This summer I’ll be sharing adventures from the Big Big Trip through Europe that my friend and I took during our spring breaks. Last week I talked about our days exploring Edinburgh, so today I’ll cover the next place we visited: Amsterdam! Amsterdam is one of those cities that seemingly everyone studying abroad in Europe visits. Not only is it beautiful and packed with amazing sights to see, but it’s also very easy to get around. Here are some of the highlights from the few days we were there:
This was our first stop in Amsterdam and it definitely didn’t disappoint. The Rijksmuseum is enormous–just when we thought we had seen everything, there was another corner to turn or another floor to explore. I loved the variety of artwork there as well as the interactive features it had (like the third photo of me standing behind a wooden cutout). We spent hours in this museum on our first morning in Amsterdam, but we easily could have spent another few perusing the rooms that most interested us. The architecture of the museum itself is also gorgeous. I spent so much time gazing up at beautiful ceilings!
Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum is one of the most well-curated museums I have ever visited. Each floor presents a different time in Van Gogh’s life, going chronologically upward following a floor of self-portraits. Placards throughout the museum basically tell Van Gogh’s life story, meaning that you need to know little to nothing about this brilliant artist beforehand in order to enjoy this museum. They don’t allow photography, which I actually preferred. It’s nice to be able to simply enjoy the art without everyone around you constantly stopping in order to get the perfect photo of it. Whether or not you’re a fan of his artwork, I would highly recommend adding this expansive museum to your Amsterdam “must see” list.
Tulips & Parks
Amsterdam is a beautiful city to begin with, but the gorgeous April weather we had during our visit made it even more amazing. I adored walking through parks and taking in all of the colorful tulips scattered in front of the giant “I Amsterdam” letters. After spending several hours in museums in the mornings, there was no better way to spend the afternoon than by strolling through so many green spaces.
I loved walking along the canals the crisscrossed through the city, especially in the mornings when it was quiet and the evenings as the sun began to set. One afternoon we took a canal cruise as a little break from walking everywhere. It was lovely to watch all of the adorable houses go by and learn more about the history of the city. And the house boats were so fun to see!
I. Love. Trams. Amsterdam was by far the easiest city to get around that we visited. Not only are the trams relatively cheap if you plan ahead and by certain tickets, but they are also reliable and come quite frequently. Fortunately there was a tram stop near our Airbnb (we were staying about a thirty minute ride out of the city center) so we were easily able to take the tram back and forth from our accommodations. Such a great mode of public transport!
All in all, I had an amazing time in Amsterdam and would absolutely love to visit again if I get the chance. Even though my friend and I packed a lot of exploring into a few short days, there’s still so much I’d like to see. Now I know why so many students visit this wonderful city when they study abroad!
Click here to check out other posts in my Holly Goes Abroad series!
Have you ever been to Amsterdam? What are your favorite things to do there? Let me know in the comments section below!