Today’s tip : go visit Amsterdam in fall, it doesn’t get any better than this 😏
Since a few years ago, I’ve been trying to travel only to places I have never been to. However when my friend Angelina told she wanted to visit Amsterdam for the first time, I got hooked on the idea of giving it another try. After all, it is still is one of my favorite cities in Europe, and a new trip often means a new experience !
That’s how we ended up booking the two last seats on a Paris-Amsterdam flight, for an October week-end. By now I have my little routine, leave work with my bag, take the subway and then the train, reach one of Paris’s airports around 1h30 before takeoff, and sit on the plane, excited about what’s coming 😄
This time I have one more reason to be enthusiast, we’re going to join my good friend Tamar, whom I met in Cambodia. I contacted her a few weeks ago via Facebook asking if she was free for the week-end, and she kindly offered to host us both. Not only I get to see her again in a completely different environment (than when we were climbing on temples 😂), but we get to experience the real Amsterdammers way of living.
But we’re not there yet, from the Airport we need to get in the center, which is fairly fast with the Sprinter, or the Inter-city. From Schipol to Centraal station it takes 20 minutes, for aprox. 5€.
Friday night is the perfect moment to get in town and have a first overview of the Dutch capital. After joining Tamar, we’re off for a night walk in the center. And what better idea to set yourself in the proper mood than visiting the red lights district 😇. I may have been there before – around the Oude church – it’s still a very singular place, and I had no idea it was that spread. I’m not into that but I have a useful tip for the oblivious, courtesy of Tamar : a red light at the door means cis, and a blue light means trans, now you can’t complain you didn’t know !
Nightlife has its areas here, and one I wasn’t aware of is the Leidseplein square, were Tamar takes us. The area is very lively with a lot of bars, and seems less touristic than more centered places like Dam square or Rembrandtplein. I’d advise you to check the jazz Cafe Alto, which offers live jazz music -even around 2am- and has a great mood !
On the Saturday morning daylight reveals whole new colors to the city. The trees along the canals all have begun taking on yellow and orange tints, perfectly contrasting with some of the red buildings and the grey autumnal sky. Or maybe it’s just me, but I love it 😮
On our way to the central station stands the Anne Franck house, which I’ve always been curious to see, but the place seems to be often crowded. Maybe another time.
See what’s going on across the IJ river in part 2 😉