How do I love thee? Let me count the whys:
§ Gorgeous flowers at every bend
§ Everyone bikes–forget cars, it’s a biking or canal town
§ Canals are everywhere, making such gorgeous landscape
§ Homes here have such style!
§ Playgrounds with sandboxes
§ Poffertjes with butter and powdered sugar (video here)
§ Museums for everyone: Madame Tussaud’s; Museum of Medieval Torture; Museum of Rembrandt; Museum of Vodka. . . the list goes on
§ The nicest people you can imagine– and most speak English readily.
Where we stayed: Hotel Toro— gorgeous area, very comfortable, excellent service, impressive to natives (apparently Amsterdam’s most famous live nextdoor), next to their gorgeous Vondelpark. Only downsides– on the further end of town if you want to be in the action (I don’t want to be in the action, so this is a plus) and breakfast is not complimentary and will cost about 25€ per person– far too much for what you get. Take the 2 tram to Koninginneweg
Playground: Vondelpark on the south-western end. Take the 2 tram to the stop after Koninginneweg
Papercuts– I didn’t get to explore this with the Dutch, but my college friend, CindyMindyPindy, is an expert. You can see her blog here (it has weekly templates for you) and you can visit her etsy store here.
PS–Apparently there has been some debate (Bill O’Reilly) about the safety and sanity of Dutch society. I do not know if Bill has visited, but none of his claims of anarchy or chaos were evident while I was there– and we visited on Gay Pride weekend (coincidentally). I tend to agree with this gentleman’s opinion of Amsterdam.