city and authentic experience away from the crowds
-The Vincent Van Gogh Museum
-Moco Museum – Modern, Contemporary, and Street Art Museum
-Architecture: 1. Gingerbread facades on the Damrak 2. Nieuwebrugsteeg street that turns into the Sint Olofssteeg 3. De 9 Straatjes – Picturesque and quirky shops
-Bloemenmarkt (flower market) on the Singel canal
-Sunset: A’DAM Lookout Tower
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