Tulips, stroopwafels, and bicycles aren’t the only things that come to mind when I think about Amsterdam. There are plenty of other things like pancakes, canals, and cheese that I remember and link to my time in the Netherlands as well. If you want to take in more than just copious amounts of gouda when you’re in the Dutch capital, add the following places to your itinerary.
A quarter of the city is taken up by canals and harbors, so the best way to travel through the city of tulips and bicycles is ironically -- and -- iconically by boat. You’ll be able to find a tour no matter which direction you walk in, since there are so many boats and companies ready to set sail! No matter what your camera is focusing on, the views are picture-perfect no matter what angle you get. From bicycles and flowers to what look like snow-capped buildings that frame every shot, you’ll discover that this city is for anyone and everyone. By the end of the tour, you’ll be planning to live on a houseboat whenever you get the chance, just like the locals waving as you pass by.
Although we were floating through the city and biking around in June, it truly felt like we were in a snow globe spreading holiday cheer. And what better way to celebrate than by indulging in notorious food that Amsterdam does best?
The Happy Pig Pancake Shop
Stroopwafels dipped in chocolate or caramel might be the city’s specialty, but this little hole-in-the-wall eatery is the pancake place to be! Choose between sweet or savory and you’ll be as happy, if not happier, than the piglet on the sign. They’ll hand-make your fluffy pancakes and stuff them with toppings like bacon, apples and so much more!
Flowers line the sidewalks and streets almost as much as the bicycles and museums do. Crossing the Bloemenmarkt, a.k.a. the world-famous Floating Flower Market, off your bucket list is easy. It’s open all day in every season, during the dreary days Amsterdam is accustomed to and the bright, sunny days everyone adores. You can get souvenirs, plants, seeds and herbs here, in the heart of the city. The fresh flowers brighten anyone’s day and fill the air with natural fragrances everyone appreciates as they walk through.
Even though you can’t head to the iconic "I Amsterdam" sign anymore, if you visit this city, you’ll soon see and feel how you are indeed a little bit of Amsterdam, with every bike ride and trek through tulips you take.
Taylor Coulson is the Summer 2017 Alumni Insider in Barcelona, Spain, and is currently studying at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.