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A’DAM FINALLY! Visiting Amsterdam for the First Time

Amsterdam

It’s about time!

I’ve made it to Amsterdam… finally! Back in November when I wrote my list of goals for the year, visiting Amsterdam was top of the list. And now that the weather has improved in Europe, I’m finally on my way to what I assume will be one of Europe’s prettiest cities: A’DAM! (Also: how cool is it that Amsterdam gets abbreviated as *my* name?!)

Traveling with STA Travel

 

I arrived to Amsterdam last night on a train from Berlin. My whole trip has been booked and organized by STA Travel. Over the next 5 weeks they’re sending the coolest bloggers and Instagrammers (ie, ME) to some of the coolest cities in Europe. You can read a bit more about the STA Travel Insider campaign on their blog. I’ll be in Amsterdam through Sunday sharing content online with the hashtag #STATravelInsider — keep an eye out for it!

STA Travel

Fun Fact! STA Travel stands for “start the adventure”

If you’re not familiar with STA Travel, then you’ve likely never been a student who studied abroad. They’re a global travel, experience and adventures brand — and they always offered the best discounts when I was studying in Sydney and in London.

First Impressions of Amsterdam

So pretty! Also: loud.

After pulling into Amsterdam Centraal Station, and walking outside: it was immediately apparent that this is a small city. But a crowded one! I was nearly run over by at least three bicycles within my first hour wandering the city streets. And yet the people have also been very friendly so far. When I asked a taxi driver outside the train station for directions to my hostel, he kindly pointed me in the right direction rather than try to scam me into an easy fare (my hotel’s only 800 meters from the station).

Walking to my hostel, I must’ve crossed at least three bridges. I can’t believe how much water is in this city. I always knew Amsterdam was full of canals — but they do seem to be everywhere! This afternoon I plan to do some more exploring — by bike — so I’ll get a better sense of the city size and style. And hopefully spot some cool street art & graffiti.

Amsterdam at Night

Sorry for the poor image quality – Amsterdam is also a bit blurry ;)

What’s on the agenda?

I’ve written in a lot of places about the various things I want to see and do in Amsterdam. Besides the Dutch beers (which I’ve already had several), I plan to sample as much Dutch food as possible. Things like bitterballen and poffertjes seems like foods right up my alley. I’m planning to meet up with Shoshanna from Awesome Amsterdam who has promised to show me the some cool places to hang out (including speakeasies!).

I’ve already poked around a bit on the STA Travel website to find the basic sightseeing things to do and plan to hit up some of the Amsterdam museums. Lots of you have already tweeted to me about how I have to visit the Anne Frank House. There’s also the Van Gogh Museum which I’m pretty keen to see. I’m determined to see a bit of culture while I’m here! I’m almost certain there is more to Amsterdam than beer, drugs & sex — but we’ll see…

It’s the morning here and the sun is shining so I’m outta here… Follow along on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as I travel through Amsterdam!

  1. Jamie Gunter says:

    I’m visiting in May and can’t wait to see what you find in Amsterdam :)

    • Adam says:

      Jamie – you’re going to love it!! Amsterdam exceeded all my expectations. Stay tuned for videos and more stories from the trip this week!

  2. Natalye says:

    Yes! The Van Gogh museum is an absolute must-see! There are other great museums there too, but if you don’t have much time, it’s better to walk around and explore and hit them up on a subsequent visit. I also went on an awesome boat tour when I first was there, but sadly they no longer do trips (http://www.amsterdamboatclub.com/).

    • Adam says:

      Thanks Natalye! I can’t believe how crowded all the museums were in A’dam – there were 2 hour waits just about everywhere…. and this weekend wasn’t even peak tourist season!

  3. We went last Summer and loved it! So much to see and do it’s a lovely city that’s also still very beautiful

    • Adam says:

      Summertime must be a great time of year to visit Amsterdam. And the very first thing I noticed about the city was how beautiful it was. And you’re also right that there is so much to see and do – I will have to return for sure!

  4. Amsterdam is definitely one of those places everyone should visit at least once

  5. Dan Lamden (@DoonLoomden) says:

    Glad you finally went to check it out!!! There are some neat places without the hustle and bustle. I really enjoyed walking around Vondelpark on a rainy day. Also having a koffee in the Jordaan area on a Sunday morning (before 10-11 am) is really peaceful!

    • Adam says:

      Thanks Dan! I took your advice on Sunday and went straight to the Jordaan neighborhood for a coffee – it was amazing! So lucky to have good weather too.

  6. Ryan from Jets Like Taxis says:

    Amsterdam is a trip, no doubt. Don’t worry about the noise…it’s mostly just what happens on the weekend there when the city is inundated by tourists. It’s much quieter on the weekdays when they’ve all bugged off back to wherever they came from.

    Enjoy yourself there…it’s a small city that feels much bigger than it is (on the weekend, anyway). But there’s plenty of culture and really good food/drink to be had when you’re not out partying.

    • Adam says:

      You’re so right, Ryan, about the city being small but feeling bigger than it is. I really loved the culture in Amsterdam and definitely had some top quality food. Very impressive city – way better than the party capital I was expecting to find.

  7. Uma says:

    So happy for you that you’ve made it to one of the best cities in Europe! Have an awesome time!

    • Adam says:

      Thanks Uma! It really is a cool city – and definitely has climbed up my list of favorite European cities

  8. Rebecca says:

    looking forward tor reading more. Amsterdam is one very cool city!

  9. John Ditta says:

    I was told that Amsterdam has the most expensive hotels in europe, is that true?

    • Adam says:

      Hey John – I haven’t heard that. I stayed in a hostel during this trip so don’t know the hotel prices. I would think cities like Venice or even London would have more expensive hotels.

  10. Beautiful Amsterdam…. made even more unique because of its bicycle riding executives in suits and sometimes glowing corporate get-up on their way to offices.

  11. Leona says:

    I`ve had a great experience with STA travel as well. I want to go back to Amsterdam so bad its so beautiful there.

    • Adam says:

      Hey Leona – cool to hear you also enjoyed STA Travel. Amsterdam is definitely one of the prettiest cities in Europe!

  12. Annie says:

    Highly recommend a visit to the Volkshotel on your next trip! Head up to Canvas on the 7th floor half an hour before sunset and order the housebeer, a cucumber pilsner by Oedipus Brewing, then any of the fantastic Brouwerij t’ij beers on the menu. Soak in the view, then head inside when the sun sinks below the buildings for a great meal at a price you simply cannot beat in Amsterdam. It’s a little bit out of the way from any of the main attractions, but it’s 50 feet from a metro stop, so there’s really no excuse not to go. :)

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