After a third holiday to Amsterdam, I can say that I have successfully explored the entirety of the city centre. The last time I travelled was in February, and although the weather was cold I still managed to cruise around the main city centre and see the main tourist sites; the Royal Artis Zoo, Vondelpark, Amsterdam Dungeons, the Canal’s and much more. This time I got to enjoy a different part of the city centre.

My partner and I stayed near Oosterpark and experienced a totally different half of the city. Many people travel to Amsterdam for two things; The Red Light District and Marijuana. Whilst these two things are inherent to the city, there are sights and places beyond the nearest Coffeeshop and much more exciting, for me and I’m sure other people, than seeing the Red Light District or spending your entire time in a coffeeshop;

  •  I experienced walking around a much more residential area than the centre. The buildings were all incredible towering terraced houses with interiors that would make a modern architect squeal with delight. And any prospective homeowner strive for the money to recreate the open and sophisticated living space.
  • The streets were lined with tall, flowering trees and much like the city centre, adorned with the cycling citizens powering to, and from work.
  • I explored the streets, shops and market places in De Pijp. A place filled with street food, vintage stores, modern health cafe’s and individually owned clothes stores.
  • I wandered through art history at Rijksmuseum. I went forward through art’s history as I went up through the four floors of the museum, seeing the vast changes and adaptations in canvas, technique and content.
  • I wandered around Vondelpark again, but this time, I got to see what the park is really like in the spring and summer months of the year. Although the park was packed and bubbling, there was still plenty of space for more people to sit in the sun, or take their kids to play hockey and have a picnic with. And, there were dozens of tourists and citizens on bikes, people out running or even roller skating around the park in retro Adidas gear.
  • I spent more time finding new routes to take around the canals that would lead to different parts of the centre that I hadn’t yet seen or enjoyed.

Life in Amsterdam is unlike any other city life, and I have lived in many cities around the globe. The people are incredible, never have I felt more accepted and less judged, never have a found a city more keenly adapted to modern life and ideals and not worrying about the next changes it might make as we move through the decades. Whether you travel for a weekend, a week or for longer, I recommend Amsterdam to anyone and everyone. I cannot wait to explore the rest of Holland.

© Greta Alise Haley

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