Traffic on the canals of Amsterdam

With love to Amsterdam

An early June holiday always brings the potential of summer showers, but that never dissuaded anyone, did it?I arrive at Europe’s third busiest airport at sundown. Despite the cars coming and going, the air was clean and smelled of fresh rain – a perfect welcoming.

After a good night’s sleep, I wake up to rain and grey clouds, but a walk in Vondelpark is a necessity.

And to round the day off, Amsterdam’s museum quarter is right next door. I picked the Van Gogh Museum, right between Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk Museum, where we can follow the Dutch painter’s life and transformation. No pictures taken, but if you are into art, or a fan of Van Gogh, this is unmissable.

The centre of Amsterdam is packed with sights, restaurants, and other establishments Amsterdam is notorious for. Whether you’re shopping on Kalverstraat or ventured into the Red Light District, there are a few things I wouldn’t miss out.

A light (and rather expensive) lunch at Oriental City, a traditional Cantonese restaurant, remains remarkable in my memory. And Ristorante Pizzeria La Traviata on Reguliersbreestraat made a heartwarming seafood pasta I won’t forget.

When you have a spare hour, a guided tour in the Royal Palace is a must, filled with history, beautiful furnishings, and spectacular sculptures. Down Kalverstraat, you’ll find Amsterdam’s flower market full of bulbs and small trinkets.

With so many canals, travelling on a boat is an easy way to get around Amsterdam. Hire out a pedal boat, and enjoy the sun on the canal. Provided with a map of the canals with suggested routes and fun facts about the buildings you pass, this is a treat. Beware, you’ll get wet.

To round it all off? A day at the zoo.

The zoo makes up a rather large part of the city, and it’s walking distance from central areas. It is a little hefty price-wise, but I would do it again.

That said, I would do it all over again.

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