Early November found me in Amsterdam. Coffee shops, impressive donut displays in bakery windows and a chilly wind were among the first to meet me off the tram, but Amsterdam offered so much more…
The Notorious Red Light District
I almost mistook the RLD for somewhat of a side street. It was far from a circus of rowdy stag-dos, marijuana clouds, prostitutes, etc. and more of a canal-cored, colourful strip with a sprightly atmosphere. Rows on rows of pretty girls in unique costumes were occasionally broken up by themed bars, strip clubs, erotic shops and adult theatres. It boasted an unparalleled personality with “good vibes only” (quote one of the neon signs outside of one of the bars), so much so that I even visited a further two times in my stay. Ignore claims of its seediness and touristy feeling and focus on its cheerful ambience, impressive selection of entertainment and retro appearance.
Recommended bars: The Queen’s Head, Café Remember, Players Bar and The Black Tiger.
A Cyclists Heaven in Vondel Park
Like London’s Regent’s Park and Verulamium Park in St. Albans, Vondel Park is a nostalgic and charming walk with a foreign ambience. It is littered with grand ponds, stone monuments and plenty of benches to sit and soak up the aesthetics.
Note to self: Grab a bike next time you visit the park and explore it in true Dam style.
The Anne Frank Museum
Despite what John Green may have written in ‘The Fault in Our Stars’, this is no place for a romantic kiss.
My ticket granted a 30-minute talk on the history of the Franks, before entering the actual museum, to provide a swift reminder of Anne Frank’s story. Hushed tones and gentle steps were the norm throughout this experience, giving people time to appreciate the history we were experiencing all these years later.
A moment or two taken to the side to acknowledge that this is the actual house many speak of truly hammers the history home.
Looking Out From Europe’s Highest Swing
A boat ride away is the tallest swing in Europe and one of the best views of your life. At hand downstairs in the bar is a chilled ambience and comfy seats with quite a view, but the view from the swing is by far superior. Only a few euros extra to watch your legs extend above the tall hotels and vast canals of Amsterdam is an unparalleled experience, and one of the main highlights of my trip.
N.B: The swing is scary. Very scary.
Thank you for reading, I hope you visit again;
Josie Marie x