If I created a catchphrase for Amsterdam, it would be “Amsterdam: Not just sex and weed.”
Because that’s exactly what I thought. Yes, we walked through the Red Light District, past coffee shops, and had an experience at a sex show, but I also got to see the beautiful sights, the huge history, and eat some awesome food.
Amsterdam is known for it’s canals – wider and longer than those in Venice – and we explored them on a canal bike.
Of course, we got lost, and had to dodge some riverboats, but that was all part of the fun.
We explored the street markets and found some bargains, had a nice lunch at some restaurant on a corner that I can’t recall the name of, and took a sobering walk through the Anne Frank Haus.
If you don’t know who Anne Frank is, here’s the run-down: She was a 13-year-old Jewish girl, and during the Nazi regime, her family and some others hid out in a secret annex and attic of a business, helped by the owner.
They stayed in that attic for two years, before they were found and transported to concentration camps.
Anne is said to have died of Typhus in one of the camps, and the only survivor from her family was her father, who later published Anne’s diaries, which became one of the most read books in the world.
I would suggest to anyone, having read the book or not, to visit the house – and maybe pick up a copy of the book while you’re there!
TIP: If you’re looking for a coffee, go to a cafe, not a coffee shop (If you didn’t know, coffee shops don’t sell coffee, they sell marijuana – but laws are changing around the tourist use of marijuana in Amsterdam, so if you’re headed to the city and want to have a dabble in that area, make sure you check what the law is first)