Long Weekend in Amsterdam
At the beginning of May, we once again took advantage of the bank holidays here in Munich and went to Amsterdam for a long weekend. The flight was cheap and only a little over an hour!
We wanted to go this time of year to see the famous tulips in bloom. Tulip season in Amsterdam runs from the end of March to the middle of May. We were so happy we got to check this off the bucket list!
We arrived in the afternoon, dropped our luggage off at our hotel, and went out to explore the city. We stayed at the Doubletree in the city center and loved it! The location was perfect and the view was amazing.
Things To Do in Amsterdam
Free Walking Tour: Amsterdam is such a charming city and has endless things to see and do. We started off our trip with a free walking tour with Freedam Tours. This was one of the best walking tours we have ever been on! Even though it was cold and rainy during the tour, we really enjoyed it and learned a lot.
Anne Frank House: The Anne Frank House is one of Amsterdam’s biggest attractions and definitely worth checking out. It is the house that was her hiding place during World War Two as well as where she wrote her famous diary entries.
Bloemenmarkt: Founded in 1862, The Bloemenmarkt is the world’s only floating flower market. So beautiful, but also pretty touristy.
Rijksmuseum: The Netherlands are known for rainy weather, and we got plenty of it while we were there! We spent the majority of a day inside the Rijksmuseum hiding from the cold rain. The museum itself is a masterpiece and is home to so many amazing Rembrandts, Vermeers and over 1.5km of galleries.
Explore the Jordaan area: The Jordan neighborhood is very centrally located and is full of art galleries, patio restaurants, cafes and street musicians. We had so much fun wandering around this area and taking in all the beautiful canals. The Anne Frank House is in this neighborhood.
Explore the 9 streets area: The 9 streets area is full of the most picturesque canals and tons of cute little boutiques.
Amsterdam Cheese Museum: Located right by the Anne Frank House. Free to enter, and easy and quick to tour. We spent maybe 20 minutes here. They also have tons of free cheese samplings! SO good. Of course we ended up buying a block of Dutch cheese!
Pancakes: Dutch pancakes are so good! You can get them with sweet or savory toppings. We went to the Pancake bakery and it was amazing! I had cheese and apple pancakes and Pat had ham and cheese pancakes.
Fries: Thick cut fries traditionally served in a piping hot paper cone slathered with tasty toppings. We went with garlic mayo and it was so good!
Stroopwaffels: Dutch caramel-filled waffle cookie. SO good with coffee.
Coffee and Coconuts: We really loved this place! I had a lavender latte and Pat had a beer. The atmosphere was fun, and the decor was so cute.
Indonesian: Indonesian food is extremely common and popular in Amsterdam, so of course we had to try it while we were there! We are pretty adventurous eaters, but neither of us had ever had Indonesian food before. We went to the highly recommended Jun Indonesian Cuisine. SO GOOD. We ordered a rijsttafel which is a large meal that features numerous small sides like egg rolls, pickles, satays and cooked vegetables alongside a variety of rice-based dishes. We loved everything we had!
Appeltaart (Apple pie): We had amazing Dutch apple pie at Winkel 43. This restaurant is in the Jordaan neighborhood, and it was so cozy inside.
Visiting the Netherlands during tulip season was high up on the list for both of us, so we were SO excited for this. I had done some research beforehand and read that visiting Keukenhof gardens was the best way to go. I had also read that it gets really, really crowded. Keukenhof gardens is in the nearby town of Lisse, which is an easy day trip from Amsterdam.
The day we planned to go had great weather. We took the train to the airport, and then a bus from the airport to Keukenhof. The bus was so crowded, and Pat and I both were thinking that this was just a small taste of what the gardens would actually be like. So once we got there, we got off the bus and headed for the bike rental station in the Keukenhof gardens parking lot. HIGHLY recommend this! This was one of my favorite days EVER. The guys at the bike rental provided us with a map and explained all the best routes to take and places to stop.
We rented bikes and rode through field after field of tulips! We were literally the only ones on the road 90% of the time. We spent the entire day riding around Lisse, all the way up to Noordwijk aan Zee. This town is filled with sand dunes, and has the most beautiful beach.
After riding through flower fields for a few hours, we stopped and had lunch at Como & Co, which was located on a lake and so so so cute! I can’t remember the name of what either of us ordered, but everything was delicious. Not the most aesthetically pleasing meal, but so good. The entire place was so cute! We ate inside in the greenhouse area, but I can imagine during the summer these tables right by the water are full.
I can’t recommend seeing the tulip fields this way enough! We had the absolute best time, and would do it every year if we could! We saw maybe five other people during the eight hours we were out there. And we really enjoyed getting to see smaller towns that we probably wouldn’t have gone to otherwise.