When I came to the Netherlands, it was my first time flying to Europe, so I knew I had to take as many chances as I could to go see some of the other European countries. I did this a lot during the first two months of my stay here, but later realized that I had given so much attention to other countries, that I didn’t even take the time to explore Amsterdam itself. I guess I always assumed that it would be easier to explore Amsterdam than any other city for the simple fact that I live here. However, coming to this realization made me want to go out and not only see the city, but to do the classic tourist activities in Amsterdam. The perfect opportunity came when a friend I made in London came to visit my friends and I in Amsterdam.
The first activity we did was visit the A’dam Tower in the north part of Amsterdam. It’s a nice tower with souvenir shops inside and some photobooths, but the main attraction is the rooftop. At the top of the A’dam Tower, there is the “Over The Edge” swing, which is the highest swing in the Netherlands. By going on this swing, you are placed 100 meters in the air, and you have panoramic views of the city of Amsterdam. Also on the rooftop are other picture spots that say things like ‘I LOVE AMSTERDAM’ and other tourist-y phrases.
After this activity, we headed over to De Pijp, one of Amsterdam’s most culturally diverse neighborhoods. There, we had lunch at one of the best Chinese restaurants I have ever been to. Unfortunately, we did have to rush our meal just a bit because we had bought tickets for the Heineken experience. This experience takes you to the original Heineken factory which was in Amsterdam. Here, we got to see how Heineken was made, and many of the factory’s parts are still there, meaning we got to see the machines that were used about a hundred years ago. And yes, at the end of the tour, you get two free beers.
The following day we took a day trip to Keukenhof, one of the tulip fields in the Netherlands. It was a decently sized park with a plethora of flowers. It was good to be able to see some of the more famous parts of the Netherlands. After having lived there for two months, I finally saw Amsterdam for what it is – a city that never sleeps.