Our first official full day in Amsterdam couldn’t have started better!
Because of the 6-hour time difference, my body was a little confused when I woke up. But the excitement of the day got me out of bed pretty early. JP and I were showered and ready for breakfast at 8 AM. I mentioned in my previous post that the hotel we stayed in Hotel Larende offers the most delicious complimentary breakfast. So needless to say I was looking forward to fully enjoying it. If you didn’t know this about me yet, I do get easily excited when it comes to food. I mean I am The Nutrinut afterall.
We went downstairs and were welcomed by the hotel staff offering coffee and leading us to our cozy table. All the tables were beautifully decorated with flowers and a lit candle in the middle. It was also “breakfast with a view” since you could get a peek into the city life out the window from practically every seat.
Breakfast consisted of a variety of cheeses and cold cuts, fresh bread (and croissants), fruits, and eggs. This was accompanied by your choice of beverage from coffees and espressos, juices, and hot chocolate. It was heavenly!
But enough about food. I’m sure you want to know more about what we actually did. Right? For day 2, we planned to meet up with my cousin, Meissa. She lives with her husband near the city of Delft, which is about an hour away by train. Meissa is like my third sister and I was so excited that I’d get to hang out with her.
We decided to meet at the Rijksmuseum. It’s one of the main things to do while visiting Amsterdam. As far as museums go, there are three main ones that were recommended to us: Anne Frank, Van Gogh, and Rijks.
Here’s a little tip for when it comes to visiting museums in Amsterdam. BOOK EVERYTHING IN ADVANCED! Although we did visit the city during low season, we still were not able to go to Anne Frank and Van Gogh. But I was OK with that because we were able to get tickets for Rijksmuseum. And let me tell you, there’s PLENTY to see there.
I confess that I didn’t know much about Dutch history before our visit. But through paintings and sculptures I learned so much! JP and I were in the museum for 5 hours (or more to be honest). Meissa met up with us a little later. And although we didn’t get to visit the Van Gogh museum, there were a couple of beautiful Van Gogh paintings on display. We were also able to see Rembradnt’s famous The Night Watch. This painting was in the process of being restored and you could actually see them working on it right there. It was pretty neat to watch the experts in their element!
This museum has three floors and so much to see. I don’t know about you, but after a few hours, I start to experience a little information overload. So towards the end, I admit the reading about each painting and artwork greatly diminished. But I enjoyed nonetheless every second of it. And if the art is still not enough to wow your socks right off, the Rijksmuseus has a bike tunnel at street level which allows you to cross through the museum by bike or by foot. So it’s a must in my book!
Once we were done with the museum, we decided to grab a bite to eat. It had been quite a few hours since breakfast and I was definitely starting to get quite hungry. We found this little burger place close by. There were quite a few burger places in Amsterdam. It was actually surprising!
The burger place we went to is called The Burger Room and it was Wizard of Oz themed. All the burgers and menu items had some reference of sorts to the story. I ordered my “Over the Rainbow” burger which had portobello, goat cheese, caramelized onions, butterhead lettuce, and tomato. It was pretty good!
After eating, it was time to say goodbye to my cousin and her husband. But I didn’t get all teary-eyed like I usually do since we were going to stay with them a few days later.
JP and I walked around for the rest of the night. Enjoying the city. Honestly, you will hear me say this often for the Amsterdam part of our trip. But walking around the city truly is a treat and in my opinion, the highlight of the city. It truly is beautiful! And that’s how you make wonderful discoveries, like The Cheese Museum.
Yes, they had a cheese shop that was also a museum. If this is new to you, the dutch are known for their cheese. And if you are a cheese lover, get your little toosh to The Netherlands. You will have just about the time of your life sampling different cheeses. My personal favorite has been the truffle cheeses. OMG! It was to die for.
So dinner time came around. We were not too hungry but still wanted to grab something. Everything was super full. Well, what did I expect? It was Saturday night. We ended up going into the food hall again since it was close to the hotel and we wanted something quick.
And if there’s one thing that I kind of regretted was this. The food hall was so full! And I really am not a fan of loud crowded places. Twenty-year-old Raisa was OK with it. Thirty me, not so much. There were no seats available and what we ate was just alright. We ordered some croquettes. I have to say I was pretty tired from all the walking we did that day. So that might have influenced my mood (and opinion) a bit.
When we arrived back to the hotel, the same lady that gave me the hot chocolate on the first night made me another one and I enjoyed it thoroughly before going back to our room. I think I might have become the hot chocolate girl in her eyes. On our first night I could have picked any beverage at all as a complimentary welcome. Even though coffee and hot chocolate were offered freely all day, I still went with the hot chocolate <3.
Ending another great day on a warm and sweet note!