Here we are again. Waiting for the airport shuttle at the train station. We are heading to Amsterdam for the Amsterdam Dance Event. But I, secretly, just can’t wait to discover the city for the first time. On the other side of the window, I see a thick white coat. The sky is full of clouds, the rain is falling. I’m getting impatient. What do you look like Amsterdam?
First steps in Amsterdam: Dam and the Bloemenmarkt
To join the city center, we take the first train towards Amsterdam Centraal. In only 20 minutes, the flags of the ADE welcome us at the exit of the train station. It rains downpours, so we rush to the hotel. Once the suitcases put down in the room, we go to take the pulse of the city. We fall by chance on a sublime passage decorated with chandeliers and mosaics on the ground: De Beurspassage. I added it on my to-do list before we came here. This passage of the XIXth century connects the main artery of the street Damrak to the street Nieuwendijk. It is designed to make you feel like you are underwater, to give a glimpse of what life would be like under a canal.
Then we go to Dam, the most famous square of Amsterdam with its countless pigeons flying over our heads. Finally, the Red Light district, its strange atmosphere. And through the alleys, we arrive at the Flower Market, the Bloemenmarkt. In the old days, hundreds of boats filled with plants and flowers for sale were brought here every day. Today, there is a wide range of flowers, including the typical tulips. Nearby, don’t miss the Munttoren, whose bell rings at regular intervals.
Discover the canals of Amsterdam
We then discover the canals and the pretty facades which border them. A charming postcard. In real, under our eyes. The colors of autumn are not yet completely installed. The leaves are still green. Trees are reflected in the water of the canals. At nightfall, the alleys light up and the city offers a soothing atmosphere.
Visit the Botanical Garden and De Pijp
This morning, we get up early. Direction the Botanical Garden Hortus Botanicus. I love to visit them since I saw that of Monaco. The greenhouse is the main attraction. We discover several atmospheres: the desert, the tropics. And we go from a humid atmosphere to a dry one. Everything is so calm here. It is so pleasant!
We then go towards the district De Pijp of which I had heard a lot. More industrial, it will not have been our favorite. We quickly cross its animated market, and we run in search of an address where to lunch. A storefront catches our eyes: Vlaamsch Broodhuys. A bakery where we sit facing the window, like two spectators.
Discover the Anne Frank House and the Jordaan District
We headed to the city center and then to the Anne Frank House. I would be lying if I said I had read the book before coming. I don’t regret having kept the surprise. The museum is built like a house. As soon as you enter, you find yourself facing a huge staircase, typically Dutch. An anguish experience for those who have vertigo! But then, room after room, we discover the story of this young woman, her family and their relatives. Hidden in this Annex, which Anne will tell the story for several years before being deported. There is no attempt here to make you weep with tears. The facts are transcribed as they are. Without making too much of it. Everyone is free to live them with their own sensitivity. What touched me the most were the notebooks that you discover at the end of the visit. Maybe because I love to write, and I find the message beautiful and right. It is a source of inspiration.
Walking in the Vondelpark
The afternoon continues at the Vondelpark, the Central Park of Amsterdam. I was really surprised to see all the similarities with New York. But maybe it’s just an impression. This park designed by landscape architect Jan David Zocher opened in 1865 and attracts 10 million visitors per year! It was originally called “Nieuwe Park”. Not far away, you’ll find the Leidseplein square, with its lively nightlife, and the Rijksmuseum. This is where our stay ends. One thing is for sure, we will come back.
Have you ever visited Amsterdam? Which places did you like to visit?
Located near Central Station and Dam, Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Centre is the ideal starting point to discover Amsterdam.
The weather is favorable for visiting Amsterdam from May to September.