Amsterdam is called the Venice of the North. It really has soooo many beautiful canals throughout the whole city. At some point in the history people started using canal space to build their homes there. Nowadays there are around 2,500 houseboats in Amsterdam and each one have their own address.
I have always thought that early spring is the only wise time to visit Amsterdam – because of the amazing tulip season. Despite that we went to Amsterdam in the end of August. I thought that if we would be in Amsterdam the whole time then we wouldn’t see the tulip fields anyways, particularly if we didn’t rent a car this time.
The flight departured from Tallinn early in the morning and we arrived in Amsterdam about 9am in the morning. We used metro for transportation from the airport to the city center, it’s about 10 minutes ride. Our hotel – art’otel Amsterdam – located right on the opposite shore from the Centraal, the central metro station. We stayed in a junior suite and were really pleased with the room. The staff was very friendly and nice, the breakfast was the same every day, but can’t complain, it was delicious.
The weather happened to be very warm and sunny while staying there, starting with 23 degrees and ending with 30+ degrees. In the hottest days we tried to walk in the shades of the houses, avoiding to get burned, although we used sun lotion. Amsterdam is significantly bigger city than Tallinn, we literally felt the pollution filling our noses, specially when the weather was so hot and left almost no air to breathe in the streets.
We had heard that Amsterdam is the city to explore by bicycle and knew that the conditions there for riding a bike are superior, but we were still overwhelmed by the bicycle culture and learned some interesting facts about it:
-the locals drive about 2 million kilometres by bike every day, combined all together
-every year 12k-15k bicycles are pulled out from the canals
-there’s a unique museum in Amsterdam, should be the only in the world, that can be cycled through. Unfortunately we didn’t make it there.
We went to Amsterdam with our 1-year old baby boy and felt that it’s not the best city to explore with children.
-First of all, non of the groceries that we visited sold babyfood. Luckily I had packed “salty” purees (they actually do not contain salt) with us and we were lucky enough to buy fresh fruits there.
-Most of the dining places did not have a baby chair, and those who did, needed to look it up somewhere in the kitchen.
-Parks were a bit farther from the city center, about 20 minutes walk. So when we looked for a place where to sit and feed our baby on the first day, we walked for quite long time until decided to stop on someones front door and sat on their stairs.
Here’s our video overview of our trip: