Awfully Cool Amsterdam
Amsterdam’s reputation precedes it. It’s a beautiful city and incredibly vibrant, but because we visited during poor weather (scorching hot) and peak tourist season (a summer weekend), we didn’t enjoy it to its fullest. Amsterdam’s metro ticket machines are a bit antiquated, so try to be patient with the buttons. If a tram come barreling along before you can buy a ticket, you can buy it onboard.
We enjoyed the following:
Reypenaer Cheese (★★★)
- Book a gouda cheese tasting here! You learn a lot about the gouda making process but more importantly it comes with a cheese tasting. The portions are incredibly generous and delicious, we ate (and truthfully drank) ourselves silly here.
- Four generations old, no frills, really tasty sorbet/ice cream, but even better stroopwafel. They are totally unlike the ones you get in store: no ridges and it’s this crunchy cookie whereas the ones in stores crumble. They also have a Gevulde Koek, which is an almond cookie.
- One of the best museums we’ve visited on this trip. The entrance is kinda funky and located in a tunnel. However, usually there are talented street musicians utilizing the acoustics of the tunnel so you get a nice welcome. The museum itself is in a beautiful old building. They have a great app that guides you through the art (and WiFi!). Take some time to enjoy the garden also.
Freedam Tours (★)
- The owner and operator Sergio is really thorough with his tour and kind. We were there on one of the hottest days ever recorded and stayed through the three hour long tour with him. You’ll learn about the history of Amsterdam, how it was built, and plenty more. Definitely a good way to get an intro into the city.
- There was a free, limited-time exhibition hosted by the Amsterdam Museum – it is actually a covered hallway between two if its buildings. It houses a really cool collection of items that reflects Amsterdam’s evolving nature and how it was and should be always a city of open-minded immigrants. It was curated by the former beloved mayor of Amsterdam who recently passed away from lung cancer.