Amsterdam Highlights

February 23, 2015

There’s a quote in the cult British movie from 1999, Human Traffic, which has stuck with me since childhood. It goes something along the lines of: “The theory of The Dam, is life for the living”.

It is a starkly beautiful, chilled-out and cultured city with so much to offer. In the global village we live in, it is easy for a lot of European cities to feel exactly the same. But with its sweeping canals and tall multi-coloured terrace houses, Amsterdam is unmistakable and unlike anywhere else in the world. When you’re in The Dam, you know you’re in The Dam. And life is indeed for the living.

Here are my top 3 highlights of Amsterdam:

Cycling Around The City
Everyone rides a bike in Amsterdam. EVERYONE. My partner and I felt the only way to truly get to know this city was if we saddled up and joined the two-wheeled masses. Although it took a while to master the art of dodging pedestrians on small cobbled streets, or avoiding the traffic as you crossed busy roads full of cars and trams, it is truly the best way to see the city. It’s small and flat, so riding is relatively easy and as you glide aside the stunning canals you’ll feel completely at one with Amsterdam (until, you dramatically fall off our bike into a crowd of people whilst trying to mount a three inch curb, as I did!)

Relaxing in the Jordaan
The Joordan is the “cool” area of Amsterdam. Littered with trendy cafes and bars, vintage clothes shops, and quirky museums (Tulip Museum, anyone?). It was the place we chose to bunker up with a couple of Heinekens when the rain got severe. In my opinion it boasts the most picturesque canal views in the city, and the small alleys filled with overgrown plants and vintage bikes are perfect for a sneaky Instagram opportunity. Amsterdam can be kind of wild in certain areas, and so the Jordaan is the perfect place to chill out, away from the hustle and bustle.

The Food Hall
Recommended to us by some friends, the hidden gem of De-Hallen is a bit off the beaten track in a more suburban area of the city.  It took us a while to find (eventually a kind phone shop employee with better English than me pointed us in the right direction), but when we did it was well worth the trek. Hidden behind a seemingly innocuous market, inside an old cinema complex, this was a hipster Mecca; complete with trendy bar, and dozens of mouth-watering craft food stalls, offering a plethora of Dutch classics as well as popular street foods from round the globe.

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