Amsterdam is a city I´ve honestly only ever seen on Instagram or Tumblr, which is weird, since I technically live only a few hours away. Living in Europe is so cool, travel distances are mostly short and there is no hassle with money exchange or passports, but to find the time to travel to places, even if they´re only three hours away, is difficult sometimes. This is why we decided to visit Amsterdam. But only for a day. I spent nine hours in Amsterdam, and this is everything I did.
Monday, 9:00 a.m.
The day started early, our train left Düsseldorf Central Station at about half past 9. I would recommend using the two-three hour train ride to catch up on some sleeping, but I´m bad at being a daytime sleeper, so I spent the time outlining a few posts and editing pictures.
Monday, 11:30 a.m.
We arrived in Amsterdam! The sky was gray, and it wasn´t exactly cold (yet), but we were glad to have brought our cardigans and, in my case, flannels. The first thing we did was take a boat tour. The one we chose was by audio guide (with the occasional comment of our captain, pardon, skipper), and we had pre-booked it, which left us with costs of only 13 Euros for an hour-long tour. It was intensely beautiful and interesting, especially seeing the faces of my friends as they reacted to the anecdotes and stories the woman´s voice was telling through our orange earphones.
Monday, 12:30 p.m.
As a group of seven girls from a city in Germany without Brandy Melville, we were almost desperate to find the shop in Amsterdam. And so we tried to. It took some walking. And then some more walking, which was cool actually because we got to see many side streets and living areas and so. many. people. We made a stop in a shop-loaded street, and spent what felt like an hour in Pull&Bear because we don´t have it in Düsseldorf either. I bought a phone case and, simply because I´m Antonia, managed to stick my finger into a fat layer of red nail polish while saying “oooh so pretty”. Yay, me.
Monday, 02:21 p.m.
I don´t know where we lost so much time, probably just through navigating the streets and stopping at a few more shops, but we finally reached the Brandy Melville street at around half past two. First things first: We got food. We chose a cute Bagel shop, and we each ate a bagel and some sort of healthy looking (and tasting, if you know what I mean) smoothie or juice. Afterwards, it was time to take pictures by the canals.
And then, shopping! We all bought a tiny top with tiny letters spelling “Amsterdam” for a not-so tiny price, but hey, it´s a souvenir, and I know I´ll be wearing it a lot this summer. I also bought a chain belt (yay!) and another white crop top to compliment my black one, which I´ve been wearing non-stop.
Monday, 04:04 p.m.
We said goodbye to shopping for the day, and made our way to the Rijksmuseum by foot. The great thing about Amsterdam is that you can get anywhere by foot. The horrible, dangerous thing about Amsterdam, is that you can go anywhere by foot. As someone who is NOT used to Amsterdam’s (very complicated and strange seeming) traffic rules, I got almost got hit by two trams and like, three bikes. Because man the stereotype is not a stereotype but a fact, everyone in Amsterdam was on a bike.
We arrived at the museum at 16:30 p.m., rushing in before it´s closing time at 17:00 p.m. We literally ran up the stairs to reach Rembrandt van Rijn´s “Night Watch”. It was stunning: large, dark, and gloomy. Typical for the time period, a bit depressing, but very impressive and beautiful. And then, on popular demand by me, we crossed the entire museum (plan your trip ahead, this museum was so difficult to navigate through) to see three Van Gogh paintings. I´m not MUCH of an ~ArT hOe~, but I wasn´t gonna let the opportunity pass.
Monday, 05:07 p.m.
For whoever doesn´t know this, the huge “iamsterdam” sign is right in front of the Rijksmuseum, and have you really been in Amsterdam if you haven´t taken a picture there? (the answer is yes, but that´s something we´ll ignore for now). We took some pictures, none of mine ended up good, and then made our way to a cafe, where I had hot chocolate that tasted like heaven. The cafe was located in on the corner of a crossing street, and we sat outside, right next to the canals, people watching. If there is one free thing to do in Amsterdam, or any other city that is as full of people on foot and bikes as Amsterdam is, is people watching. Amsterdam has a unique style of clothes, architecture, and lifestyle, and I really could have spent the entire day sitting in that cafe, watching people and wondering about their lives.
Monday, 06:46 p.m.
We took the long way to walk back to the station, passing through many streets of housing and restaurants, following canals and small (actual) coffee shops.
Moments like these are the ones I cherish most in new cities and life, moments of going somewhere, and yet, finding so much worth staying for. Like this exhibit of heartbreak I found on a house wall, five words that made me feel too much:
Monday, 08:30 p.m.
Our train left from Amsterdam Centraal, back to Düsseldorf (feat. two layovers). Thank you for the good vibes.
Any city recommendations for my next trip? Have you ever been to Amsterdam or a city similar?
keep exploring, Antonia x