“Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin.” – John Green
We flew from Prague to Amsterdam and after a short transfer from Schiphol Airport, we arrived at our gorgeous Air BnB Rental. Wouter met us out the front and the first thing he commented on was all our luggage! I don’t think he had ever seen so many bags in his life. We made ourselves comfortable as he showed us around his beautiful home. The kids were in love with the back room, a perfect hideaway for the kids to play and watch Danish cartoons.
The house was opposite a primary school and every morning we loved watching the ritual of the school drop-off as parents rode cargo bikes with up to 3 children in a basket on the front.
Next door to us was a fabulous coffee shop and 3 doors down was a convenient mini-market that stocked almost all our daily needs.
Our first night was restless as Marlee was returning to us the next day, flying in from Sydney > Dubai > Amsterdam. When she finally arrived back with us, the kids were thrilled and it everything felt complete again.
James had to work around the clock the entire duration of our stay in Amsterdam so Marlee and I kept ourselves busy with the kids. The weather was a little temperamental and we were caught out few times without umbrellas or ponchos. The kids loved it though. It was our first taste of autumn since we left Australia and we embraced the cool change.
Our kitchen was well stocked and after eating out every night in Prague, we welcomed home cooked meals and long conversations around the dinner table.
We walked over bridges, down streets, over canals and along the tram lines. We visited churches and ate hot chips and crepes. I bought fresh flowers and clogs and tulip decorations. We love the pulse of the city, which feels tiny with a population of 815,000 people.
I think many people assume Amsterdam is the quintessential sin city. And I’ll admit, when I visited back in 2002 as a wide eyed 20 year old, I saw the city through a very different set of eyes. The tourist trail is littered with sex shops, massage parlours, green cafes and fast food. But now older and more conscious of travelling in these cities, I saw Amsterdam in a whole different light. The galleries, the art, the canals, the green parks, the great boutiques, the friendly locals, the pulse of this little city is exhilarating.
I urge anyone who has ever been curious to visit Amsterdam but unsure of what you may find, give it a go. There is something there for everyone, you just have to go with an open mind, turn your nose away from the puffs of white smoke or embrace it and get lost in the magic of this amazing, whimsical city.
You can find our Air BnB rental in Amsterdam here.