Even before we started travelling in 2008, Amsterdam has been a place that intrigued us both. Of course, when I was just a young punk in high school, everyone knew that Holland had legalized marijuana and Amsterdam was like the weed-liberal capital of the world. I dreamed of walking into headshops and purchasing my favourite blend. But now there are online stores like Zamnesia.com that offer everything the shops do, plus, I no longer have to go all the way to Europe for legal weed, I could just go to Colorado!
Of course, if I went to Amsterdam I would try some of the local products… why not? I don’t smoke it now, but I did smoke it when we trekked in Nepal. The stuff grew wild so we gave it a try! I’m not crazy about eating organs, but when we were in Mongolia, it was just something that we had to sample. When in Rome!
But my reasoning for visiting the capital of the Netherlands has changed. I wouldn’t be doing things that would be considered a crime in my home country. I would now be looking at exploring some of the history, culture and architecture, rather than spending my days in weed cafes.
We love Europe for its medieval feel and its cafe / pub culture. A walk around Amsterdam’s old center would be a definite highlight for us. We’re not huge museum-goers, but with over a dozen in this part of town, we’d definitely want to check out at least one.
We’d love to walk down the old, cobblestone streets and gaze up at the old center’s many landmarks, like the Royal Palace at Dam Square. While we’re in the area, we will definitely want to check out Beurs van Berlage synagogue, and maybe head to the floating flower market for an afternoon stroll.
When I was growing up, if someone mentioned the Netherlands, I would automatically think of wooden shoes and windmills, so we’d definitely want to check out some of these and learn more about the history of this incredible country.
Our friends over at etramping.com have posted some amazing photos of Zaanse Schans, a small Dutch village full of beautiful old windmills. This is a place we would definitely want to visit, if even for a short trip out of Amsterdam.
Despite the fact that we plan to travel through Europe in the coming years, and Amsterdam is high on our list, we still don’t know much about it! That is why we need your help. Perhaps our readers can help us to plan a better trip to Amsterdam and to The Netherlands as a whole. For a unique new approach to our articles on Goats On The Road, we’re calling out to ask for some pointers for our travels to Amsterdam and The Netherlands.
Here are a few questions we have:
1. What is the best way to get around Amsterdam?
Should we travel by bus or rent a car? Are there bike rentals all over the city? Would it be cheaper to just buy a bike and use it for the time we spend in the city?
2. What are some Must-Try-Dishes from The Netherlands?
As you know from our Must Try Meals series, we love to find unique and delicious food from around the globe. What are some national and regional dishes that we just can’t miss while we’re there?
3. Aside from Amsterdam, what are the best cities to visit in The Netherlands?
We love cities, but I think Amsterdam will be enough hustle and bustle for us. What are some quieter, countryside villages that we should visit?
4. What would an average budget be for The Netherlands?
We like to stay in budget to mid-range double rooms (not dorms). We typically eat at restaurants twice a day and mainly eat delicious local foods. What would be an average budget for two people travelling like this in this part of the world?
5. Where can we find the best cultural shows?
Typically the best cultural shows are found in the nations’ capitals, but perhaps there are some other shows, festivals or events that we shouldn’t miss outside of Amsterdam. Please tell us!
Amsterdam is worth a visit!
We already know that Amsterdam is well worth a visit and it will likely be one of the highlights of our trip through Europe, but we would appreciate your help. Please help us answer the questions above so that we can make the most of our trip there.
Featured image by: mi chiel via Wikimedia Commons