Cultural City Break Netherlands

Amsterdam: excerpts from the Travel Diary

16.11.2013: First thoughts after arrival

The city center is smaller than I thought. After three hours I’ve already seen the Bijbels Museum (which was really poor, but a view from the roof is nice), Houseboat Museum (small but nice!) & Kattenkabinet. I spent some time in De Looier Kunst en Antiekcentrum photographing petite doll houses. Also made a good buy of some jewelery. Can’t wait to get to the Waterlooplein for some bric-à-brac 🙂
I think that 72h IAMsterdam card for the city transport & museums was not a bad choice. No plans for the evening yet. Maybe a boat cruise will be a good idea?

16.11.2013, late evening: No way to escape

I enjoyed the boat trip much. It was dark outside so when the lights were on I was able to see how nicely designed & furnished are cozy interiors of the Amsterdam houseboats & traditional Dutch town houses.
Interesting fact
: did you know that the railings around the Amsterdam’s canals were financed not by the City Hall, but car insurance agencies? 🙂

* * *
If you try to escape your problems instead of fighting them, they’ll chase you for sure.
I’m staying in the 6-bed women dormitory. Four of my new roommates are American (of course). One of them is from New Orleans, Louisiana – my might-have-been home. Small world.

17.11.2013: Crowded Sunday

A lot of people come to Amsterdam for weekend only. It can be easily noticed not only because of the crowds on the streets and long lines to the main Amsterdam attractions, but also by prices for a night in a hostel (double or even triple than on a weekday). It seems to be better if I’ll visit highlights tomorrow, when most of the tourist will be gone.
Because of the crowds in most museums I became interested in electric cars instead

I found a Chinatown here. Of course it’s not Nihonmachi, but finally a place to feel more like home 🙂

18.11.2013, Monday: In love with old kitchens

I know it’s not the reason why people visit museums in historic town houses, but I just can’t help it. The first thing I’m interested in is… kitchen. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Rembrandt’s house or Willet-Holthuysen or Van Loon. Of course it’s nice to be here, but show me the kitchen, now! 🙂

18.11.2013: Museum after museum

I got tired a little. My plan to see as much as possible today seems to be unrealistic. On the way to Tropenmuseum I decided to charge my batteries in the botanic garden. Who knew there will be a wine tasting event in the palm house? Piece of luck for a tired wanderer 😉

19.11.2013. On the way to Waterlooplain

It’s only me who can pass a movie set with Anthony Hopkins without knowing about it (but making a lot of pictures)? I heard from the crew member that it was the last scene of the movie (Netherlands-Belgium-USA co-production), but I though: „OK, another low-cost project. Let’s hurry to the Waterlooplain”
Now I’m sure I will be the first to go to the cinema on the day of release of the Kidnapping Freddy Heineken movie.

 19.11.2013, evening: Departure. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

There’s something magical in every airport. No matter where in the world I am, airport is a place where I feel like home. Safe. Happy. Excited. I found a very nice spot here to rest and await my plane. It’s a green area with trees (unfortunately not real) & plants. You can hear water falling, birds singing and even woodpecker tapping (from time to time). All the greenery here creates very tranquil atmosphere and makes the waiting a really pleasant time.

Final thoughts

I think Europeans should travel more within EU. It really helps to build common European identity. It’s not that I wish us to become the United States of Europe (well, it would be great, but what with our cultural diversity?), but the more I travel across the Europe, the stronger the feeling is that we would all benefit from becoming closer, that we can learn a lot from each other.

Polish should travel more. But not to Croatia or Egypt to spend 2 weeks in a hotel prison, but here, to Europe, to see, experience, take good examples, integrate. To stop being so terribly xenophobic. To see how we can live. And take a notice how often citizens of Western Europe smile to each other on the streets.

Amsterdam 103

Yours, as always 😉

Izabela Xmas


  1. it was great to read your insight on Amsterdam here. i didn’t make it to any museums. i’m not a huge museum goer, especially when i have limited time somewhere. i really enjoy getting out and meeting people. i also did a canal tour, which i will write about later. that was really incredible. i found Amsterdam to be very open, friendly & beautiful.

  2. Samantha Lotus

    What a wonderful post on Amsterdam! Loved your view and your pictures! You can check out what I love about Amsterdam and Utrecht here…


  3. Beautiful pictures! I agree with your last statement, I feel like it’s a good point for Romanians too, I often feel like everyone should travel more, see how other people live and come back and look for ways to improve the place they live in.

  4. Pingback: Amsterdam - miasto kanałów | Love Traveling

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