A City of Bicycles: Amsterdam Travel Diary

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

(aren't these flowers gorgeous)

If you read my previous post you would know that I was on my way to Europe and when you are reading this I will have just finished visiting my first city: Amsterdam, The Netherlands!

To be honest, before I started to plan this trip, I never considered visiting Amsterdam. But after hearing: everyone loves Amsterdam, you should go to Amsterdam, and Amsterdam’s so beautiful, I knew I had to go.

The 2 and a half days I spent in Amsterdam were nothing but magical. The city is truly picturesque and reminds me a lot of Venice. Even though I wasn’t the biggest fan of the layout of Venice, there is something special about Amsterdam that makes it different.

Day 1:

My first day in Amsterdam started on a sleepy Sunday at 6:30 am when we got off the plane at the Schiphol airport. One of the iconic landmarks you will see as soon as you walk out of the airport is the I amsterdam sign. There are 3 of these signs throughout the city and it is really popular for pics so of course I had to take one.

(that’s me in the D)

We then took a cab to the Hotel de L’Europe to drop our bags off. Even though I only got to stay in this hotel for two nights, I definitely feel that I got the whole experience. The hotel itself is beautiful, the staff was very nice and helpful, the rooms are huge, and I can’t even tell you how great the buffet breakfast was (by the way it was awesome if you were wondering).

Once our bags were stored we headed to the Van Gogh Museum. If you didn’t know Van Gogh is a famous artist who lived in Amsterdam a little over a century ago. The museum has works from Van Gogh as well as other artists like Monet and Emile Bernard. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take pictures of any of the artwork but I would definitely recommend visiting this museum or Rembrandts museum in the center of the city to get your artist fix.

Next we visited the Diamond Museum where you can learn all about diamonds; properties, cuts, colors, etc. You also get to see of the most intricate jewelry pieces; the crown jewels, and some of the biggest stones in the world and since Amsterdam is famous for their diamonds, this museum is definitely a must see.

Since we were running on 24 hours of no sleep we decided to take a little break and grab a bite to eat at a local flea market. After indulging some great food, we spent an hour exploring what the local vendors had to offer. The market really highlights Amsterdam’s charm and I ended up finding a bunch of unique jewelry, food and other items. The flea market only runs on the weekends and is located right between the Diamond Museum and the Van Gogh Museum.

(how cute is this jewelry)

In the afternoon we visited the Bag and Purse Museum and saw tons of vintage bags from as early as the 15th century to present day. Although the museum was interesting I didn’t think it was as good as people said it would be. So if you aren’t spending a lot of time in Amsterdam I wouldn’t waste your time on this museum.

After that we took a nap and got ready to go to an Italian restaurant called Campo de Fiori for dinner.

Day 2:

On our second day in Amsterdam we had a late breakfast at the hotel and then made our way to the Royal Palace. The Royal Palace is in Dam Square; the main square in Amsterdam where all the main shopping streets are connected. Basically the whole inside of the building was made of this beautiful white marble as seen in the picture above. It looked so Pinterest perfect that I really wanted to break a chunk off and make myself a nice desk for my room :P

(just frolicking in the streets)

After the Royal Palace we headed to the various shopping streets surrounding Dam Square. The most popular ones are Kalverstraat and Nieuwendijk. I found a few cute things in the various stores and boutiques that are unique to Amsterdam and Europe.

(making some beer)

In the afternoon, we decided to head over to the Heineken Brewery. If you didn’t know, Heineken beer originated in Amsterdam a century and a half ago and still is the most popular beer in Amsterdam to this day. It was really cool to see the whole beer making process and at the end we were able to customize our own bottles of beer!

In the evening we went to a Chinese food restaurant called Ginger nearby the brewery.

Day 3:

We spent our last morning in Amsterdam on a scenic canal tour of the city where we got to see tons of great sights and beautiful architecture like the Anne Frank House and the Protestant Churches. After the canal tour we did some more shopping on Kalverstraat. If you have ever been to New York City, this street is just like SoHo. As our trip to Amsterdam came to a close we took a trip to a nearby windmill, typical of Holland’s countryside.

I absolutely loved visiting Amsterdam and can say it is one of my favorite cities I have visited so far. I would highly recommend Amsterdam to anyone. Be sure to keep a lookout for my next post about the food I ate in Amsterdam!


  1. It looks so beautiful there! Hopefully I could go there someday.

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  2. These pictures are gorgeous! It looks like you had a great time.

    xo Hannah