A bridge over Herengracht, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The lure of the canals in Amsterdam

In Europe, Inspiration, Mini Breaks, Netherlands, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, World Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

There has to be more to this colourful city than the obvious

In 2011 I chose to visit Amsterdam for my birthday, the intricate waterways seemed so appealing to me. Will I ever shake off the attraction I have to water?

From what I had seen and read about this city, it certainly had more to offer than the reputation that precedes it.

This break for us was going to be a mini road-trip, as we also wanted to visit Delft on the way & Gouda (mmmmm cheese) on the way back.

So let me share with you why we chose Amsterdam & what we were hoping to discover;

  • Waterways: The main attraction for me was the web of canals that weaved through the city. There is something about water that I really enjoy being around, either on it or just watching it.
  • Architecture: Also high on our list is to see the stunning canal houses that line the banks. These glorious narrow buildings adorn the canals with many differing designs.
  • Culture: Amsterdam has a reputation for a very liberal approach, just think of it’s coffeeshops & red light district. However, it was also the seat of one of Europe significant empires too, and the oldest stock exchange in the world. So a diverse mix is expected.
  • Weather: As we are going in August I’m hoping it should be fairly warm and dry, fingers crossed.
  • Food: Naively it is always cheese that springs to mind when I think of Dutch food, Gouda & Edam particularly. I also think croquettes are popular but I could be wrong.
  • Drink: Heineken is the world renown Dutch brand, but it wouldn’t be top of my list. I’m sure we will visit a Brown Café (actually a pub/tavern) not a ‘Coffeeshop’….I know what you are thinking.
  • Travel Type: Amsterdam is very easy to fly to, it only takes about 1hr 10 min from London. However, if you are interested in driving, Calais to Amsterdam direct is about 226 miles (365km) and takes around 3 ½ hours to drive.
  • Other Thoughts: We must take a boat trip on the canals. Also I know it might sound odd, but just out of curiosity I want to wander through the red light district, I really have no idea what it is going to be like. I think I will go during the day, when it may be slightly less seedy.
  • Points to note: Is Amsterdam still a big draw for stag/bachelor parties? Also English is widely spoken and I really don’t think the locals would want me to attempt my Dutch.

I’m looking forward to this mini road-trip, particularly as we are driving and are going to have a lunch stopover in Delft.

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