It’s so stylish.
The street style in Amsterdam is really on another level. It’s the best I have seen anywhere. Italian style is more like effortless elegance. Amsterdam style is effortless rocker urban hippie chic. I spotted a ton of leather, fur coats mixed with chunky boots and ripped jeans. Everything felt really young, fresh and cutting edge. There were lots of variations of current trends like animal prints and plaids. The shopping was equally amazing. There were a ton of little boutiques and also all of my fav fast fashion stores they don’t have in the America like Pull and Bear and Bershka. I get so much inspo from window shopping and Amsterdam had some incredible looks on display. I also discovered the legit best vintage shop on Ferdinand Bolstraat street called Marbles Vintage (Ig:@marblesvintage). They had a great assortment of jeans, leather and coats with fur collars for good prices.
I got a really cute leopard print jumpsuit that is toooo dieeee for only 45 euros!
It’s laid back and fun.
Amsterdam is pretty well known as a city where you can have a crazy fun time. You can do as much or as little as you want and both are accepted. Marijuana and prostitution happen to be perfectly legal which is a different vibe for most people. However, it’s not like being in one big smoky brothel. The Brown Cafes that sell weed blend in with all of the other cafes. If it’s not your thing you will hardly notice. If it is your thing, Amsterdam really will be like a little heaven for you. Brown Cafes are easy to access and there is no stigma about smoking. I am not endorsing or protesting but just telling my observations. Also, the prostitution in the Red Light District can be a bit shocking if you have never seen anything like it ( which most people have not). The sex workers stand in glass window displays like mannequins (they are all really gorgeous by the way…just in case you were wondering). It’s something worth checking out if you are curious and to say you went there (YOLO). This is the area where you will see the most police so don’t worry about anything popping off. The District has a lot of fun bars and dance areas so most people there are really just hanging out and having fun. I had such good food at this really cute restaurant called Pimp Steak. The food was delicious and right in the heart of the action. Leidseplein is another fun spot with lots of bars and dance clubs within walking distance. For a posher scene with a variety of nice restaurants, I went to Ferdinand Bolstraat street. I had dinner by myself at The Seafood bar and was comfortable sitting at the restaurant alone. The set up is so you can see directly into the kitchen as they prepare your food which is entertaining.
Red Light District
It’s so darn pretty.
Amsterdam is often considered one of the most beautiful canal cities in the world. It is even sometimes referred to as the “Venice of the North”. Walking through, you will totally feel like you are on a movie set. The houses along the canals are gorgeous and massive. They are supperrrr tall and narrow with big white window panes. It looks so Dutch and magical. You will fall in love. They honestly look like a gingerbread display you put up at Christmas. It’s really charming. The canals themselves are also stunning. They are lined with little boat houses decorated with flowers. You can take a dinner or wine cruise or even a water taxi as another option to see the city via the canal.
It’s easy to get around.
There is always this fear when traveling abroad that the language barrier and/or literally not knowing a thing about how to get anywhere will stress you out. In Amsterdam, you don’t have to worry. There is the most fantastic and easy to use metro system which allows you to use the subway or the trams with the same ticket. I stated at Hotel Casa and my nearest station was Amstel Station. Any station leads to Central Station and from Central it was easy for me to walk to shopping, restaurants, and museums. The Central Station is so massive (and beautiful), it can’t be missed. If you are not adventurous enough to figure out the metro, (but really its sooo easy) they have Uber! An Uber to the City Center from my hotel was about 7 Euros and a 1 day metro pass was roughly the same. Also, there are ALOT of biking options if you are into that sorta thing. I have never seen so many bikes in my life!
It has dope Art.
Amsterdam has some of the most amazing art you will ever see ever! There is a big grassy public space called Museumplein that is surrounded by 3 major museums including the Van Gogh. The location also host an incredible contemporary/modern art museum called the Moco. It's a chill spot where you can check out some of your favorite artist and then take a break with a Heineken on the big grassy area in the square. This is also the area with the big “I Amsterdam” sign. I took a bunch of Gram worthy pics here that I have to say I am pretty proud of! I love love love the Moco museum. The garden alone was fantastic with its pink mulch. I was lucky enough to catch the Banksy exhibit which was incredible. They also have other awesome permanent artist like Warhol and Basquiat.
Final thoughts if you are thinking about visiting Amsterdam:
- Everyone speaks English. Dutch is really the official language but the City is so cosmopolitan
that English speaking is everywhere and common.
- If you have a long layover, Schiphol Airport has a locker area. You can store your things with a code so you have your hands free.
- Keep your eye out for bikes! The city is FULL of cyclist. I mean FULLLLLL. Cyclist rule everything in Amsterdam and they will be pissed if you get in their way. Be present and stay out of the bike lanes.
- The flight from Washington DC was about 6 ½ hours (Not bad). You can totally do a long weekend trip. I flew home and went to work the next day!
- I always over pack just because having a lot of options is my safety blanket but if you have the funds to shop save room! Shopping there is off the chain and affordable.
- Be prepared to eat lots of sweet treats and Nutella. I ate, like, enough to feed a small Dutch village.
- It’s Amsterdam so go with an open mind, empty suitcase and stomach and you will leave satisfied.