There are several reasons why Amsterdam has slowly but surely captured my heart: It has beautiful scenery, friendly inhabitants, interesting culture and history – not to forgot the amazing snapjes cuisine! For the seven months that I have now been living here, I can honestly say that I am very happy that (of all the lovely cities out there) Amsterdam is my home for now.
Everywhere you go in Amsterdam, you literally run into channels and parks. For someone like me who loves the nature, a stunning scenery is never dull! Even if Amsterdam is a smaller big city, it’s big enough to go explore and discover something new often. There are many areas around Amsterdam, all characterised by something unique. However, there’s no doubt that my favourite area is Jordaan: If I had the money, I would move there immediately. Filled with decorated, old truly Dutch houses, channels and lots of restaurants, cafes and bars, this is the place to live…and it’s central too – it doesn’t get much better! Of parks, I absolutely adore Amstel Park with its water fountains, maze and stunning gardening – not to forget the very Dutch windmill! Living right next to Vondelpark, though, I must admit that this park has a special place in my heart. Despite its hype and business, it cannot be argued that it’s a beautiful, big park with lots of stunning scenery.
The kind people of Amsterdam is a friendly one: They genuinely want to know about you and are interested in your stories. They are also very open-minded and cultural diverse, which is something I really appreciate in a culture: There’s room for everyone!
Everybody here seems to speak English, which means that you’ll never truly feel obliged to learn the difficult language of Dutch. Nevertheless, I have begun my journey to, hopefully, speak it sufficiently at some point. One thing is to say about the Dutch language, though…it’s not a pretty one. However, when you overcome the obstacles of speaking it and slowly learn it, you feel like you can overcome almost anything – yep, that’s how easy it is to learn Dutch…
In general, the Dutch cuisine looks a lot like the Danish and German cuisine, I think: A lot of potatoes and a lot of meat in various combinations. Their national dish, Stamppot, comes with different ingredients and is delicious! I, especially, like the one with carrots, however, do not care too much for the one with onions… Moreover, their snapjes (small, delicious snacks) are groundbreaking! Of course, you can get snapjes of a variety of cheeses not to forget meats. However, their bitterballen beat it! A little fried ball of mashed potatoes and meat served with mustard – yummy! Of sweet snapjes Poffertjes and Stroopwafel are the best! While Poffertjes are cooked dough served with powdered sugar; Stroopwafel are two thin waffles stuck together with a layer of syrup best enjoyed with a cup of tea (although you can really eat those at all times).
Culture and History
As any capital, Amsterdam is full of culture and history. The fact that Amsterdam is the city in the world with most museums stresses this. You can literally find a museum for anything – be it cheese, tulips, erotic, cows and ducks… I don’t care too much for museums unless it’s something truly different (yes, I went to the cow museums and it’s great…!) or something that truly interests me (like Anne Frank and the Anne Frank Hous). What I do like though, are interesting exhibitions and cool concerts. So far, I’ve enjoyed a few exhibitions here, the latest being The Art of Banksy, which I give my best recommendations. With a rather modest pay check, however, I’ve only enjoyed three concerts here so far, which is far from enough! However, the up-and-coming as well as proper stars seem to visit Amsterdam regularly, which is quite nice. With time, there should be money enough to see more gifted artist on the big and small stages.
Have you been to Amsterdam? What did you think of the city? Do you also think it’s rather gezellig?