Exploring the Netherlands


Although I love living in Amsterdam, it is not the only thing the country of the Netherlands has to boast. Coming here, I knew that I wanted to really explore as much of the Netherlands as I could, and of course take advantage of the fact that this would be an easy feat given the country’s small size.

The weekend after coming back from London, my friends and I were still on that traveling high and we wanted to leave Amsterdam again as quickly as possible. What would be the quickest way to achieve this? Go to another Dutch city, of course! Keep in mind we are still tourists at this point in time, so going to a small remote town was still not a priority. Therefore, we decided to take a day trip to Rotterdam, which is an hour-long train ride from Amsterdam.

The journey to Rotterdam was quite pleasant. In fact, this was my first time EVER on a train. It was such a smooth ride, and the seats are insanely comfortable (honestly the entire public transport system in the Netherlands is the best I’ve seen). I was so set on wearing a sweater vest that I hadn’t worn yet and I adored my outfit that day, but unfortunately it was POURING when we arrived in Rotterdam, so a nice outfit was definitely not the way to go.

Despite the weather, we decided to make the most of it. We visited a shopping center, got lunch at TGI Fridays, then went to go see the famous yellow cube houses (which was literally across the street from TGI Fridays). After taking some pictures, we decide to walk around the city center and see more of what Rotterdam had to offer. I will say that it is MUCH different from Amsterdam. Rotterdam looks a lot more like any American city, with tall buildings and lots of roads; it is built more for vehicles than for bikes.

Eventually, we were a bit tired from walking and took advantage of the fact that we were only an hour away and took the next train back to Amsterdam. Perhaps it was the spontaneity and the lack of planning, but we did not find anything too exciting to do. Rotterdam is a beautiful city, but you must plan if you want to enjoy it. I will surely return to Rotterdam with an itinerary and experience the city for what it truly is.