My favorite thing about Amsterdam is that you can walk whole day long by their beautiful canals and never get bored. They say that each canal is 3 meter deep: 1 meter mud, 1 meter water and 1 meter bicycles. As they have most amazing cheese and pancakes here (all I need to live) I would love to have lunch here on the canal bank. Amsterdam is so much more than they say and my favorite side of it is exactly this, romantic side.
Amsterdam is perhaps the most enigmatic city in the world. It’s a small place with an enormous reputation. Yet despite being recognized as one of the world’s great cities, Holland’s capital of less than a million inhabitants is not like Paris or London. There’s no Big Ben or Eiffel Tower here, and when Amsterdam’s five million yearly visitors are asked why they come, they answer, For the atmosphere. Yes, there's plenty of things to do in Amsterdam; they visit the fabulous Van Gogh Museum, see Anne Frank’s House (and take a boat ride around the historic canals) – but their main interest is to take in the special environment. In the ’60s, Amsterdam was named ‘The Magic Center’ and for me that sums up the special quality of this city that enthralls visitors and expatriates from around the world.
My trip to Amsterdam was all about soaking up the local culture and exploring this incredible charm of the Dutch capital. Here's my casual, comfy look for the first day of Amsterdam. I don't usually wear jeans, but I decided to make the most of these ripped comfy ones that are perfect for my pink Nike sneakers. Although the weather was divine and perfect for walking the streets aimlessly you couldn't leave the house without a jacket. Accessorized it all with an Alexander McQueen scarf.
I started my day with Amsterdam’s main plaza – Dam Square – that is now the largest historic center in the whole country. It is often said that a city’s main square is its heart and soul, and never more is this true, than in Amsterdam. Dam Square, the city’s epicenter, boasts a colorful and turbulent history, as most major town squares do. While Amsterdam’s Dam Square may nowadays be renowned mostly for clashes between tourists and pigeons this has not always been the case. Indeed, this now enticing tourist hub, complete with UNESCO heritage buildings, trendy café, restaurants and boutiques has witnessed all the trials and tribulations of this now thriving nation.
Amsterdam’s main plaza is home to hundreds of historic buildings, including the spectacular Royal Palace, the gothic-inspired New Church and the infinitely famous De Bijenkorf department store, which has been in operation here since the turn of the last century. The National Monument in Dam Square, and imposing white stone obelisk, was built in 1956 to commemorate all the fallen victims of the Second World War, including those who died during the 1945 shooting. Present-day Dam Square is now considered to be the epicentre of tourist activities in Amsterdam and offers a myriad of shopping, dining and socializing options. Since the 1960s, when it was the hippie headquarters of the city, Dam Square has been an intrinsic meeting place of the city’s youth. It is certainly an enticing destination for anyone wanting a taste of Amsterdam’s effervescence.
Looking back at thee photos I took while in Amsterdam makes me think that from someone elses perspective it would seem I was purposely taking as many of the same photo I could get away with… I promise this was not on purpose. There isn’t much more typically ‘Amsterdam’ than taking photo after photo on bridges over looking canals. It just doesn’t help that I get so happy in photos I automatically raise my hands, but I assume everyone is used to that by now!
Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the shopping and entertainment streets of Amsterdam, a maze of canals and beautiful old houses greets tourists who venture into the Jordaan (pronounced Yore-Daan). The neighborhood has seen many transformations over the years, and today it houses some of Amsterdam’s rich and famous side by side with the young and arty. It offers visitors the sigh of curious houseboats, specialty shops and cafes, art studios, street markets and historical landmarks. The Jordaan is part of the canal district that has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2009.
Jordaan is one of the most sought-after addresses in Holland. Heck…even Rembrandt decided to spend his last years here! The once somewhat dodgy hood has blossomed into one of the trendiest areas of Amsterdam and is the ideal base for anyone who wants to experience the true essence of the idyllic city, yet be far enough from the tourist crowds to have a relaxing break as well. Narrow leafy streets, endless romantic canals, trendy boutiques and hip cafes give Jordaan a most splendid atmosphere and the eclectic mix of locals also make it a varied and intriguing area to explore at length. Yet despite its relaxing vibe, Jordaan is still within walking distance of the Dam, the Central Station and all of the city’s main attractions, so basing yourself here on your Amsterdam vacation will certainly be convenient too.
I came home wanting to replace all the streets in Bucharest with canals and get a wooden boat to motor around on, so civilized and relaxing. Amsterdam has a feeling no other city in Europe has, its canals and architecture are so beautiful and unique that is always a pleasure walking its streets and discovering new small shops, cafes and restaurants. It really is a magical place.