Traveling across the world is exhausting – countless hours spent on airplanes and in airports. Being sleepless and shower-less leaves one thought in my mind, “are we there yet?!”
Creating itineraries and booking flights is my job. Putting together different flight patterns can be a lot of fun, especially when it’s for myself! A friend and I traveled to Romania together and decided to try something new – let’s stop over in London or Amsterdam. Breaking up the flight would help us fight jet lag and the cost would be minimal, so why not? Amsterdam turned out to be the best fit for flight times and our budget.
What a whirlwind experience – landing at 5:00a.m. and wandering the city well past midnight. Here’s what we did with 24 hours in Amsterdam.
Anne Frank Huis
Many people are familiar with the story of Anne Frank, a Jewish girl who hid from Nazis during World War II. Her diary was published and sold over 30 million copies. The home has been transformed into a museum – the Secret Annexe has been kept in its original condition and other parts of the building have been renovated. The bookcase that once concealed the hidden entrance remains open for visitors to pass through and walk in the footsteps of the young Anne Frank. Her diary sits open and protected underneath a glass case. This piece of history is one that stirred up emotions and left me heavyhearted.
Turn that frown upside down with Dutch pancakes! Walk four minutes down the street from the Anne Frank Huis and you’ll reach The Pancake Bakery, one of Amsterdam’s top three bakeries. It is situated in a 17th century warehouse where over 100 kinds of pancakes are served. A lover of both sweet and savory, I ordered the ‘Canadian’ pancake.
No meal is complete without dessert, especially when on vacation. Villa Zeezicht serves satisfactory meals, but it’s all trumped by their homemade appeltaart (apple pie). We specifically sought out this local favourite and were not disappointed. Their appeltaart is comparable to my grandmother’s – impressive considering no one else has come close!
Red Light District
It’s late and most businesses are closed, but you’re not ready to head back to the hotel. Why not meander around the Red Light District? Heavy with foot traffic of curious tourists and cheeky couples, the cobblestone streets are lined with women behind windows. Like mannequins in a display case, they are dolled up to look their best and attract customers. The bold ones tap on the glass to catch male attention.
For those who don’t want to leave anything to the imagination, stop by Casa Rosso Theatre for a drink and a show. Some acts include audience participation, so be wary of how close you sit by the stage.
Not to be confused with a cafe, a coffeeshop is where one purchases marijuana. Though coffee is probably served with Space Cakes, alcohol is not permitted. Still unsure if it’s a coffeeshop or cafe? You’ll know by the fragrance exiting the doorway as you step inside.
Have you stopped over in Amsterdam? If so, let me know your suggestions of what to see and do in the comments below!