Apologies for keeping everyone waiting for part 2- I just got a new computer and had to set everything up! On to day two, how exciting!
Day two was when John and I knew that we would have the most energy on the trip so we tried to pack everything into it. We woke up super early to make it to the IAmsterdam sign before it got crowded. We got there around 7:30am and only had to fight off one other person. I seriously suggest this for ANY photo opp you ever care about- get there super early and you won’t have to worry about sharing the picture with strangers!
Just a warning, the sign was covered in frost which made it WAY too hard for me to climb. I wish I could have gotten up there but I settled for a picture inside of the t and a few selfies in front of the sign.
I started to develop a little bit of an ear infection/cold so I needed to nip that in the bud ASAP. First stop, Etos (European CVS) for Ibuprofen and it saved my life! Next we headed to breakfast right by there and if you’re in the area I seriously suggest going. It’s called Blushing and it’s everything you want from a little European Coffee/ Breakfast spot. The decor is adorable and the food is even better, we had the Eggs Benedict and Eggs & Toast.
Next we had tickets for the Van Gogh museum. Amsterdam is a huge city for museums so I suggest you find one or two that interest you and
buy the tickets ahead of time. Waiting in line for these museums is such a waste of time when you can skip the line and have the ticket right there on your phone! We walked right in, checked our coats and bags, and headed through the four floors of art. We knew we didn’t have time to do many museums in our 48 hours but Van Gogh was what interested us the most. If I had more time the Rijksmuseum and Rembrandt would have made the itinerary for sure!
You don’t have to like art to appreciate the Van Gogh museum. His work is recognizable and everyone remembers the story of him cutting off his ear from 3rd grade art class. You can see every stroke he made with his brush and the history of his life is very well preserved here. It took us about 90 minutes to make it through the museum and we both really enjoyed seeing his work in person. I found out Starry Night is actually at MOMA in NYC so I’ll have to make a trip up there soon to see it!
Then we decided it was time to try some local foods. Our first stop was FEBO which is a fast food chain where everything is in the wall,
almost like a vending machine! It was overwhelming because everything was in Dutch but we rolled the dice and both ended up loving the greasy deliciousness that we chose. I ended up with a fried chicken stick!
Next on the list- fries! We headed over to Manneken Pis for their famous fries. They make
them fresh there with ketchup, mayonnaise, and raw onions on top. It was very interesting! John wasn’t a fan of all of the condiments but it really grew on me! A medium was huge and plenty to share!
Don’t ask me how but we still had room for a sweet dessert and decided to try pancakes and poffertjes! If you go to Amsterdam you HAVE to try poffertjes because they are delicious! We headed to Sara’s Pancakehouse by recommendation from my aunt and it did not disappoint! My mouth is watering just looking at these pictures again.
Now sufficiently full, we headed to the Rembrandt House to see it in person! We didn’t have time to do the whole museum but it is still an iconic building and it was sooo cool to stand out front and take in all of the history! If you want to buy tickets, click here.
We also strolled through the flower market. Many people warned us it was a tourist trap but I just had to see it for myself. Just remember when you walk through to always be aware of your personal belongings. Also, know that the Dutch do not buy their flowers there and the souvenirs there are most likely not even made in the Netherlands. If you want to bring home a real Dutch souvenir, head to a Delft Blue shop!
For our last plan (and what I was looking forward to seeing) we went to the Anne Frank House. This is one where you DEFINITELY want to book tickets ahead of time. They open
at 9am but only to those with tickets (buy tickets here!). They don’t open to the public until 3:30pm and the line is literally insane and around the block. It took me legit 5 seconds to buy tickets online so do yourself a favor and schedule a time so you can walk right up and go in. I am a big Holocaust buff and I have read the Diary of Anne Frank probably 8 times front to back. I literally love reading about her life and have been wanting to go to her house since I was about 12. So this was a surreal moment to stand in the house where she stood, climb the same hidden stairs behind the book case, and see the windows she peaked out of waiting for freedom. I still get chills thinking about being there and it was a really powerful and moving experience for me. I have been to a few concentration camps (Auschwitz and Theresienstadt) but I think being in Anne Frank’s house was the most powerful for me because I really connected to her book as a child and she was the reason I ever took interest in learning about the Holocaust.
So it was an emotionally draining experience and we both agreed it was nap time! After a little bit of renewed energy we decided to give Indonesian another try.
The reason Indonesian is so popular there is because The Netherlands colonized Indonesia so there is a huge population of Indonesians (who are AMAZING cooks) in Amsterdam. We made a reservation this time at Restaurant Max through our hotel and headed on our way to the restaurant. Can I just say- this was one of the best meals of my life. Honestly, I enjoyed every last bit and the dessert was delicious. If I could write fifty 5 star reviews for this place I would!
After that, we headed to the Red Light District because we had to see what it was like. Let’s just say it was a lot of drunk British men and prostitutes. The prostitutes stand in the window under red lights (they are not on the street how I imagined) and people walk up to the window to get a price. Honestly, it was WEIRD and I did everything in my power to avoid eye contact because I am so awkward- LOL. What an experience, no picture taking allowed!
After wandering and enjoying the lights that are strung across the streets in the area, we did some shopping and called it a night. The next morning we were up and out pretty early and took the train back to the airport. We had breakfast at the airport and began our 8+ hour journey back to Philadelphia.
Overall, Amsterdam was full of memories and experiences that I will forever remember. Although it was only 48 hours, it was the perfect taste of Dutch Culture and I can’t wait to come back for more! Next time I’ll be back in the summer when it’s warm enough to rent a bike and spend more time outside! I want to thank my fiancé, John, for finding the flight deal, stopping to “take this picture for my blog” 1,000 times, and keeping a smile on my face during all of our crazy adventures.
Until next time Amsterdam!