So this is about a week late but last weekend I went to Amsterdam! It was definitely not what I was expecting and I think that is why I enjoyed the city so much. I had very low expectations going into the trip but it ended up being a beautiful and fantastic weekend. To begin, when flying Ryanair one must always check where exactly the airport is in location to the city. In our case we flew into Eindhoven which was about an hour train ride from Amsterdam. So the travel time from Limerick to Amsterdam was about ten hours. To begin we have to take a bus from limerick to Dublin airport. The first bus is a 2.5 hour journey, then we have to take a different bus another 20 minutes to the airport. Next, in order to make sure you get to the airport in plenty of time, one must leave limerick 5 hours before flight time; so there is some waiting around in the airport. Then the flight was about an hour and a half. When arriving in Eindhoven, first take a bus to the train station and then the hour train ride. At this point it is dark, but you have arrived in Amsterdam with an address, no map and everyone speaks Dutch. We found our hostel after only being lost for a minute (go us)!!!
As it turned out our hostel was in the red light district of Amsterdam. I am not really sure what you all have heard about the red light district but it is full of some weird things. Most of these things threw me very off guard and caused me to be very turned off from the Amsterdam night life.
The city did a complete 180 during the day. It was absolutely gorgeous. If someone only saw daytime in Amsterdam, the would never know the crazy things that occur at night. The city reminded me of Venice and had many canals that twisted and maneuvered themselves through the city. Also, everything was very busy and a lot was going on. The scariest part of the city is the bikers. They do not care if you exist, especially if you are standing in their way. I was almost taken out a few times and I almost knocked some people off their bikes on accident.
Amsterdam has a ton of different outdoor markets, all of which were extremely cool and had a ton of interesting things. My favorite market was the tulip market. If you didn’t know tulips became extremely famous thanks to the natives of Holland and used to represent wealth. Only the wealthiest could afford them and they would show them off by setting them in the front window of their houses.
There were a ton of museums and things to see. We only went to one museum which was the Anne Frank house. I read the book in middle school and enjoyed it a lot. It was nice to be able to picture the things she was talking about.
My advice to anyone that goes to the Netherlands/Holland, try the stroopwafels! They are my new obsession and are extremely delicious. If you go to a street market and they are making fresh ones, get one. You will not be sorry! Also one really popular food/snack that the Dutch in the Netherlands enjoy are the fish, herrings. They eat the fish raw and dip each piece into diced onions and then chase each bite with a piece of a pickle. Sounds gross but it actually wasn’t bad at all.
Other than that, the weekend was awesome. It was sunny and warm all weekend as well, what more could you ask for?