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Updated: Sep 1, 2023

Amsterdam. It's been a lovely stay. And wow, it really is the city that never sleeps.

Amsterdam is a much smaller city than an unknowning American world expect. A population of about 820,000 swells with up to 20,000,000 tourists in a year. It's such a huge impact, that the city actually has plans to limit tourism to 20 million visits and put restrictions in place if the numbers are exceeded.

Take always from my few days in the city:

  1. Bikes, bikes + more bikes.

  2. Plan ahead, the Anne Frank House was sold out until late July, for example.

  3. Hiring a local guide was the best decision I made. Thank you Helen for your wonderful and informative tour. She took me down streets, alleys and neighborhoods I wouldn't have otherwise ventured to, and it was the most memorable party of my visit.

  4. Red Light District: don't take photos (or you'll likely end up in a canal). Apps have largely eliminated the blue lights of the red light district (look it up if needed). There is a large push to move the red light district out of the historical midevil center. Get here while you can...

  5. Dutch love their coffee and their weed. A coffee shop is a place to consume marajuana. A cafe is a place to get coffee.

  6. Take the canal tour. Mine was only an hour but it was a relaxing way to see the sights and the perspective of life while looking up from the water was beautiful. Do it!

  7. I heard numerous times about the locals being friendly but direct. I only experienced friendly...just don't get in the way when they are biking.

  8. Wander and get lost. The architecture is beautiful. For a more intimate view into Amsterdammere life, take an evening boat tour. "With nothing to hide", their houses are lit up, no curtains drawn and looking in is perfectly acceptable

Waldorf Astoria:

Hotel Check-in included selection of a scent for my hotel room. Ok. Off to a posh start. The service was impeccable in every way, at every level. Reception. Bell desk/Doorman. Spa. Restaurants. Housekeeping. Concierge. Add in a location along the UNSECO protected Herengracht canal and it made for a memorable stay. The hotel spans six 17th and 18th century canal palaces. My room was in the Brentano House. It's a tough life...

It took a minute to adjust, but the city and its people have won me over. I can see spending a summer here and maybe that's just what I'll do in the near future.

Until next time Amsterdam. (July 7th on my way back home)

Next up - a Uber ride to Rotterdam where I'll board the Celebrity Apex.

-Cole from Colorado

Here's a separate gallery for the beautiful Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam



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about me:

Hey!  I am Cole from Grand Junction, Colorado. In 2023 I stepped on all seven continents, in a single calendar year, solo!

The year continues to shape my life and my lust for travel.

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