This weekend I went to Amsterdam and it was so fun! Amsterdam is a great place to go when you are abroad because it is a mixture of Copenhagen and Belgium combined if you are not able to go to those places in the few short months you are here. I say this because of the cuisine, such as waffles, and because of the architecture which is very similar so it is a good middle ground to be able to feel as though you saw that part of the world! When we arrived in Amsterdam, we discovered the city and walked through the many walking pavilions and canals which were very beautiful at night because at this time of year, they were filled with Christmas lights and decorations. The next day in the morning we had the tradition food of Amsterdam which is Dutch pancakes. These were so amazing and very different from any pancakes I've had before! Deserts, such as waffles, ice cream, and crepes, seem to be the Amsterdam’s specialty because these types of shops can be found all around the city! In the afternoon, we went on the Heineken tour and experience which was a tour of how the Heineken company makes their beer. This tour consisted of beet tasting! Heineken is the classic beer of the Netherlands so it was cool to experience this in the place where it is made and where this famous company started. We then went on a canal tour that took us all on a boat around the city and was very informational about Amsterdam's history! After this, we walked around and went to the infamous I (AM)sterdam sign and continued to have dinner and walk around some more. The next day, we went to new and hip restaurant called Bulls and Dogs. They had amazing milkshakes that me and my friends loved. What I noticed about Amsterdam was many of the restaurants were new and hip and focused more on being unique and different in the way that they would all have something they were specifically known for that was over the top, such as stacks of waffles and cream, and these were all take out shops as well. It seems because Amsterdam is so young and hip with people constantly walking around, they care more about making a statement with their food instead of caring about having an amazing sit down experience for dinner like you would have in Rome! This was something I loved about Amsterdam because it was something I did not know or expect so it was really fun to try all of the different take out places instead of having a traditional sit down dinner like we always do!
After this, we proceeded to go to the Anne Frank house and Museum. This was an amazing experience because I have heard about the Anne Franks diary my entire life and to actually see where Anne Frank was hiding was an experience I suggest everyone to do. Since I have been in Europe, I have now done two things that have related to the Holocaust and they have both been very informational and emotional experience that I highly suggest everyone does in order to be able to see for their own eyes something they have been hearing about their whole life.
Something that is very important to know when studying abroad is that many of the activities and tourist attractions that are in these countries need to have tickets bought previously in order to skip the line and go in at a certain time. We knew this, but everything was sold out for this specific weekend. So I suggest buying them very early, and also buying them to skip the line in general. Because we did not do this, we had to wait in line for many attractions and sadly could not do some of the things we wanted because we had to wait in line. If we bought the tickets online, we could have done everything! But standing in line takes up a lot of the day so I suggest doing this to maximize your trip!
Something I love about these weekend trips is that by the end of the weekend, I really feel as though I know the place like the back of my hand! It is very rewarding to feel as thought I know all of these amazing places when I am so young and can come back when I am older only to remember the fond memories made on these weekend trips!
Next week I am going to Prague and I have absolutely no idea what to expect so I am very excited to explore!
Ciao for now!!!