I couldn’t believe how much I didn’t like Amsterdam the first time I visited. I thought it was exactly what the clichés made it out to be: frat boys on drugs and just an overall assault on the senses. YUK. It took me a good four years before I even considered going back after seeing the city canals plastered all over my Instagram feed.
And, as you can probably tell, I kind of fell for it. I was just there again earlier this year, and I can’t wait for my next visit. You see, the sooner you realise that Amsterdam is SO, SO much more than the dodgy Red Light District, the sooner you’ll fall for it too.
Case in point below.
Photos of Amsterdam
Posing along Lauriergracht, one of the prettiest canals in the city, in my opinion
Amsterdam may be a busy capital, but the minute you leave bewildering De Wallen/Centrum and set foot in neighbourhoods like Jordaan and De Pijp, you realise this is the Amsterdam people talk about. The one with an incredibly laid-back vibe, where freelance graphic designers drink their morning latte with stay-at-home mums and would-be-incognito tourists like me. Not the one with overflowing coffee shops (yes, those coffee shops) and hordes of sightseers. This is the Amsterdam I have come to love and fantasise living in.
I could certainly see myself sitting on a different terrace every day and photographing these gorgeously crooked facades. Challenge accepted.
Lot Sixty One Coffee: where the beans are roasted on-site and where the people are impossibly hip
Bits and pieces of Amsterdam trivia: did you know that Amsterdam’s canal ring—over 165 canals in total, spreading over 100 kilometres, flanked by 2,500 houseboats and barges, and comprising 1,281 bridges— is the inner city’s only registered UNESCO World Heritage Site? Rumour even has it that 8,000 bicycles fall in the unforgiving canals (you certainly can’t jump it and retrieve it, can you?) each year and that the administration has to set aside a special budget to pull them out on a regular basis.
Speaking of bicycles, there supposedly are 881,0000 two-wheelers within the Amsterdam city limits, and, oddly enough, just 810,00 inhabitants—of which 58% cycle to work on a daily basis.
If you’re already familiar with this blog, you might remember my biking adventures in and around the city last year, which is not nearly as terrifying as it sounds. It was rather enjoyable, actually!
Cycling among yellow flowers in Amstelveen
One of Amsterdam’s most famous museums: the newly-renovated Rikjsmuseum
One of the best and most touching museums I’ve ever visited: Anne Frank Huis
Photogenic lattes at Scandinavian Embassy
Equally photogenic decor
Cafe Flinck in De Pijp
The grandiose train station, Amsterdam Centraal
Westerkerk, seen from Reestraat
One of my absolute favourite photos of Amsterdam; the city is delightful in springtime