Amsterdam — Part One

Back in March, probably when I was having a particularly tough day, I mentioned to Ryan about taking a trip to Amsterdam during the summer. He was stressed about tests but said that sounded fun. The next few days I watched flight prices and then decided to just do it and buy them! Ryan was definitely surprised, he didn’t think I was being serious (I showed him! ha) but when the trip got closer, he was getting more excited about it with me.

We decided to do backpacks this trip, since last year it got annoying to drag around a suitcase everywhere. I was worried about how much I was going to be able to fit since I am a religious over-packer.  I also love bringing a bunch of stuff for the airplane but had to keep it as simple as possible and lo and behold, it all fit!

Amsterdam Day 1

12 hours later after a layover in Ireland and we were in Amsterdam! We landed at 8 AM but Chicago time was 1 AM so you could say we were pooped. We hit the ground running by getting a quick lunch and taking a canal cruise. You can guess what happened below ha.

I was in and out on the ride (the audio was hard to hear) but it was a nice trip to get acquainted with the area.

Ryan can hide his exhaustion much better than me!

After the canal cruise, we stopped by the Museum Park to walk through the Van Gogh Museum and then laid out on the grass where I took a short nap. Ryan couldn’t fall asleep so we went back to our Airbnb and ended up sleeping for 12 hours that night. Same exact thing happened in Bangkok, but after that day we didn’t feel to jetlagged for the rest of the trip!

So many people and so much exhaustion on my face 😉

Let me just take a minute to show you our Airbnb in Amsterdam. I researched for hours to find a place close to the attractions but stay under $100 a night. All the hotels were much more expensive and we didn’t want to stay in a hostel. We wanted our own room and privacy. I came across this loft and was instantly obsessed! Just look at this beauty. As soon as we got there we threw our stuff all over the floor so I never actually got a photo myself, these are from the site. But it looked the exact same!

We loved having our own little place and the hosts were very nice. Just a quick tram ride from the main downtown area!


Amsterdam Day 2

The next day we woke up pretty early since we went to bed at 5:00 PM. After spending an hour being lazy we finally went out to just walk and explore the city. We knew it was early but we were so surprised to see it empty. Completely empty. We soon found out that Amsterdam is not a morning person, no shops were open until 9, sometimes 10.


Ryan was a champ at selfies. We couldn’t get enough of them!

It was nice to have the city to ourselves for an hour and then decided we’d ride the train 40 minutes to Haarlem to kill some morning time. Check my Haarlem post for pictures of our day there!

We got back into Amsterdam around 4:00 and went back to the Airbnb for a quick nap (okay, maybe we weren’t adjusted yet). We found a Domino’s near our place and it became our best friend. People don’t eat much here besides coffee and tea and small pastries. So Domino’s was a life saver after our nap. We stopped at the Tulip Museum and my favorite flower has officially changed to tulips. We bought a bag of one variety and I’m excited to plant them. I’ve killed bulbs before so I’ve got to do some more research beforehand.

We decided to walk down the Red Light District (when in Amsterdam, right?). If you think women standing in windows showing off their fluorescent bikinis is weird, then yes it is weird (it was weird). There were so many tourists walking through and it stunk of weed the worst in that area. We didn’t walk for long and found a street with some normal shops and a yummy waffle.

Ryan thought it was kind of funny that you could find the Red Light District right behind the church.


Our first two days in Amsterdam were exhausting but very fun. We had a lot more things to see and we couldn’t wait to learn more about this city!

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