Beer, Bugs & Bitterballen — My First Time in Amsterdam

Okay, I know. It’s been way too long since my trip to Europe but I’d hate myself if I didn’t finish the series of Europe blogs I was supposed to write since I came back. So put on your seatbelt and get ready to cry with me because we’re at home and not in Amsterdam.

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I had heard the stories, all of them. You know, the drugs, the partying, the super-free-for-all European sin city. I arrived with expectations — my mistake! Don’t get me wrong. I loved Amsterdam. It’s a beautiful city and I’d perhaps love to live in one of their thin houses with one of the main canals in front, but as our tour guide in the Lovers Canal Cruise said, that’d expensive AF.

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But it wasn’t my favorite city. It was crowded all the time. And this is coming from someone who’s obsessed with NYC and you know THAT city is CROWDED. We flew in from Copenhagen to Amsterdam through SAS Airlines for about $87. And we got around on the tram/bus with a GVB multi-day tickets for four days for 22 euros — you get unlimited travel for 96 hours and it’s super convenient. Their public transportation system is super easy to use and I really recommend it.

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One of the best ways to experience the canals and all the beautiful houses is taking a canal cruise, in my opinion. The companies, types of boats, durations of tours and prices of the tours all vary. We went with Lovers Canal Cruises’s one-hour day canal cruise, which cost about 18 euros on its own (we bought a ticket combo for the cruise and the Heineken Experience for about 25 euros … I think. I’m sorry, it’s been a while and I suck!)

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The food was great. We went to this place called Wok to Walk and I was instantly obsessed. It’s a fast-food takeaway restaurant where they serve stir-fried Asian dishes. They have noodle and rice dishes and then you pick what you want in it and the sauce you want. I ordered the rice noodles with chicken, tofu,  broccoli and cashews with the Hot Asia sauce and holy shit, it was amazeballs! The average price for Wok to Walk is about 7 euros. I don’t have a picture of it but I’m sure I have a short clip of it in my Amsterdam Vlog (which you can find down below!)

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We tried some of the traditional cuisine too! Bitterballen, pictured above, are a dutch meat-based snack that resemble a meatball, except meatier and deep-fried. They had a very interesting flavor … very meaty, like way too meaty. I wasn’t the biggest fan but I’m glad I got to try them at least once. You can find these at any traditional restaurant and they’re most-often paired up with a beer at bars!

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We also did the Heineken Experience — a super fun and interactive tour at the Heineken Brewery in Amsterdam. Although it’s super touristy (it costs 16 euros for adults), I had so much fun doing all of the interactive stuff. They even have this green-screen thing with two bikes where you can film yourself “singing” a song in Dutch while riding a stationary bike. And you can email yourself the video afterward! The tour ends with a much-needed tasting (it’s just Heineken but trust me, I chugged that shit and enjoyed the fuck out of it).

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The Modern Contemporary Musuem (MOCO Museum) was one of my favorite things. At the time, they had Andy Warhol and Banksy exhibitions and it was delightful! Tickets are about 13 euros.

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We stayed at an Airbnb. It was $850 for three nights for five people. It had two rooms and a sofa bed and it was cute! However, we did struggle with bugs on the sofabed — yes, I cried the first night. I also attempted to sleep on a chair and my friend Carlos even tried to sleep on the dining table … cause there was that many bugs. I mean they crawled on us … while we napped. It was honestly kinda terrible — but part of the experience … I suppose? It definitely made the experience unforgettable.

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But now, a summary of some of my expenses in case you’re interested:
Flight from Copenhagen toAmsterdam: $87 with Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)
Accommodation: $850 for 3 nights for 5 people with Airbnb
Public transportation GVB 4-day ticket: €22
MOCO Museum: €13
Heineken Experience: €16 on its own
Lovers Canal Cruise: €18 (1-hour day-canal cruise)
Lovers Canal Cruise + Heineken Experience: €25
Wok to Walk: €7 (approx.)

Check out my YouTube channel and my video from Amsterdam down below! 🙂 

I don’t know if I would go back to Amsterdam but I’m glad I checked it off my list! And that’s all for today. Until next time! 😀

-V

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