After we left Brussels we went to Amsterdam for a night. Amsterdam is a city for many international students to attend higher education here. It is more colourful than just a simply university city. There are many parks, river and people would rather cycle than taking public transport. However, smoking weed is acceptable under certain condition and sexual related content is also exposed. I find it so strange that many things like that could stay in one place.
We went there from Brussels by Ouibus and arrived at 19:15. We bought a ticket for 16 EUR for 4 people: 3 adults were only valid for 1 hour, the child’s one was valid for 24 hours. We arrived to our hotel, which was luxurious. However we had to pay for everything, luggage storage, dry cleaning.
We left our backpack there, then went on sightseeing. We went to see the Windmill near the river and the I AMSTERDAM sign. It was really cold and windy and we were hungry. However it was around 10pm so everywhere was closed. Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris all these 3 places got dark after 10pm. So it was really fun to go around even late night.
Amsterdam seemed not too big but public transport is needed. We slept and the next day my aunt wanted to go to Flower Garden. However the only flower garden was Keukenhof which was 1 hour away from our place. I was afraid we would got into another trouble like in Versailles so I refused to go there. Later I found informations about the garden and it turned out it was closed since May. Every year it is only opened for 2 months in April and May. The rest of the year it is closed.
We wanted to leave our backpack at the hotel but it would cost 6 EUR for the whole day so we decided to take it with us, which was a wrong decision. We went to the sea side by tram 26 to Ijburg to see the sea wall, that keep the sea flowing into the city. But we didn’t see anything like that. We bought some bread, cheese and sushi at the nearby shop. I accidentally dropped the box of sushi and while picking it up the shop assistant told us to wait and she gave us another box. It was so nice from her. My nephew was fascinated by her kindness.
After, we went to the Botanic Garden but we didn’t enter as there was only plant no flowers. Then we went to Flower Market near to Old Town. Over there my mum and aunt bought some tulip seeds and looked around. Then we had a drink at the nearby coffee shop. We spent quite a lot of time over there just because of the flowers. We passed Rembrandt Square, square for the Dutch artist. We went to Dam Square and found the Royal Palace that turned into Shopping Centre.
I was interested in Red Light District but after wandering a while I didn’t find it, so I gave it up. Right at that time I saw that quarter but wanted to leave right away as well. We took a full round and got back to Dam Square.
Everyone was so hungry and tired so they wanted to eat in Hot Pot restaurant near to our hotel, but it needed to be reserved in advance. They were hesitated where to eat so I told them to eat in Chinese restaurant. We ate a Wonton soup and then left in hurry to the bus station.
I thought Sloterdijk station was Central Station, so we took tram 4 to go back to Old Town. Luckily I realized it was two different stations, so we took tram 4 to go back near to the restaurant and our hotel. Then took tram 12 to go to Sloterdijk station. When we arrived, the bus also arrived. We took the bus back to Brussels.
When we arrived to Brussels, to Gare du Nord, we passed a Red Light District to go to our accommodation. I was so scared. So after all if you don’t like to see adult related content don’t be curious about it.
Amsterdam is a city of cycling. You can see bicycle everywhere and people use bicycle a lot instead of public transport.
On tram you can only enter either in the front or at the rear door as there are inspectors at both end who check whether you validate your ticket or not. On bus, you must enter at the front door so the driver know you have a valid ticket. So it is advisable to have a valid ticket all the time as they are really strict in this term.
There are many rivers and bridge from where the view is amazing. You can also go on canal boat ride.
Weed is smoked everywhere. Even on the souvenirs they draw cannabis leaf on it. However, it is just a tolerance policy. You can acquire weed with certain condition. Otherwise it is still illegal.
Sexual related content is accepted. There are even souvenir shop specializing in these type of souvenir gift.
In overall, I really like Amsterdam. The roads are wide enough, the bridges and the view to the river is refreshing. It is an eco-friendly city as people would rather ride a bike than driving a car. The weather is, however, cool and windy even in July.
Public transport ticket and fares: https://en.gvb.nl/reizen/producten-en-tarieven/ov-tarieven-2018
Amsterdam maps: https://amsterdammap360.com/