I AMsterdam sign

Amsterdam: More Bikes Than Shade


Amsterdam Backpacking through Europe

Amsterdam is the 1st stop on our Backpacking Through Europe Adventure: 9 countries, 14 days. It was to be the 2nd, but I’ll refrain from ranting about our disappointing airline delay. Once we got going and were rerouted to catch up to our itinerary, our exciting trip was underway!! Eeeekkkk! Good thing! There is an enormous amount of time and effort in Planning and Packing for a European Backpacking Adventure.  

Amsterdam is the bicycle capital of the world. The city of bicycles. Honestly I’ve never seen so many bicycles. There are multiple lots jam packed with bikes. People are riding bikes by the droves. Sitting in the Starbucks and later at a cafe overlooking the canal, it was a constant stream of cyclists.

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We loved the canals. In lots of places, there are apartment buildings lining the canals. Many of the people living in the buildings have boats parked out in the canal. There are also boathouses out in the canals. I’m always intrigued by the various accommodations that people make home. (The Realtor in me again?)

I think Amsterdam is really a nice city. On the street side of the canals, it’s almost park-like with trees, grass and sidewalks. Amsterdam Central, the railway station, is very clean and comfortable with a mall, restaurants and an open air feel with breezeways. Don’t expect restrooms in the shops or restaurants tho. Nope! We are in Europe, the paying of toilets has begun. Ugh! Just look for the lines at the turnstiles in the main breezeway. Although the train station is modern and updated, it is housed in a wonderful old building. Already loving the architecture in Europe.

We did not encounter anything shady. Not that we went to the Red Light District, or ‘coffee shops’ looking for anything either. Haha Mainly we just enjoyed touring around the city and taking in all of the amazing old architecture. When in Amsterdam, attractions to consider include Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, Jordaan District, Heineken Experience and Keukenhof Gardens for tulips.

We utilized a hop on hop off bus to get around. It was pretty chilly and there was not a live guide so we just made the loop and didn’t hop off. Make sure that you research the Hoho companies well and what they have to offer. There are several options. We have come to appreciate the live guides. Our ticket actually included a boat tour on the canals as part of their service. We opted out, but I think this would be great, if a little warmer, and especially if the tulips are in bloom!

Big Dog’s Review: Our day in Amsterdam was spent taking a “jump on, jump off, bus tour”. It was cold that day so we stayed on the bus. Very interesting city with all the canals and beautiful architecture. A port city so it reminded me of Boston and it’s style of houses. Anne Frank and Vincent Van Gogh once lived there. We stayed away from the red light district, not our cup of tea. If you get the chance it’s a great place to visit for the day!

Wrap up: Leaving Amsterdam and heading to Brussels by train was painless. There is usually always some English speaking person to ask about platforms, etc. We had been hanging out with backpacks in Amsterdam all day and were ready to relax on our almost 3 hour (1st in Europe) train ride to Brussels

70 thoughts on “Amsterdam: More Bikes Than Shade”

  1. I love Amsterdam, one of my favorite cities. We went on a school trip in high school and we’re there for five days. My favorite sites were the Anne Frank House and all of the amazing old architecture.

  2. What a wonderful trip it seems you had! Beautiful photos, we hope to one day get there once our children are grown!

  3. Gorgeous pictures. Clean and comfortable is something I really cherish in a city – I am glad that is what you found.

  4. I would love to see Amsterdam someday…more than just its airport! HA! And the bike scene looks so cool!

  5. I love the bikes and architecture! Beautiful. I could just walk around all day looking at it.

  6. My best friend lives in Amsterdam, although I still have not gotten a chance to visit it. And they really bike A LOT over there. Thank you for sharing your pictures. Truly very beautiful place to visit.

  7. Amsterdam looks amazing. I would have been worried about getting run over by all those cyclists!

  8. Oh goodness I love Amsterdam! My husband has never been so it is on our travel list. Love your pictures and I look forward to hearing about Brussels!

  9. This looks like a great trip! All your pictures are perfect.. thanks for sharing this fun experience with us 😊 I thoroughly enjoyed it and am adding it to my bucket list!

  10. Your adventures and pictures always are so much fun and really make me feel like I am right there with you!! Thank you for sharing!

  11. Seems like a cool place to visit! Love all of your pictures especially the canal- it’s so beautiful!

  12. We definitely want to visit Amsterdam some day; it looks like such a fun and unique city. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  13. Do love Holland, lived there for three years in the 70s. My best memory of Amsterdam is getting lost and one policeman giving me directions while the other directed the traffic around me. Incredible.

    1. Thanks for checking out the post, Jack. Haha I’ve had to have police help when lost myself. But not 2 officers! That’s funny.

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