Dates: June 5th
Main Language of Country: Dutch
Capital City of Country: Amsterdam
Transportation Used: Train
Number of Photos Taken: 110
Average Cost of a Full Meal: 10 – 18 Euro
Favorite Foods Eaten: Dutch Pancakes
Amsterdam: (June 5)
On a trip that I took to Morocco, I flew with the airline KLM and there was a layover in Amsterdam for about 8 hours. Rather than stay at the airport, I decided to check out the city for a few hours. The flight from Calgary to Amsterdam was an overnight flight and I had barely slept, so when I arrived in Amsterdam around 8:00AM I had been awake for a very long time, but the excitement of exploring a new city forced me to ignore my desire for sleep.
Leaving the airport in Amsterdam was the first time that I had ever stepped foot into Europe and it was a very exciting feeling. I caught a train from the airport into the city centre where I planned to walk around and explore for a few hours before heading back to the airport.
TIP: To get to the downtown area of Amsterdam from the Schiphol Airport, you can take a train directly from the airport to Central Station. A train comes every 10 minutes or so. I had a bit of trouble figuring out which platform to be on, but I asked a few people that were hanging around the platforms and they were quickly able to point me in the right direction.
Once you get to central station, you’re in the centre of the action. It was great arriving early in the morning because the streets were quiet and uncrowded, but as it got later in the morning everything became significantly more busy.
I’m obviously not the best tour guide because I was in Amsterdam for less than a day, but it only takes a few minutes in Amsterdam to realize that it’s a really awesome city with a lot to explore and check out.
Because of my limited time in the city, I decided to skip any of the museums or canal tours and instead just walked around the streets to see as much as I could and cover as much ground as possible. From central station I wandered the streets with the Rijksmuseum being my end goal. Once I reached the Rijkmuseum I started on my way back by a different route and walked through the Red Light District.
Along the way I stopped for lunch at a cafe and decided to try Dutch pancakes which was pretty awesome.
Even though I only had about 4 or 5 hours walking around Amsterdam I really liked the city and would love to return with more time at some point. If you have more time than me, there is a ton to see and you might be interested in checking out things like the Royal Palace, the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Anne Frank House, the Rembrandt House Museum, the Heineken Factory, and the Red Light District.
Otherwise, you could spend many days wandering around the streets and alleys along the canals. You could also get a different perspective by taking a boat tour on the canals or by renting a bike.
Besides Amsterdam, I know that the rest of Holland is beautiful as well, even though Amsterdam usually gets all of the attention. I can say even less about the rest of Holland than I can about Amsterdam, but it’s yet one more place on my ever-expanding list of places to see in Europe.
After my brief stop in Amsterdam, I headed back to the Schiphol Airport on the train where I boarded my flight to begin my adventure in Morocco.
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