Updated: Jun 5, 2019
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Instagram handle: cramcram23
I am a friend of Heidi’s, and always jealous of her travels. I’m really excited that I get the opportunity to travel with her and Michael to Italy and Greece in May 2019. I am a project manager at Boeing. I use every minute of my vacation time and the Boeing holiday break to travel. I have 2 precious dogs (a Rhodesian Ridgeback and a Husky/wolf mix). And I’m getting married in 2019. That’s exciting!!!
Where do you live: Edmonds, WA
Why do you travel: I love to see all the things. When I travel, it’s never just to lay on a beach. I love to explore, and learn, and find places that awe and inspire me.
When in Amsterdam, do all the Dutch things…
We recently did a 2 week Europe trip, and of course Amsterdam was a must. We started in London for 2 days, Paris for 4 days, and Switzerland for 3 days. We found a $70 flight from Geneva, Switzerland to Amsterdam on Easy Jet.
Travel Tip: Most people tend to take trains through Europe. We found it much faster and much more cost efficient to fly. Easy Jet and Ryan Air have very inexpensive flights. Our flight from Amsterdam to London was only $29!
Unfortunately, we only had 1.5 days in Amsterdam. But with some excellent pre-planning, we packed all the Dutch things into that short time frame
We flew into Amsterdam in the evening, dropped our bags off at our Airbnb and headed to our first stop… a Pub Crawl! Amsterdam is known for ... well … debauchery! We booked a guided Pub Crawl through the Red Light District. It was really fun to wander the streets, canals and pubs with travelers from all over the world. We enjoyed lots of drinks, shared travel stories and learned a little about Amsterdam and its famous Red Light District.
Travel Tip: I used the website Viator to find some fun tours for our Europe trip. The pub crawl being one of them. When planning a trip, download the Viator app and take a glance at the tour options in the city you’re visiting. Check out our pub crawl tour HERE!
Pub crawls are great, but there’s so much more to the Netherlands. I really wanted to get outside of the city and immerse myself in the Netherlands culture.
Clog maker’s factory
Gouda cheese factory
We met the tour guides in Amsterdam at 7:30am and boarded a bus out to the Zaanse Schans windmills. The windmills are still used today. The windmill we toured powered a saw mill. It was pretty neat to see!
Next stop was a clog making factory. Thanks to modern technology, what was once hand carved from wood, now takes less than a minute to make via machines. We all got fitted and walked around the factory in wooden clogs, which are extremely uncomfortable in my opinion. We were shocked that still to this day, people in the Netherlands wear wooden clogs.
We boarded a foot ferry that took us to the small fishing town of Volendam for my favorite part of the tour…CHEESE! We learned a little about how cheese is made, then ate lots of cheese. My favorite was the truffle. Unfortunately, if the cheese is not pasteurized, you can’t take it home.
The last stop was a Stroopwafel factory where we got to sample some warm straight off the waffle iron. So good! The tour guides gave us an hour of free time to explore the sleepy fishing town of Volendam. They recommended we try some fish. Their fried cod fish is called kibbeling, and believe it or not, its waaay better than Pacific Northwest fish n chips! The tour lasted 7.5 hours. We were back in Amsterdam by 3pm.
We hadn’t had a drink ALL day, so we visited a pub, then set out on our next stop…the canals. We took an evening dinner cruise through the canals. The dinner was so-so but the cruise was very cool. And again, we booked THIS tour through Viator.
Our quick Amsterdam trip was jammed packed, but we saw almost everything we wanted to see. The only thing we missed was the Anne Frank house and museum. It was sold out.
Travel Tip: If you’re interested in visiting the Anne Frank house, tickets are sold online up to two months in advance. Get your tickets early because they frequently sell out.
Amsterdam and the Netherlands make a great stop on any Europe trip. My advice would be to take one of the tours that gets you outside of the city so you can immerse yourself in all the Dutch things! Happy traveling!