Exploring Amsterdam

Day 1: Medieval Centre

You can read about day 1 here.

Day 2: Old South, De Pijp and Southern Canal Ring

We explored today the beautiful Old South a.k.a. Museum Quarter, Amsterdam’s largest street market and the Sarphatipark in De Pijp and the Southern Canal Ring. I walked over 10 km today and almost 15K steps.

We headed from the hotel with the tram number 2 straight to the Museum Quarter. It was noon and the sun was blazing, the weather forecast predicted 30 degrees for today and that was pretty much accurate.


We walked through the park at the Museum Quarter and picked up a waffle because I was starving so much. ๐Ÿ™‚

We continued to the De Pijp neighborhood and browsed at the many street markets. We stopped for lunch at a Lebanese restaurant Artist to rest under the shades of a tree and for a quick meze. It was too hot to eat any warm food so we settled for Hummus, Tabbouleh, Falafel and yogurt dip with fresh flat bread. It was delicious.

The Sarphatipark is a few steps away and we made a round before going to explore the Southern Canal Ring.

The Heineken Experience at the Heineken Brewery is a must-see. We bought the tickets online and made a screenshot which was scanned directly from my phone at the entry. The queue at the ticket counter is huge so I recommend getting the tickets online. We also got a bracelet with two beer stamps which we could drink at the end of the visit.


The Heineken tour took us through the brewery with lots of beer tasting on the way ๐Ÿ™‚ (which explains why there were mostly men at the Heineken Experience), the ingredients used in Heineken beers were explained to us (water, starch, hops and the very big secret yeast), there is a fun ride showing the brewing process, then we got more beer tasting with explanation of how we should recognize a good beer (by look, smell and taste), followed by more exploring and finally beer drinking at the end at the bar where I chose the Heineken 350 ml extra cold for my two stamps. Alternatively you get two x 250 ml normal Heineken but I recommend the extra cold which you get in a frozen glass. ๐Ÿ™‚

We shopped some at the Heineken Store and we planned to visit Nieuwmarkt as the last part of the day but it started raining as we were on the way so we stopped for dinner at a Mexican restaurant at Waterlooplein where I chose the Enchiladas.


Amsterdam was playing against US at the Amsterdam Arena that evening so we saw lots of fans (both Dutch and Americans) dressed in the corresponding color heading to watch the game. We realized this too late because otherwise we could’ve went to the game or watch it in a bar with the locals but we returned to the hotel and watched the game in the room on the tv instead. The game was commented in Dutch so that was interesting. ๐Ÿ˜€

Day 3: Jordaan, Western Canal Ring and Nieuwmarkt

Today we explored the quiet neighborhood Jordaan and its nice street markets, the Western Canal Ring, Anne Frank House, Nieuwmarkt and we went to the zoo. I walked almost 16 km and 23K steps.

We started the day at Sara’s Pancake House for breakfast which we discovered by accident as we were going to the Anne Frank House. It was filled with lots of people and the pancakes looked good so we decided to have some too. I picked the pancake with Nutella, banana and coconut flakes which I ended up sharing with my boyfriend because his Poffertjes had all but 8 tiny mini pancakes. The food was good but we thought it was too expensive. 8 tiny Poffertjes were 8 euros and my pancakes costed 13 euros. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ


The queue at Anne Frank House was so long that we estimated at least 2 hours waiting time so we decided to continue on the Western Canal Ring and further to the quiet neighborhood Jordaan.

Jordaan is beautiful. There are not as many tourists in Jordaan as in the medieval centre and it’s great for a walk along the canals, on the narrow streets, admiring the building architecture and browsing the markets on such a nice Saturday. We ate another batch of Poffertjes, this time 10 pieces for only 2.5 euros which was a bargain and very delicious.

We returned to Anne Frank House to try again to get in but the queue was still long so we decided to continue across the medieval centre towards Nieuwmarkt. We checked the market, had some drinks and continued our walk in the neighborhood. We had lunch across the Rembrandthuis, the Dutch master’s 17 century home studio, and I chose a light Caesar salad in the big heat.


We decided to head to the zoo from Nieuwmarkt because the day was still young and the weather was so beautiful that we wanted to be outside. It was only a short walk to the Natura Artis Magistra zoo. It was a Saturday and the zoo was full with locals having a picnic on the grass and the children playing and running around.


We took the tram back to the centre because our feet were hurting from walking too much and we tried one last time at Anne Frank House around 19 o’clock and the queue was about 1 hour waiting time long. We didn’t feel like waiting so we continued walking in the centre before returning to the hotel.

Day 3: Museum of Modern Art, Medieval Centre and Canal Cruise

Spent the last day in Amsterdam visiting the Museum of Modern Art and a special show about Matisse, took a walk in the medieval centre and took a sunset canal cruise. Fantastic dinner with delicious Wonton soup and Peking duck at New King tonight. I love this city!

On the last day in Amsterdam we had brunch at Caffe Esprit in the city centre. We stalked this place for many days trying to get a table but it’s always full. The cafe is in a great location and the food is delicious.

  

After brunch we headed again to the Museum Quarter and decided to visit the Museum of Modern Art. We were lucky because there was a special exhibition with the work by Matisse which was probably my favorite of all.

We searched and found Hard Rock Cafe across Vondelpark so we sat on the canal terrace sipping on Mojitos and enjoying the sun. We picked up a souvenir t-shirt and a beer glass. I also got a Starbucks cup, I have a huge collection at home already.

We took another walk in the medieval center, one last time, and went on another canal cruise, this time during sunset. It was beautiful, although quite cold and windy.

We got a recommendation to eat at New King so we headed to the Zeedijk street for dinner. New King is on three floors and it was almost full, even though it wasn’t even dinner time yet. This restaurant seems very popular and they did not disappoint us. I chose a small Wonton soup and the Peking Duck which was actually half of duck served with rice and sauce on the side. My boyfriend got the same so we pretty much ate a whole duck together and ended up leaving most of the rice so we can have more duck. ๐Ÿ˜€ The food was delicious and the price acceptable, if you are in Amsterdam then go to New King. ๐Ÿ™‚


  

Also I highly recommend eating on the Zeedijk street, there are lots of really good restaurants, mostly Asian.

That’s a wrap

We returned home on Monday with some delay at the airport in Amsterdam and Frankfurt due to the bad weather in Germany.

We had 4 lovely days in Amsterdam with beautiful warm and sunny weather, (which is unusual for Amsterdam) and I have such beautiful memories of this city. I will be back! (Next time I will visit the coffee shops too but since I don’t drink or smoke, I need someone to carry me back to the hotel ๐Ÿ˜€ )

But until then I uploaded all the pictures here. Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

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