We had only one day in Amsterdam, and it was a short one. We stopped there on the first day of our road trip (soon on the website!). It was August the 12th.
We had a mixed weather with some rain and some sun. The sky was mostly cloudy which bothered me for the pictures because the light was really crapy.
First of all, if you want to see windmills, there are few around the city.
We stopped at one called Kinderdijk windmills because it was on our way between France and Amsterdam.
We didn’t stay long because we wanted to visit a bit the city but I could tell that there was a lot of tourists and I think this one was one of the less touristic windmills place.
There was an alley of windmills that you can go through by foot and maybe by bike too. It was crazy how many mills there was in such a small area.
If you have more time than we did, you should take some time to go visit them (except if you are not interested).
Then, you have to know something about Amsterdam if you are going there by car: Parking inside the city is VERY expensive and it is not worth getting a parking ticket. Even worse, once when I was little, we got a car shoe for not paying the parking enough.
I am going to share an advice that my friend that lives in Amsterdam gave me because I am very happy and thankfull that he did. Maybe it could help someone else.
We parked in Amsterdam suburbs called Amstelveen where parking is free, and then we had our bikes so it took us 30 minutes by bike to get to Central Station (less if you consider another spot in the city). Also there are public transportation like the tramway that goes there so it is very easy to get in the center. Don’t leave anything valuable inside the car (we never know…) but we didn’t have any problems.
If you have little time like we did, you should definetely use bikes. If you don’t have yours, there are plenty of places to rent them. Maybe you should check out on the internet for the cheapest. I don’t know, we had our bikes with us. Anyway, EVERYBODY bikes in the city. They even have double racks to put their bikes and big parking spots only for bikes. I don’t know how people find theirs! I have never seen that many bikes before.
We biked around the city, through the spots indicated in our guide. We went in front of the Rijksmuseum with the famous “I am Amsterdam“. Alexis and Henrik decided to climb the I that basically was the only letter with nobody on top. Once they were on top, proud of what they accomplished, they realized, they didn’t know how to get down…
Next to the sign, was an exhibit of “Miffy” for its 60th birthday. I had no idea what it was except that they were rabbits. Apparently it’s a child book. It looked like an exposition I saw in Versailles few years ago (Murakami) where there was art pieces like this one inside the castle.
We didn’t had time to visit any museum or Anne Franck’s house but we biked passed them, along the canals that are typical of this city.
The most amazing thing is that all the houses are curved and not straight. It’s like the walls didn’t have enough space to breathe and they had to bend. Actually, the habitants have to fix their furnitures on the floor if they don’t want them to slide across the rooms. Everything is tilting.
We passed by a movie theater that looked like an old theater. It was surprising to see they converted it to movies but it was beautiful.
We also went to the flower market where tulips are sold by the thousand! But that wasn’t really my interest there. In facts, next to the market along the street, there are some cheese shops. I love cheese. I can’t live without it! It was like paradise! So many different kinds of gouda. Even the normal one was testing better than any of ours in France or in Canada. Is it worth it to say I couldn’t resist? It is quite expensive but it is the only thing we bought in Amsterdam. I got five different goudas. (Now you know what to buy me for Christmas ahah.)
We ate in a small vegan place where everybody sits at the same table. It was a nice place but we didn’t get the plates we ordered and the chef was kind of lost in all its orders (the waitress left early).
We also too a walk around the red light district. It made me feel quite uncomfortable at first but it is crazy how people make of this area a show. It’s like an attraction in the city even if you are not considering actually going in.
On our way home, we went to the most famous bridges in Amsterdam are called the “Waterfalls”. In facts, there are seven bridges perfectly aligned that are lighted up at night. If you go to the first one and look at the others, you can see the lights reflexions in the water. They make like a waterfall of light. It is pretty amazing.
We didn’t had time to do much at night because we were leaving very early in the morning for a full day of driving so we needed some sleep. Though, we will definetely go back to take time to enjoy and visit more.
Thank you again Sachin for hosting us and Paro for putting us in touch. I really hope you will come to Normandy this year!