My roommates and I woke up bright and early on Friday morning to begin our adventure to Amsterdam! We arrived in Amsterdam Friday morning and then headed to the Meninger Hotel to drop off our luggage and then start exploring the city. Our first stop was the I Amsterdam sign in front of the Van Gogh museum, where tourists like to climb up the letters and take pictures, which is surprisingly hard to do in the rain. Afterwards, we were all starving so we went to a Pancake restaurant that was highly recommended by all of our friends, The Pancake Bakery. I got a tasty nutella and banana pancake which was so amazing. The Pancake Bakery is conveniently located down the street from the Anne Frank House, which was next on our itinerary. Unfortunately the line was about a 3 hour wait and online tickets were sold out weeks in advance, so we decided to try again the next day. After a quick change of plans, we decided to explore the picturesque streets of Amsterdam. All of the apartments and shops are crooked yet so beautiful and overlook the 165 canals of Amsterdam. We found an exquisite cheese museum where we were able to sample a plethora of different and unique cheeses. After a busy day of trekking through Amsterdam, we navigated our way back to the hotel and got ready for dinner, which was quite an experience. We decided to go to an all you can eat sushi restaurant, Miu. The rules for the all you can eat sushi were that each person had to pay $25 for five rounds of sushi and in each round, each person can order 5 items. Clearly our eyes are way bigger than our stomachs, and we thought it would be a piece of cake to eat all of that food. By the end of the second round we were still going strong, and the waitress came over to our table to tell us to order all the food we want for the rest of our rounds because the kitchen was closing soon, so we each ordered about 15 more items. Once the food arrived at our table, we realized how screwed we were, our waitress had just decided to mention to us that each plate of food you do not eat, you have to pay for. After a few more bites, we began to become exceedingly full, unbuttoning our pants to fit our growing stomachs. We realized that there was not way we were going to finish all of this food, so we had to hide it in our purses to save for later. We were full for about 24 hours after this meal, but we highly recommend trying it if you are ever in Amsterdam. We needed to walk off our dinner, so we headed over to the Red Light District, which was quite a unique experience.
On Saturday we had tickets for a canal tour, which included an entrance ticket to the Heineken Experience. We learned so much about the history of Amsterdam on the canal tour and it was an incredible way to see the entire city while staying warm on a frigid winter day. After the tour, we went to a late lunch at Bakers and Roasters. Everything on the menu sounded incredible, it was so hard to choose just one item. I went with the salmon rice bowl, which was so tasty. The next stop of the day was the Heineken Experience. We were able to learn all about the history of Heineken and how it is made. The tour includes a lot of interactive activities to show how the beer is made, which I found to be an exciting way to learn. We were able to try the different stages of the beer making process and the end of the tour includes two free beers with a spectacular view of the city from their rooftop patio. After a long day of learning about the history of Amsterdam and beer, we headed over to the Anne Frank House for one last historical site. We had to wait in line for about an hour, but it was SO worth it. It was incredible to see the place where Anne Frank spent so much of her life in hiding and being able to see pictures, videos, diaries and so much more from the Holocaust.
Amsterdam is an incredible and beautiful place and I hope to go back someday. The people are oh so friendly, the food is exquisite, and there is so much to do and see!