Everybody wants to make their flight booking as “profitable” as possible and we‘re not an exception. When we’re booking a flight we check many different booking systems, plan and compare different routes to reach our destination. It’s not a secret that to buy indirect flight is often more cheaper but also might add couple of extra hours to the journey. But then again, you can spend the time between flights by discovering some new location, as we did Amsterdam. Who knows? maybe you will like that place so much that will want to come back and get to know it better, or maybe the other way around.
And it is how our acquaintance with Amsterdam happened. We made a booking which would give to us about 4-5 hours to spend in the city on our way back from Zurich.
It is very easy to get from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam’s city centre by train and it takes only about 20 min. On the internet it was recommended to buy tickets in advance online shop but we didn’t follow that advise and didn’t have any problems with buying it from machine at the airport hallway, as well it wasn’t any queue there.( Maybe we just were lucky). More info can be found here: Info about the City and public transport
Unless they fixed their system, we do not recommend to store your luggage at the airport. The automatic lockers didn’t work, so they had to do it manually and store your luggage in the “back room”. This method was awfully slow and created a big line on the baggage storage. We waited there for about 15 minutes and got nowhere so we decided to go onwards with our bags. In additional, you really can’t estimate how long time will you spent to get the luggage back so in worst case you might get in hurry to catch your flight.
The luggage storage is easy to find in central railway building and that’s where we ended up leaving our bags. Pay attention that there are bigger lockers as well, where you could place 2 cabin size bags and economy some money.
Amsterdam and how we saw it.
So, we left our bags and with free hands started to discover the streets of Amsterdam. We traveled around Christmas time and streets were full of people and bikes…so very many bikes… both tourist and locals. But despite of this city have some atmosphere of freedom and happiness – latter might have something to do with the sweetish smell that hung around every place you went.
We started our tour of the city with the most important part, finding something to eat. I (Olga) am a quite picky eater, which sometimes results our hunt for food taking a bit more longer :). But if you are more free with what you eat, there are a lot fast/street food places all around the streets. Lot of people walking streets enjoying local specialty Dutch fries with mayo. Looks delicious and all yes, but the small guy that lives in my head and love healthy lifestyle, said that better to go for something more healthy. Yes, i’m boring in this way 🙂 but i love it!
Because we didn’t have much time, was decided not build any specific plans on which sights to see. We just wished to get general impression of Amsterdam by walking the city streets and along the canals. I love cities with a lot of water areas. The hundreds kilometers of canals and many bridges really give Amsterdam specific charm, made it in our eyes looks different from other European capitals. In some points the water almost reaches the first floor, which looks very peculiar.
Of course we went to feed our curiosity about the red light district De Wallen. Time was around 15.00, so it was still a bit early for see this area in its full colors. Honestly, we went couple times along same streets trying to find a place, even without realizing that we had been already there. After a while we start notice that the girls started slowly appearing in the windows. We ended up only seeing a fraction of what Amsterdam could offer for us, but based on what we did see we really liked it. Generally the city looks like it will be well suited for groups that wish to party, as there were plenty of bars all around the streets.
Everybody surely have heard about Holland cheeses. There are plenty of cheese shops in center streets. Maybe they have some “tourist extra” price rate, but we were seduced with the tastings and bought some tasty souvenirs for our Christmas and New Year tables. Briefly after this we started to head back to railway and forward to airport as there wasn’t much time to go somewhere new anymore.
Generally we liked this city, despite the grey cloudy weather and non snowy December, Amsterdam seemed bright. It have interesting and unique architecture style. Wonder, what is an idea of this unequal, crooked houses. (And even more curious how they are inside and how comfort is to live there). Can definitely say that we would like to come back and see more of the wonderful Amsterdam. Visiting here in spring or summer might be better as the tulips séason is ongoing then. Will also be nice to take some canal boat tour and explore city views on water.
Small negative side that we had was the constant sweet smell of smoking but it goes with the city’s image so never mind it.
It was our first trip inside trip, but i think we’ll do it again. It is much more fun than just sit next to gates at the airport.
You can read more about our whole trip from here: Our visit to Lucerne, Switzerland