The city of bikes is an understatement. We’ve never seen so many in one space. Be careful when crossing the street, they may not stop. Be careful riding a bike, watch out for cars, especially when in a small side street. The cars may hit you with their mirror – thankfully Lindsay wasn’t knocked off her bike or injured. We found that Green Budget Bikes was the least expensive, only €9 for 24 hours. They have a few locations in central Amsterdam , so it’s really convenient. It truly is the only way to get around.
After riding through the city, admiring the buildings, bridges, and canals, we stopped at the Hash, Marijuana, and Hemp Museum to learn about the history, different uses, science behind farming the plant. It’s an interesting process and definitely worth checking out since it’s such a part of Amsterdam’s culture. We live in Colorado so we totally get it.
We landed next at Dam Square, a beautiful open area with some amazing architecture and shopping! Lots of street performers, but our favorite was the lady with the bubbles of course! Different than the London bubble man because she was making hundreds of bubbles at once instead of a couple big ones. We ran through the bubble walls like kids, giggling and snapping photos. We also stopped in a couple shops to feed Lindsay’s shopping addiction. Only bought one sweater – gotta fit in that backpack!
We took off for the Museum Quarter, actually riding through a Museum. There was a tunnel for bikes! We found the IAmsterdam sign and took some staple Amsterdam photos. There are so many brilliant museums in this area like the Van Gogh and Stedelijk Art Museum and the architecture to match. From historical to modern. Great green space as well, with a park, ice skating, cafes, benches, and lovely landscaping.
We headed back toward our hotel through Vondelpark. Another really awesome 116 acre green space in the heart of the city. Pathways, ponds, wildlife, statues, parks, and more! We rode around the whole loop. By the way, Sara’s Boutique Hotel was so cute and lovely. Definitely recommend it!
It started raining, so we dropped off our bikes at the hotel and got ready for dinner. Amsterdam is a melting pot of culinary delights. You can find anything and everything within a short walk. So many options and when you’re hungry from biking all day it’s hard to decide. We ended up in Rancho and glad we did because this was amazing Argentinian food. A plethora of steak, lamb, ribs, salad, corn on the cob, and bread awaited us!
After dinner we walked around the Red Light District, because, well it’s Amsterdam. No comment.
Then next morning, we rode our bikes to the love lock bridge, but found no locks. We later read that they periodically cut them off to help save the integrity of the bridge. Those locks get heavy!
After returning our bikes we had some time to kill before our train to Rotterdam so we took the advice of our cab driver and hopped on a free ferry over the water to Amersterdam Noord. There are three ferries that depart from Central Station, one the goes left, one that goes right, and one that goes straight across. We recommend the one that goes straight across – less time and puts you right next to the A’Dam Lookout.
We noticed movement up in the sky from the ferry and when we got closer it was a swing ride about 200 feet in the air at the top of the A’Dam Lookout. Of course we had to go check it out. It was €35 to the top with 2 beverages each and a souvenir photo. The elevator is quite the “experience” (as the staff calls it). They instruct you to look up as flashing lights and music hit your senses. We stepped out on the open air platform and were speechless. A beautiful 360 degree view of Amsterdam. There are telescopes you can look out, platforms to stand on to get a view above the fence, a horse statue you can sit on, and of course the swing ride we saw from the ground. For only €5 you can swing out over the edge.
Amsterdam we love you and we can’t wait to come back to visit! Stay tuned for Part Two of our Netherlands blog on Rotterdam! You can book your trip through our Book Travel tab at the top of the page or email us at EndlessTravel365@gmail.com!
Enjoy the Ride,
Justin and Lindsay