JetSet Coco

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Day In Amsterdam

There's so much to do and see in Amsterdam that it's virtually impossible to cram it all into one day. Luckily I have been to Amsterdam once before, and one afternoon was the perfect amount of time to spend frolicking around this fascinating city. I am absolutely in love with this charming city that is decorated with bikes parked everywhere imaginable. The quirky buildings on the canals are simply stunning, with each one different from the next. With amiable locals, impeccably clean streets, and more character and culture than any other city of its pint size, Amsterdam is an idealistic little town. That said, if it's the partying, seedy atmosphere that you seek on your vacation, Amsterdam obviously has that, too with more smoke shop cafes than you could possibly count, and the notorious Red Light District.

While in Amsterdam, there are a few sights that simply cannot be missed whether you are there for a week or a day in order to get the whole gist of the city:

1. The Van Gogh Museum is quite possibly the best museum in the world if you love impressionist art as much as I do.

2. Wander over bridges and canals, get lost in the winding streets of the darling areas Rembrandtplein and Leidseplein and enjoy all the architecture.

3. Take a pleasant stroll through the flower market and marvel at the immense amounts tulips, dried flowers, dahlias, and a rainbow of other flowers.

4. It is pertinent to window shop through the Red Light District- I'm not saying literally shop there, but it's a famous sight in Amsterdam that's not to be missed.

5. Visit Anne Frank's house to wander through her home as they left it furnished and everything, and pay respect to the innocent people who should never have had to suffer through the Holocaust.

6.Lastly, I'm not advocating that anyone smoke, but it is a famous aspect of life and tourism in Amsterdam, and it's an unreal experience just to peek into a coffee shop to see what it looks like.

A far as cuisine goes, Amsterdam has hands down the best waffles and fries in the world! Don't make a fatal mistake of ordering ketchup with the fries. When in Amsterdam, do as the locals do and get mayonnaise instead- you won't regret it! Last time I came to Amsterdam four years ago I literally ate nothing but waffles, so that was the first thing on my mind to devour this trip, and it didn't disappoint. For a sinfully good dessert or snack, go for a chocolate dipped waffle topped with cinnamon ice cream. It's totally over the top but necessary. The beer in Amsterdam is also delightful, and it's the birthplace of Heineken. And what goes better with beer than cheese? Luckily, you run into a handmade cheese shop on just about every busy street, and they are more than happy to give away samples.

I am a shopaholic, and while wandering the streets of Rembrandtplein, I was pleasantly surprised at the fantastic assortment of home decor and clothing stores. The store that I really fell in love with for home goods shopping is Homeland Sissy-Boy. Funny name, fabulous merchandise. It had an Anthropologie vibe with a Nordic twist. Second store that caught my eye was the more funky and sleek Jan shop, also on the sleek, specialty-shop sprinkled street called Utrechtsestraat.

I would highly recommend anybody visiting Amsterdam to stay at the Eden Amsterdam American Hotel. Perfectly located right in the heart of the the Leidseplein square and located on a canal with fantastic views, this hotel couldn't be more convenient if you're seeking to walk to charming cafes, nightlife, and restaurants right in the middle of the action. Our room was fabulous, with a massive window overlooking the tree lined canal. The decor was very fashion forward, with Erte-like fashion drawings framed on the wall and an art deco fashion model motif on the carpet. It was perfect for someone as into fashion as me.

Entrance to Eden Amsterdam American Hotel

View from our room

Hotel Room Carpet

I hope my fabulous one day whirlwind jaunt through Amsterdam will inspire you to do the same.

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