We had the BEST time in Amsterdam a couple weeks back. It was both our first time visiting so we had very little expectations. Emily and I are both really bad at researching beforehand so we just winged it the whole time. The only thing we regret was not looking ahead for the Anne Frank museum because its usually sold out months in advanced! Other then that, it was a great time and I was pleasantly surpirsed. These were the main things that surprised me about Amsterdam.
The Food. The food was amazing and really catered to an American palette. Before I came to Amsterdam, I ate at some pretty good places in London but I do have to say London caters more to a British palette. The food is not as flavorful as it is in America and there are some flavors that aren’t my favorite. (Granted it’s probably made much healthier but just saying) Breakfast is not good in London and in Amsterdam it literally blew me away. I had the best pancakes of my life here and honestly think about them daily! Apparently traditional Dutch food (which we didn’t try) is not the greatest (according to a Dutch native we met), but the restaurants we went to were all so delicious and definitely had more of an “American” menu.
The Energy. Everyone in Amsterdam seemed so cool, calm, and collected. The energy of the city is so chill especially for a place that allows legal drugs and prostitution. It’s not a crazy party city like Vegas although I know they of course party but overall everyone was really nice and poised. It actually was a shocking change for me coming from London which is much more of a bustling city.
Coffee or Weed? Coffee shops are essentially weed shops, you can go and shop whatever strain you’d like. We didn’t do it though. Something about trying drugs in a foreign country was not appealing to me lol
I heard ALOT of American accents. Emily and I were in shock at how many American accents we were hearing in the streets as we walked. Then we were trying to think of another country that speaks English like us and Canada came to mind (duh!) So maybe they weren’t all American but the point is we heard many non dutch accents everywhere we went.
It RAINS ALOT!!! There are certain places that are associated with their weather, LA is hot and sunny, Miami is humid, London is rainy, but I’ve never heard anyone talk about how RAINY Amsterdam is. I mean RAIINNYYY, it way surpasses London! In my opinion London honestly isn’t even that rainy. I thought it was weird that nobody really talks about how rainy the Netherlands is. We learned the hard way and just got wet. Though the weather can be considered gloomy, in my experience it doesn’t make the city feel gloomy at all.
Navigation Skills. The roads are filled with people, bikes, and cars and everyone just seems to know how to navigate through it all. Amsterdam is a city where the bikes outnumber the cars so it’s interesting to see people riding their bikes with windshields on them and baby seats attached. It’s such a common form on transportation out there, you see bikes lining the streets everywhere. I highly doubt people don’t get hit by bikes but overall it seemed like everyone knew how to navigate seamlessly.
Sweets Sweets Sweets! There are SO MANY SWEETS. It felt like every other shop was selling chocolate covered waffles, or churros, or cookies and soooo many other delicious sweets. My younger self would have went crazy, but that was when I could eat whatever I wanted and not gain a pound. So needless to say we didn’t indulge too much in the sweets even if they were very tempting!
Overall, Amsterdam was definitely one of my top favorite cities I’ve visited. I definitely want to come back and spent a little more time here, most likely in the summer so we don’t freeze our butts off next time.