by Melissa Rosado
As I step outside of the metro station and look all around me, I see a swarm of bicycles riding past me like an army of bees. Walking a little further along, I need to take care to watch my step, otherwise, I might trip and fall into a body of water. I am not the strongest swimmer, so I need to be extra careful. Where am I you ask? I am in Amsterdam!
Amsterdam is a lovely city. Tourists from all over the globe travel to Amsterdam. Some come to visit its beautiful sites, others come for not so very good reasons. Amsterdam has an undeserved reputation as being a hub of sin. However, this was not my experience when I visited Amsterdam.
There is so much to be said about this beautiful city. Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands and has a long and rich history. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, “Amsterdam originated as a small fishing village in the 13th century A.D. [and] to protect themselves from floods, the early inhabitants had to build dikes on both sides of the river, and about 1270 they built a dam between these dikes.”1 When you visit Amsterdam, this is apparent, especially in the city square known as the Dam.2 In this city square, you will notice many bridges connecting the streets. It is a beautiful sight to behold, especially during the night. Walking around the Dam, you will see people sitting on the sidewalks right above the water engaging in conversation. Many sidewalks in Amsterdam have short rails built on them to serve as barriers between the canals and the sidewalks.
My main purpose in traveling to Amsterdam was to visit the Anne Frank House. I was extremely blessed to have been able to purchase two tickets for the same time slot, just two days before the date when I would be arriving in Amsterdam with my sister. Tickets to the Anne Frank House sell out several weeks in advance and it definitely took a lot of effort to purchase these tickets. I had been wanting to go to the Anne Frank House for years and was not able to do so the last time I visited, which was in 2015. I remember compulsively, and at odd hours, checking the website to see if any tickets were released. Luckily for me, this was the case. I was not only able to visit the Anne Frank House, but I was able to take in an hour-long Canal tour, which was located right in front of the Anne Frank House. I highly recommend taking a canal tour if you go to Amsterdam.
Some other wonderful places to visit in Amsterdam are the Van Gogh Museum, if you are particularly interested in this artist, and the Rijksmuseum. The Rijksmuseum is one of the most popular museums in Amsterdam and contains hundreds of years of artwork and artifacts. When you first get to the entrance of the museum, you will notice something which I found interesting. The museum has a tunnel as part of its structure where bicyclists can ride through.
Amsterdam is picturesque. I recommend taking pictures of its bridges and many of its beautiful historical buildings and houses. Additionally, don’t forget to try the delicious stroopwafel! The stroopwafel is a wafer shaped like a waffle with caramel filling on the inside. Many people like to put this pastry over a cup of very hot tea and let the cookie melt into the tea. I recommend doing this. It’s quite delicious!
Edited by Georgie-Ann Neil