I visited the Netherlands for the first time this past year as part of a brief weekend getaway from Brussels during our 7-week unexpected stay in Europe during the early days of the pandemic.
We went twice. Once via car with Bryan's colleague to a well known outlet mall to shop for great deals on European fashion. The second time we spent a weekend exploring Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is a beautiful city and you can spend hours just exploring the endless canals, cute walkable neighborhoods, and various markets and shops. I loved my time there, and definitely wished I could go back and explore some more.
It was fascinating to learn all about Van Gogh's life and see this largest collection of his work.
For a fun "foodie" lunch, we stopped by Foodhallen, a huge indoor food market with a nice variety of gourmet vendors selling all sorts of different types of local dishes, international bites, and fun drinks.
Some popular Amsterdam eateries have opened a location here. Although the choices are quite international, we tried at least to get a taste of the local flavor.
Meatballs and gherkins from the Dutch Meatball Company.
A delicious falafel sandwich from Pita Amsterdam.
I guess we went a tad international by trying these vegetarian nachos and guacamole.
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Really enjoyed lunch at @foodhallen - a great selection of fun “street” foods plus drinks in this lively hall where you can try all sorts of fun bites. Surprisingly excellent falafel sandwich! And yes, we did take a break from Belgian beer and enjoyed a California IPA 😝 @lagunitasbeer #amsterdam #tinyurbannetherlands #tinyurbaneurope #tinyurbantravels #meatballs #falafels #🍺 @dutchmeatballcompany @pitaamsterdam
One of my favorite local "street" bites was this pickled herring sandwich. Pickled herring is a signature Dutch dish. The traditional way is to eat the pickled fish straight up without the bread. However, I very much enjoyed it in this sandwich form. The creamy "tartare"-like sauce and the pickled fish balanced each other out quite nicely. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it.
And of course, the other famous Netherlands snack is the delectable stroopwafel, which I describe in much more detail in this separate post.
Our trip to Amsterdam was short, too short. I am really glad I had the chance to at least visit some of the most famous museums, eat a freshly made stroopwafel, and have (mostly) rain-free, even sunny weather in which to enjoy walking around those beautiful canals.
It's hard to know when I'll travel again. If I do, though, I really want to go back to Amsterdam and explore some more.
And that's a wrap for our Amsterdam series! Up next, we'll go back to Hong Kong and also explore some Paris restaurants!