What to Do
Wake up early to visit the Anne Frank House. Make sure you book your timed tickets early on. The time slots can fill up quickly and tickets are only available online. We saw many people show up thinking they could buy tickets at the museum only to find out that they had to purchase online and that the tickets were sold out for the day.
Getting to walk through the house and learning about the history that led up to the Frank family having to go into hiding, I saw a lot of parallels between what happened there and what happened to the Japanese Americans on the west coast. You see how small escalating methods of control and propaganda led up to what many thought was unthinkable.
There is also something incredibly powerful about actually walking through the physical space that the family lived in, climbing up the narrow staircases, ducking under and through the bookshelf that served as the “door” to the attic, and crowding into the small wallpapered bedrooms.
Walk around the Jordaan district and admire the gorgeous, candy-colored houses, and tree lined streets. Wind your way over bridges and watch boats pass along the many canals.
After working up an appetite, stop for a stroopwaffle, a caramel filled flat waffle and coffee or tea.
Manage your expectations at the I Amsterdam sign. Think you’ll snag a perfect, solo photo of you and and the iconic sign? think again, lol. Most of the time, the sign looks like this, with tourists clambering all over the letters. Also, the sign is a lot wider than you would think, so it’s challenging to get the entire sign and your subject in the same photo.
Visit the Rijks Museum or Stedelijk Museum. When we visited, the Stedelijk had an amazing exhibit called, “I am a Native Foreigner” all about migration, immigration, assimilation, and homelands. It was spectacular and timely.
Where to Stay
We stayed at the Hyatt Regency Amsterdam and I was absolutely drooling over the interior design of this place. A lush plant wall, green velvet couches, marble and wooden nesting tables…I was in heaven.
What to Eat
Our friend recommended an Indonesian food restaurant called Blauw. We loved it! Order the Rijsttaffels, but come hungry because it comes with a ton of boat shaped plates. You get to try a little bit of everything! Also, their ginger tea is amazing.
Stop by de Foodhallen to get a taste of lots of different foods in this bustling brick food hall. We loved the fried gravy filled balls from de Ballenbar. It’s a little bit tucked away, so you’ll have to do a little searching to find it. I adored the cute little tarts from Petit Gateau. We also got a hot dog from Bulls and Dogs. Foodhallen was incredibly busy when we went and it took a while to find a table, so I would suggest dividing and conquering, sending one person to gather food while the other guards the table, lol.
Alright, that’s all I got for Amsterdam, hope this helps if you’re planning a trip soon!