Amsterdam | Europe’s Cool Cousin

Amsterdam is coolness, its just that simple. Coolness. Wander around with Van Gogh on your mind, let the blooms of tulips in the spring enchant you, a visual feat of architecture, weed? Yes. The Red Light District? Sure. But those are mere parts in a city filled with personality and the best pancakes I’ve ever eaten. Forty-eight hours in Amsterdam is enough to decompress and switch off. You need more time to explore it all, but there is always going to be a next time because it is a place you will always want to come back to.

Amsterdam…encapsulated by rambling canals and flanked by canal houses. it is a particular place that has the best of both worlds going for it: big city in feel, village life in charm. The canal is heart of Amsterdam, winding its way into the different little lanes and crannies in a city filled with gems and discoveries waiting to be explored. Independent shops, historic museums and houses, cool eateries… it’s fun and hip and busy, brimming and bustling with enough mystery to keep you enthralled. You are in a different time here, a glimpse of the past, a jolt in the present and a wonder about the future. Its beauty is a mysterious type, true to it and the vibe is unique, it is not trying to keeping up with the Florence and Paris of the world, what it lacks in the Duomo and Tour Eiffel, it makes up for in canals and art and really good food and atmosphere; Amsterdam is a city most present. The beautiful neighbourhoods easily blend into one another and its welcoming locals greet you with a warm smile as you trot past. There is plenty to love about Amsterdam.

The city is snug; close enough, in touch and in feel, but it doesn’t crowd you, it is most cosy. Walk everywhere, cycle everywhere. Get lost along the way but arrive at the most unexpected and beautiful of places. If walking is not your thing, and you are intimidated by the cycling culture, then the tram service is excellent. The Nine Streets has some of the loveliest boutiques and cafes, be inspired by the masters; Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Vermeer, (although the most famous Vermeer is in the Hague, a forty minute journey from Amsterdam) etc. As with any city, wake up before the crowds to soak up the early morning quiet. The Cuyp market, a daily market since 1912,is one of such spaces and stay as long as you can for the the freshly made waffles and fruit juice and leave just in time to miss the masses.

Unsurprisingly, the best time to visit is just on the cusp of spring, end of winter; the weather is in that sweet fresh spot, the crowd is light, and the atmosphere is inviting. Amsterdam; go bask in the light of its cool.