TOP 10 of 2016 – Amsterdam

As the year 2017 is just around the corner, we decided to see how was the year 2016. Well, it was wonderful! We started the Travelers Child and we put our traveling to whole new level. We spent most of this year traveling and exploring not only different places, but different foods, different cultures, met a lot of new great people and just had one of the best years of our life. It’s hard to sum up everything and put it all into perspective, but we decided to do exactly that. And what’s a better way than just to look back and think which places we enjoyed the most. Though it’s a difficult task, as we enjoyed every single moment, this also is a very pleasant objective. We hope that you will enjoy this trip down our memory lane as much as we did!

So allow us to introduce you, Dear Reader, to our No. 5, which is:

Amsterdam (Netherlands)


Amsterdam’s history dates back to the 13th century when a simple fisherman’s village started to settle around the Amstel River and the North Sea. Basically, modern Amsterdam is center for culture, education, business and tourism built on the huge swamp.  However, it’s the city that charms everyone who has a chance to feel it and see it – Amsterdam is one of the liveliest cities in Europe.

Swag and liberality, canals and boats, bridges and bicycles, Red Light district and legal marijuana, over 90 various types of museums1, flea markets and festivals, tulips, clogs and windmills! Capital of Netherlands has so many symbols to be positioning through that no other city in Europe can even compete with that.

For us Amsterdam was the first and long awaited destination that we visited after our arrival to Belgium. And what was even better we had one of our closest and dearest friends living there. She gave us the best tour and comfort that we could’ve asked for and we were just there to enjoy Amsterdam to its fullest. Though, that could be an overstatement, because it’s hard to get full of this city – you simply can’t get enough of it.

What L. has to say about Amsterdam

Place on L’s list: 5

I will be a spoiler for a second here and blab out something… Amsterdam is the only capital city that gets into our TOP 10 of 2016. Why is that? Because it doesn’t matter how high my expectations was before visiting it2, they were surpassed 120%.

Amsterdam is nothing like the other metropolitans in Europe. Ordinary streets here are replaced by canals, cars – by boats and bicycles. Neither pedestrians, nor drivers are at the top of transport chain. It’s the cyclist that rule the city.

What is more, everything I saw there was surprisingly liberal, classy or swaggy, which made this city look like a modern lifestyle magazine for me. Stylish people and their stylishly decorated bicycles, their liberal beliefs, but classy way of living. Amsterdam don’t need fancy-shmancy pompastics or luxurious stuff to look awesome.

Amsterdam

City is like a totally separate world in the heart of the Old Continent. After several of hours full of excitement, it becomes clear why Amsterdam is always mentioned as the top destination for those who seek to find something unseen in the urban Europe. Something that is full of fun and associates with urban adventures. And it’s not that it has Red Light district, or other legal stuff that you won’t find anywhere else. Those two things are only a several examples through which city’s unique outlook is expressed.

All in all, I’m pretty sure that despite how old are you, what do you like and what you don’t, what are your expectations, or what you have already seen, Dear Reader, Amsterdam will make you fall in love with it in the blink of an eye. As for me, my view towards big cities will never be the same after I seen Amsterdam. It crushes all the stereotypes and common beliefs about how big cities in Europe usually looks like. What is more, it pops out from all the capital cities3 that I have ever seen during my travels. Dear Reader, Amsterdam will blow your mind!

What P. has to say about Amsterdam

Place on P’s list: 6

The first moment I set my foot in Amsterdam I was super hyped. The houses overgrown with flowers, canals, bridges, retro-swaggy-lookin’ bicycles.. It was too much for me – I thought that my head was going to fricking explode! 

And all of that was going through my mind only while we were going to meet our friend. Later, when she brought us to the city center and showed where all the action is – I already was in some kind of a trance4. Amsterdam was THAT beautiful. You don’t even need anything to become like super ecstatic. There’s just so much to see.

And all of that was happening only during our late-evening walk, which our lovely hostess made just perfect5. Next morning, while our friend was preparing something for university, two of us went to see some flea markets and just took a walk around a city. I was really already hungover because of the last nights seeings and though Amsterdam’s night-life was really charming and awesome, it was also nice to explore the city during the day. It was calmer, but nonetheless as  fantastic as you could expect it to be.

The only thing that I wasn’t very fond of is the crazy bicycle traffic in the city, which is pretty hard to get accustomed to, especially in the morning. 

#IAmsterdam 

Conclusion

Amsterdam is as beautiful as any of the most anticipated capitals of Europe – London, Paris, Rome, Vienna, etc. But the thing about the capital of Netherlands it’s also very real. Capital cities usually have this thing of being more official, people there seem like they feel more important and you could get this feeling of being in a museum, where there are a lot don’t touch signs.

There’s nothing like that in Amsterdam. In this city you just feel like you can be you. It’s not a city to see. It’s a city to feel.


Rest of the TOP 10

1. Praia da Ursa (Portugal)
2. San Sebastian (Spain)
3. Saxon Switzerland (Germany)
4. Porto (Portugal)
5. Amsterdam (Netherlands)

6. Gent (Belgium)
7. Gerberoy (France)
8. Durbuy (Belgium)
9. Mont Saint-Michel (France)
10. Colmar (France)

  1. We actually counted them all on Wikipedia!
  2. Everything that I have heard about Amsterdam was told by the people who were totally in love with it. So, basically, my expectations were Everest-high.
  3. Like day and night in comparison with all the other, actually.
  4. And no, I haven’t tried anything.
  5. Ačiukas.