‘Amsterdam has taken a small piece of my heart’
In this week’s travel feature, local tourism graduate Amy Celecia takes a stroll down a street in Amsterdam, peering at the city's canals.
by Amy Celecia
Amsterdam, the city with outstanding picturesque canals every corner you turn.
Lined by the tilting buildings which are the backdrop for Amsterdam’s historical museums, vintage-fi lled shops and hyper creative design, drinking and dining unforgettable scenes.
As a third timer visiting this unique city, I can say that the various forms of cultures and ages of these visitors vary from teens to the elder generation.
Visiting Amsterdam during the Christmas period is the best time to travel to the Dam, however you must be prepared to wrap up warm, it tends to snow. How could I forget the madness of the bicycles, everywhere I turned someone came out on a bicycle, they also have priority, so you will be shoved out the way.
Did you know that Amsterdam estimates that there are more bikes than permanent residents! Dam square, the main square where it all happens, lucky enough during my third visit I was blessed to have had the image built in my head turn into reality, seeing the entire square covered in white snow.
Moving onto one of the reasons Amsterdam gets so many young tourists is for the famous Coffee Shops. Amsterdam has around 250 coffeeshops and most of them are located in the Red-Light District. Each of the Amsterdam coffeeshops has its own atmosphere, you will surely fi nd one which will suit you perfectly.
These coffeeshops are not only to smoke weed, they are the hub of a social place where you can spend some time with your friends.
Most of these visitors take a pack of cards to in a way to relax and socialise. Due to the allowance of cannabis consumption, the Netherlands are a very well reputed liberal country. However, if your intentions are to visit these coffeeshops you should make yourself aware of the Dutch law and the rules inside a coffee shop.
The Red-Light District full of beer and party atmosphere, sex for sale and a people watching location. This district is somewhat associated as a sexual amusement park and it is not often taken too seriously by the hordes of tourists who frequent it as other Amsterdam attractions.
The famous red windows are as shown in the pictures, these lights are striking, near the old canal house and even the fairy lights that line the bridges at night are coloured red.
This area is an area, where you should be aware when you’re walking, as these are known to be the quieter streets of the area. Make sure you don’t take photographs as there is a strict policy of no photographs.
My travel buddy Lesley introduced me to this tour called “The Mystery of a Secret Sender” a treasure hunt to fi nd the hidden spots in around the urban area called Jordaan.
Jordaan used to be a workingclass district which has become a popular place of live as well as one of Amsterdam’s tourist attractions and the inhabitants are a colourful mixture of students, businessmen and professionals.
This sort of treasure hunt is a way of getting to know the hidden areas and the tourist spots you wouldn’t even notice are there! This game you’ll be carrying a satchel, within contains all the clues and props you need for the game.
The aim is to lose yourself in a pleasant stroll through these streets and canals. Who has a sweet tooth because I do, the mouth-watering Dutch pancakes, are known as poffertjes.
You can’t go wrong with trying these sweet small pancakes, these are so popular and everywhere you go they are offering these treats.
If you are thinking of visiting the Dam you must try these poffertjes at least once. Let’s just say that Amsterdam has taken a small piece of my heart and I know it will be a place where I will never say no to visiting as there is always something new to see in this unique, vibrant city.
Book your trip to Amsterdam now, I'm telling you that this place will not disappoint you. Hope this short article helps fellow travellers become inspired in travelling to Amsterdam.
Are you a keen traveller? Or do you enjoy short weekend breaks up the coast? The Chronicle’s weekly travel feature is open for local writers to share their experiences of the places they visit. Contact the Chronicle to find out more.