I really do love Amsterdam. We had the great pleasure of living in this wonderful city (feels more like a town or village) for four years. Amsterdam was never on my list of places to go but when I made my first visit, I fell in love.

It was a gorgeous sunny day in May…locals were out in the sunshine, enjoying the cafes, boating on the canals. The Dutch are often called sunflowers as they soak up every bit of sun when it comes out … the weather is similar to Seattle which tells you why. They know how to party and enjoy life…and that day in May 2005 I was hooked.

I could write extensively about all the wonderful reasons to visit …

  • Boating on the Canals: Amsterdam has 160 canals and 1,000 bridges! This was one of my favorite things about Amsterdam…spending a sunny day on a boat. We had a great little sloep, that’s what they call the little boats, to enjoy the canals in the great weather. You can rent a boat, like ours or the gorgeous salon boats, or take one of the tourist boats (I always took friends on the sunset wine cruise from Blue Boat Company). Though touristic I highly recommend a tourist cruise at least once for the information and seeing Amsterdam from the water is a MUST!
  • Riding your Bike everywhere: This is THE mode of transportation. We biked everywhere…no need for a car. Bikes rule the roads (above pedestrians and cars) and have their own lanes. Watch out if you’re on foot. We always rented from MacBike for friends.
  • Museums & Music: Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh, Anne Frank House, Rembrandt, Concertgebouw…the list goes on.
  • Restaurants: The food in Amsterdam is fabulous! From Dutch treats like croquettes, frites, pannekoeken and stroopwafel to incredible Thai (Krua Thai) and Indonesian food (Tempo Doelo).
  • The People: Everyone is extremely friendly and almost all speak English. I also appreciate the directness of the Dutch. :) We made several dear Dutch friends while living there.
  • The Lifestyle: The Netherlands was recently named third-best country in the world to live for work-life balance…enough said!
  • Parties and Celebrations: The Dutch truly know how to party and the best examples of that are Queen’s Day every 30 April (a national holiday to celebrate the Queen’s Birthday, literally a country wide party with the biggest celebration in Amsterdam…I’ve truly never seen ANYTHING like it and it’s a blast!), Sinterklaas’ arrival in November and New Year’s Eve (fireworks are legal for 24 hours and you’ve NEVER seen the sky light up on a New Year’s Eve like it does in Amsterdam…everyone puts on firework spectaculars).
  • Great access: You can be in London via an hour flight or Paris in three hours via train. Most major European cities are within a few hours by plane or train.

That’s a summary and attached is the detailed list (Amsterdam Must GOs from Grape Occasions) we always give to friends going to visit. I amsterdam is the official visitors site for more great info.

If you’re visiting soon you may even get to ice skate on the canals.

No matter what time of year, proost to Amsterdam![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]