Thursday, August 14, 2014


Amsterdam had been one of the top cities on the list of those I wanted to visit in my time abroad but I hadn't been able to figure out how to fit it in until my last week abroad. Ceci and I were the last two remaining who hadn't yet visited so we bit the bullet and bought our tickets and planned a quick, two-day trip to Amsterdam!

We rode an overnight bus from Paris to Amsterdam. If you're looking for a cheap way to travel, MegaBus is the way to go, especially if you plan far enough ahead, you can get tickets as low as one euro! It wasn't a great night sleep, as the seats are kind of cramped and it stops halfway through in Brussels, but that's what traveling when you're young is all about!

The hostel we stayed at, Vita Nova, was actually a boat! Amsterdam is famous for its canals, of course, so we thought it would be fun and unique to stay on a boat.  It was very cool, and a great hostel. Each room is for two people, including two beds and a sink. They're tiny, but that's expected on a boat and we didn't need much room, anyways, since we were out exploring all day. Breakfast was served each morning and the owner was extremely helpful with maps and checkin/out times. I highly recommend it!

We arrived extremely early on a Sunday morning, when the residents of Amsterdam were still fast asleep.  We made our way over to our hostel and, although it was too early to check into our room, the owner allowed us to leave our bags at the hostel so we didn't have to carry them around all day. After eating breakfast at the hostel, we went on to explore Amsterdam while the streets were still quiet. We both immediately fell in love with the city, taking random turns down tiny streets and along quaint canals.

I've never seen so many bikes in all my life!

We spent a majority of our trip just walking through the city, with walking tours and on our own. It is a great city to just embrace and explore without much of a plan because there is just so much to see. We walked around the different neighborhoods and stopped at little shops, restaurants, and cafes along our route to enjoy the food and people watch.

On our walking tour we learned that it's a tradition in Amsterdam to hang one's backpack from the hook on top of the building on their last day of school. How fun!

On our second and last day in Amsterdam, we visited the Anne Frank House, which was a very moving experience. The line is extremely long so get there early in the day and expect to wait for at least an hour but it is so, completely worth it.

We later walked over to the IAmsterdam sign in the museum district of the city. While I had thought that I would climb on top of a letter for a cute picture, I'm too uncoordinated to do so and gave up quickly, settling with just a picture of myself leaning on a letter. I'll have to return one day and actually climb the letters!

Our bus back to Paris didn't leave until 11pm so we enjoyed the sunset on the roof deck of our hostel boat before making our way to the bus station just outside the city. Have you ever been to Amsterdam? If so, what was your favorite part?

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