Well, friends, it’s real: I’m going to Amsterdam! It’s the place I’ve wanted to visit most for a long time now, closely followed by Paris and Greece. A great big giant thank you to the love of my life for the tickets! (He even made sure I’m flying direct!) I thought I would share my Amsterdam bucket list with you, and check in with y’all after the trip to see what all I did. We’ll see if I hit all the points on this list.
Visit the Anne Frank House.
I first read Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl in middle school. I both loved and was in awe of the book. Some of the thoughts and feelings I was having, she had too! It was amazing, though saddening, to read how she quickly matured while in hiding. She had a marvelous mind, and to be in a place where she lived before her life was cruelly and unnecessarily snuffed out is a dear dream of mine.
Visit the Van Gogh Museum.
Everyone knows at least one Van Gogh painting, whether it’s Starry Night or The Cafe Terrace on the Place de Forum or any other. The bold, free, beautiful strokes of his paintings are stunning, to say the least. I’m excited to visit his homeland and see more of his work!
Take a canal boat tour.
Part of the reason Amsterdam has always intrigued me is the abundance of canals. I love water in any form, and for me, to be near it is to be near joy and peace. Plus, I’ll admit that The Fault in Our Stars made the canal boat tour look really, really appealing, okay? Okay.
Try authentic stroopwafel.
When I was about seven and my parents took their second honeymoon and attended a wedding in Venice, they stopped in the airport in the Netherlands and brought home stroopwafels. We all fell in love with them! Though I’m sure those were authentic, I’m excited to try a fresh one while in Amsterdam.
Eat ALL the cheese and bread and visit the Cheese Museum.
Though I have a possible sensitivity to yeast and am lactose intolerant, I have found I can handle these foods in small quantities. That being said, I am willing to suffer for the glory of bread and cheese – maybe even together. I hear great things about the breads and cheeses in the Netherlands, and I want to experience them.
Visit the Rijksmuseum and I AMsterdam sculpture.
In case you haven’t been able to tell, I love art. I grew up about six miles west of Washington, D.C., and my parents took care to make sure they took advantage of the free and cheap culture in and around the city. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t visiting museums and galleries, so to visit the palatial Rijksmuseum will be delightful.
Amble through Vondelpark.
Another thing you may have noticed about me is that I love to be in nature. To stroll through the Netherlands’ most famous park is something I certainly look forward to doing. I’ll be in Amsterdam in early September, so the weather should still be glorious.
Visit the Hermitage Museum.
More art, plus some Amsterdam history! I love an opportunity to learn. This museum contains an antique orphanage, as well as art, and chronicles of visits by celebrities such as Napoleon and the Beatles.
Go shopping in the Nine Streets Neighborhood.
From my research I have learned that the Nine Streets neighborhood has plenty of shopping opportunities. This includes concept stores and vintage boutiques, the latter being a favorite of mine. There are designer shops too, but I’m on a budget!
See the windmills at Zaanse Shans.
Going to the countryside near the city to escape may be appealing, after the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam. I’d love to see the iconic windmills, as well. I think it will be nice to hear more natural noise for a half-day.
Have any of you ever been to Amsterdam? If so, do you have any recommendations? Leave them in the comments below!