Thank you so much for all the birthday wishes – you guys really are the sweetest!
A few weeks ago, my parents and me spent a lovely weekend in Amsterdam and it was the perfect little early summer escape. Since my first visit was in the middle of winter when a harsh wind was blowing through the streets the entire time, I was excited to not only return to a city that I had found so easy to love the first time, but especially to do so in summer. Because Germany had experienced an uncharacteristically cool spring this year, I was a little worried that we wouldn’t get to see the sun in the Netherlands either, but thankfully we got lucky and had a few gloriously sunny hours during our visit.
For me, this trip completely confirmed that Amsterdam is quickly becoming one of my favorite cities in Europe: I love the architecture of the houses along the canals with all their crooked little details and apparent imperfections, I love the beautiful boutiques that explain why the locals just seem so incredibly stylish and I love the culture of cycling everywhere. Most of all, though, I love that Amsterdam seems to combine all the conveniences of big city life with a type of relaxed and laid-back vibe that you wouldn't usually expect to find in a city of its size.
We visited Amsterdam because of the Open Garden Days where different historic town houses open their (usually) private gardens to the public for a weekend. Seeing what lies behind all the pretty facades of the houses definitely gave me a new image of the city and was a fun experience for every garden lover that I’m going to write about some more soon, but since Amsterdam is such an incredibly photogenic city even without its gardens, I wanted to share a little collection of photographs of the city with you until then.
With canals adding up to a length of at least 100 kilometers and more bridges than you could count, Amsterdam is often referred to as the “Venice of the North” and one of my favorite things to do in the city is to just wander along the canals aimlessly. You never know what you might find!
I also love that even right in the heart of the city, many of these streets are quiet and neither overrun by tourists nor cars. You just have to watch out for the bicycles!
Besides, every city where a boat in the form a shoe is considered a valid means of transportation is perfectly fine with me.
As is any city where an adorable little grocer with colorful produce just like this exists right in the middle of the city!
But Amsterdam isn’t all canals – some of them have actually been (controversially) converted into regular streets.
Stroopwaffels – a layer of caramel enveloped in two pieces of thin crispy waffles – are a Dutch speciality that I was dying to try. We stopped at Lanskroon, one of the oldest bakeries in town, to get our fix and they didn’t disappoint!
Can you believe that this picture was not taken outside of the city? We came across this piece of countryside perfection in Vondelpark, just a stone’s throw away from the busiest streets in Amsterdam.
I have seen the house on the right of this picture on so many blogs lately, that I told my parents that it surely must be the most photographed house in Amsterdam - and I'm obviously guilty as charged as well!