Impressions Of A Weekend In Amsterdam.
When thinking about Amsterdam, what are the first three thoughts that come to you mind? Most people will think of these: Red light district, pot & liberality. Yes, it’ true that these distinguish Amsterdam but there is much more to this fantastic city. A couple of months ago, I decided that I wanted to go to Amsterdam again; for one weekend. I was really looking forward to it, and my friend Ines joined me. Even though it was going to be a short trip (arrival Friday night 10pm, departure Sunday morning 6am) we were excited to go there. Here are a couple of impressions & tips of “the Venice of the North”.
- The Times Hotel – not the cheapest place (also not the most expensive) but a really lovely little design hotel. The neighborhood is fantastic (see the first photo below) & the staff is very friendly and helpful. We were upgraded to a canal-view room which was designed in the “old vs. new” style (wooden beams, crooked walls, flat screen TV, huge ceiling – we were right up in the tower -, trendy decoration & very modern bathroom). It was really cosy & homey and I can only recommend it.
- There are so many cute little shops in Amsterdam but one really stood out: “Het Grote Avontuur” is an amazing vintage shop. Walking into the store almost felt like being beamed back in time straight into the 50’s. You’ll find furniture, posters, magazines, textiles, interior decoration, kitchen gadgets and heaps of other stuff.
- If you’re looking for flower seeds, bird houses or herbs & spices, the flower market is the right spot for finding these. Even if you’re not a gardener it’s a great sight worth seeing.
- Few words are enough for this one: Find an Indonesian restaurant! Yummy ;)
Did you know?
You’ll find it on almost every house – whether it’s 400 or 4 years old – in Amsterdam: hooks – or as they are called in Holland “hijsbalk”. Beams stick out of the façade usually above the roof window. They are no historic artefacts; these hooks are still used today. The stairs in the houses of Amsterdam are extremely small and steep, therefore you (most likely) won’t be able to carry bulky things up the stairs. Instead you borrow a cable winch, fix it onto the hook and heave cupboards, pianos, etc. up through the window into the apartment. To prevent that these items hit the façade, the houses used to be built a little bit bent-forward.