What is Amsterdam?
What is Amsterdam?
We know we love Amsterdam and its’ canals and all-around vibe that is floating in the air of this city. But what makes this city special for a local person?
Amsterdam is a capital and a city, but it feels like a village. It is not so big as other capitals, but you have everything what a city has to offer. I like the many outdoor markets, terraces, (brown) cafés and the canals/old city. Special thing is that everything can be reached by a bike and we do bike a lot, no matter if it rains or not.
Okay, also we know that Amsterdam is full of different activities for tourists, starting with museums and ending with all sorts of things. What activities are most enjoyed by the locals?
The activities or traditions that I like the most in Amsterdam are, first, the Kingsday, which occurs on April 27th. I also like picking up tulips on the Dam in the end of January. Everyone enjoys the Canal Parade on the first Saturday of August.
Then there is Museumplein, which has a lot of things to see and do, like tulips, skating in winter, sometimes special exhibitions, laying in the grass, watching important football games on big screens and of course the museums. There were parties there before, but nowadays not anymore.
De Parade, which is a mobile theater, which takes place during first two weeks of August. I would also mention, the De Rollende Keukens, where there are all kind of foodtrucks at Westergasterrein. That happens at the end of May.
Finally, there is Amsterdam Light Festival, which occurs from the end of December till the beginning of January.
Other than that, I love biking, going to an outdoor market and walking/shopping in the Jordaan, the Nine Streets, Vondelpark, de Pijp and the old city. Also, if the Dutch soccer team plays, it is fun to watch the game in a café with other people, preferably dressed in orange.
Wow! That is really a lot of activities to choose from during the span of whole year!! What are the other places that you love to spend your time in and why?
As I mentioned previously, for shopping I like to go to the Nine Streets or Utrechtsestraat, because there are unique little boutiques over there, even window-shopping is fun!
I like to wander around in the old city along the canals for taking pictures of the beautiful old houses or canals, because it looks like the little Venice of the North.
The Jordaan is nice to go if you want to feel the vibe of Amsterdam. The ‘hofjes’ (little courtyards, the most famous one Begijnhofje) are very nice to see and a place of quietness in the middle of the city.
If I want to have a quick escape from the city and have some fresh air, I take a walk in the Vondelpark or bike to the Amsterdamse Bos. With nice weather is it also nice to take the free ferry at the Central Station to the north, NDSM-eiland and go to the city beach at Pllek. In Amsterdam East, you’ll find a city beach at Amsterdam Roest (Jacob Bontiusplaats #1).
If I want to have dinner outside or have late drinks in the sunshine, I’m heading to the Pijp, because of the many restaurants that have places to sit outside.
Okay, so there is really a lot of things to do in Amsterdam, which we will certainly have to try next time we are there! Our next question would be – what can you say about other local people that live here?
Most of the people in Amsterdam are tolerant, relaxed, open-minded, friendly, straightforward and speak English as second language. If you want to ask for directions or something, better ask someone in their forties. This is because younger people can have fun with you of sending you the wrong directions.
We enjoy a lot of freedom and cultures in Amsterdam. This can be seen and enjoyed if you’re open-minded as well. That is why we have, for example, a lot of different kinds of cultural restaurants. Not to mention, the red light district, coffee shops where you can smoke cannabis legally and also we have a big gay community. In the summertime or any time when the sun is shining, the people here are at their best. Then you can feel the city awakening. We go outdoors, sit in the park, have a great time at the many terraces, have bbq’s. During that time we are much more open and friendly.
Yup, that is one thing that you are left in your mind after visiting this city. It is so chill and really welcoming! What word would you use to describe Amsterdam?
In one word, Amsterdam is gezellig. A word that is not easy to translate, but what come closest to it is convivial or cosy. It’s more a feeling/experience than that it can be defined and it’s definitely positive!
We are sure that gezellig is the word we were looking for when trying to express our experience here! Okay, now let’s proceed to our next part of interview – which will answer the question – how is Amsterdam perceived as a tourist destination by the locals?