Amsterdam Day 5

Last day in town, tear.  Forgot to put this earlier, but this is the view from our hotel room…

pretty nice

We couldn’t leave the city with the most bikes without joining in on the biking fun.  We thought about bringing our own bikes but quickly nixed that idea after reading about the heavy bike theft in the city.  We just bought new, nice bikes so no need to have them stolen again.  There are bike rental places all over, and it’s not very expensive so I would advise you to rent instead of risking your own.  Biking is the main mode of transportation here and there are dedicated bike lanes and drivers who are used to bikers.  Having said that, as a non-local, biking in the city without a guide is still kind of stressful.  Sometimes there’s only a small bike lane on the “wrong” side of the street, or you’re next to cars, have to go through big intersections, dodge pedestrians, and try not to get hit by the mopeds who are sharing your bike lane.  But, we survived.

 We rode around the city for a little while before heading back to the Museumplein.

We locked up our bikes and toured the Van Gogh museum.  Again, didn’t know much about Van Gogh before, but learned a lot about him.  It’s amazing to me that such a famous painter was really only painting  for about 10 years.  We brought a headphone splitter so we could share one audio guide.  The audio guide gave a lot of information but it would’ve taken us all day had we listened to everything on it.  So we picked and chose what to play.  Also, a little tip, you can buy tickets to the museum for the same price at a little tourist information shop down the street so that you don’t have to wait in the long line!

Once we had our art fix for the day, we hopped back on our bikes and cruised over to nearby Vondelpark, Amsterdam’s version of Central Park.  That was the most fun bike riding of the day.  It was a really pretty park, with a lot of people and dogs hanging out in it.  Poor Ellie missed out.  We also stopped for lunch at Cafe Vertigo inside the park.

Before we returned our bikes, we rode around the city following the best and easiest bike paths. We saw so many cool boats on the canals, but this one might have been the best…

 It’s a wooden shoe!

Happy biker 🙂  All in all, LOVED Amsterdam!  Even though it’s a big city, it has a lot of character and charm.  There aren’t really any skyscrapers or huge buildings.  It’s filled with beautiful canal houses and obviously there’s water everywhere.  You may think of some of the more scandalous aspects when you first hear the city’s name, but it is so much more than that.  I would go back in a heartbeat.  Definitely my favorite place we’ve been so far.  There was one tour I wished we had time for.  It was a wetlands safari tour, where you canoe around all day, how fun would that be?!  Maybe next time!

After 3 years in Europe and many more trips, I stand by Amsterdam still being one of my favorite places!  I can’t wait to go back!