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Photo Diary: How I Fell in Love with Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Amsterdam is a city famous for its canals, red light districts, history, and museums… but even with all of that, it took me a while to really appreciate this capital city. When we landed in Amsterdam, the weather was typical for Holland with gray skies and a light drizzle. After dropping off our bags at our hotel (and a stroopwafel for the road), we walked around the Jordaan and found a great place for breakfast, The Pancake Bakery. The first thing I noticed right away was that everyone spoke great English and with somewhat an American accent. As much as I try to speak the local language when traveling especially for common phrases, Dutch is not the easiest language to speak. During Spider-Man: Far from Home, there is a scene where Peter Parker is talking to some Dutch guys and he tells them, “You speak really good English” and they respond with, “Welcome to The Netherlands!” That part made me laugh cause it’s true!

After our breakfast, we headed back to our hotel and got ready for our Anne Frank House tour. Anne Frank House tickets can be purchased online two months in advanced, and that is exactly what I did. I set a reminder in my calendar for exactly two months before our trip, and bought the tickets right when I got to work. By that time, there were only a handful of tickets left since they release the tickets at noon Amsterdam time (which I didn’t realize). I don’t know which tickets were harder to get, these or The Last Supper tickets in Milan cause both were nerve-wracking. You can only visit the Anne Frank House with a ticket bought online for specific time slot. They release 80% of the tickets two months in advance and the remaining 20% can be bought online the day of… either way, tickets sell out super fast!

The Anne Frank House was truly an amazing experience and a must see when visiting Amsterdam. Photography is prohibited within the museum which let me enjoy the tour without worrying about my next shot. It was a nice change of pace for someone who always has a camera glued to her hands. Since this was the only time specific event we had in Amsterdam, we spent the rest of the day walking the canals and enjoying our first day in the Netherlands.   


Anne Frank House
Westermarkt 20
1016 GV Amsterdam
The Netherlands

Tickets: Anne Frank House

After our first night in Amsterdam, we woke up the next morning and hopped on a train to Paris. Since we were flying in and out of AMS, we opted to experience Amsterdam during the last part of our trip. So after Paris, Brussels, and Bruges, we made our way back to Holland. 
Like a mentioned earlier, it took me a little bit to really enjoy Amsterdam. Usually when visiting a new city, I have a list of places I really want to see or things I want to do, but with Amsterdam I didn’t really plan much. Of course, we had to visit the Anne Frank House but other than that, I kind of went against my Type A personality and left the schedule pretty much wide open.  I think because of this, I didn’t immediately fall in love with Amsterdam. We visited the Albert Cuyp Market and tried herring (which I really liked). We went for a stroll in the museum quarter and realized that the “I amsterdam” sign is no longer located there and is now at the airport. We didn’t explore De Wallen cause, well you know, Aiden was with us. 
After I brushed away the idea that Amsterdam needed to be like every other large European city, I learned to enjoy its uniqueness, its modernism. Since this was the tail end of our trip, Aiden and Lyndon were spent and didn’t feel like walking all day with me (plus Lyndon had a cold). This gave me the opportunity to explore the city by myself and not rush through all the beautiful canals, and appreciate all the architectural details. As you can see, this city is alluring and I couldn’t stop photographing every street, every bridge. 
This post is image heavy, and I’m not sorry about it. I hope you enjoy Amsterdam through my lens!  
“Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth, it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.” – John Green
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