I do love living in Germany…it is beautiful and has a ton to offer, but I am eager to see more from every other European country too. When we planned our trip to The Netherlands we chose to go because we wanted to see the world-famous Keukenhof Gardens during their prime time. Amersterdam is so close we thought we’d check that off our list too. I was excited, but really, I just expected the same people, landscape, food, and feel that Germany has. Boy…. was I wrong! The Netherlands actually turned out to be one of our most favorite places so far….only second to Paris!
The Netherlands: Amsterdam
We planned this trip with a few friends we have made here so we scored an AMAZING loft in Wassner.
Wassner is about 30 minutes outside of Amerstdam and is picture perfect in every way. I would LOVE to live there! EVERYONE and their mother rides a bike in The Netherlands so were able to walk to cute shops, wine bars, and restaurants in the little town.
Our first day we tackled Amerstdam, and the date just so happened to be April 20th….as in 4/20. Yep…..we sure as heck did not plan that well! Non the less we loved Amerstdam. It is the cleanest city I have ever been to. It is a tight city with allies, and canals running every which way.
The streets are packed with locals on bikes and tourist. We started the day by taking an hour-long boat ride through the canals. It was great to see the entirety of the city from the water before setting out on foot.
These houses are called the dancing sisters because they are leaning. I don’t know who parked their dang houseboat there.
We visited shops, walked (very quickly) through the famous Red Light District and stopped in several vintage clothing shops. We didn’t go in, but we stopped by to see The Anne Frank House as well.
We had the best pancakes before leaving. They were somewhere between American pancakes and crepes.
One thing we all agreed on was that the locals all seem so happy and relaxed. While that could be from the pot…..I also think they live at a different pace than most. We strolled through the Jordaan district which is a cute neighborhood and couples just sat on their stoops drinking wine, eating cheese and talking. It was lovely and so peaceful.
The Netherlands: Keukenhof Gardens
Covering 32 acres, over 7 million tulip bulbs are planted each year at Keukenhof.
That is a lot of flowers folks. The next day our whole gang woke up super early to beat the infamous traffic that surrounds Keukenhof. We picked the prime bloom time, a Saturday, and the weather was perfect so we were nervous. The whole “The early bird gets the worm” phrases is so true because we were one of the first people there! We had great parking and ran around like crazy enjoying the whole place to ourselves..kinda. It only took about 45 minutes for the place to be jam-packed.
On our way out we saw maybe 200 tour buses parked in the bus parking area and the traffic heading in went on for miles and miles.
After we got our fill of flowers we all drove to The Hague! We enjoyed lunch on the pier and then watched the dogs play on the crowded beach. We ended our day wandering in and out of shops, eating ice cream one..maybe two times and eating dinner together.
The Netherlands: Windmills
Our last day was not planned at all, but it turned out to be the best! One of the first things that come to mind for most when you think about Holland would be windmills.
After stopping for breakfast in a charming little town we headed to Kinderdijk. We all rented bikes and enjoyed the most beautiful day amongst the UNESCO world heritage windmills all built in the 1700’s.
This trip was so unexpectedly awesome and we both can’t wait to go back! For those of you who have been, what restaurants, bars, and vintage shops can you recommend in Amsterdam?