Following my intro post of Amsterdam a few days back, I will be taking you to a journey of the city through pictures. No more lengthy post but instead, I will be giving you a snippet of the walk tour and tram adventures I had!
Just a quick summary of the first part of my 96-hour stay:
- May 29 - I arrived at Schiphol International Airport from a connecting flight via Qatar Airways at 1pm and was able to reach my hotel at around 3pm via Sprinter train to Amsterdam Muiderpoort. I didn't have any sleep by then so the only thing I was able to from 3:30pm onwards is to walk around Oosterpark neighbourhood to find a place to eat. I slept at 6:30ish.
- May 30 - I woke up at 6am the next day and had an early morning walk. Still had no clue of my whereabouts, I consulted the map I got for free and quickly planned an itinerary: a canal cruise in the morning and museum hopping in the afternoon. I maxed out the usage of my I Amsterdam City Card for the cruise, museum entrance, and tram passes (well, there isn't really a limit for the day) and spent a few euros for food.
- The highlight of the first part of my stay were visiting Museumplein and getting lost at Damstraat after getting into Hemp and Hash Marijuana Museum then finding myself in the middle of Red Light District in the afternoon.
Strolling Down Oosterpark Neighbourhood
The first thing I did after getting my things in place: walked around the neighborhood of Oosterpark. The stretch of Zeeburgerdjik is one of the most peaceful places I've walked in Amsterdam. Nothing significant worth visiting here but watching brick walls change textures and doors change colours are always worth my time.
I walked a few more streets passing through Javastraat - another street in the neighbourhood which I have found ethnically diverse. I was surprised to meet many of our Muslims brothers and sisters, majority of them from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria. Ripe markets, Turkish bakeries, and other Middle Eastern restaurants can be found here.
I found my spot along Eerste Atjehstraat, a small pizzeria serving authentic Italian spaghetti called Da Pino Italiaanse Pizzeria. A very small shop at the corner of the street, curiosity brought me in after smelling the inviting aroma of tomato sauce and a small group of granpas happily chatting inside the shop. 'There must be something here,' I said so I invited myself in.
Granpa, who owns the business, understands English but barely speaks it. When asked of which pasta I'd like to have, I immediately replied spaghetti even though they have linguine and penne. He mixed the red and white sauce according to my preference but he suggested to add more chilli.
I took a photo of the baklava sitting dramatically on the shelf. He gave me two slices afterwards, complimentary. It made me really happy.
Museums Of Amsterdam
Van Gogh Museum
One of the best museums I've ever been to, noted a few quotes and learned a lot of lessons from Vincent Van Gogh. Unfortunately, taking photos is not allowed inside.
Stedelijk Museum is my 2nd favourite museum in Amsterdam. Art installations are very unique and interactive, oh and you can take photos inside!
In Between Long Walks Are Food
More Places at the Amsterdam Centrum
If you really want to deeply explore Amsterdam Centrum, the best way is to get to Dam Square and start from there. Take note of the following tram stations and use them as your starting point:
- Amsterdam, Koningsplein - this will take you to the floating flower market
- Amsterdam, Spui (Rokin) - this will take you to shopping areas
- Amsterdam, Dam/Paleisstraat - Dam square, will take you to souvenir shops and many other interesting museums I wasn't able to visit
- Amsterdam, Rembrandtplein - will take you Rembrant Square and Tassenmuseum Hendrikje
- Amsterdam, Leidseplein - will take you to more touristy places and Holland Casino
- Amsterdam, Westermarkt - will take you to Anne Frank House.
If you're also planning to go to the Red Light District, the best way is to get yourself to the Hash Marihuana and Hemp Museum first. Go past through the museum and try to reach the nearest bridge from the shop called Hemp Story (yes, organic Marihuana products are sold here legally from chocolates, oils to everything). I got lost in this part of Amsterdam but figured that I was already in the intriguing district when I started to see weird shop like the one below.