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.
I highly recommending visiting their most famous museums: the Rijksmuseum (currently physically closed but you can see it online!), and the fascinating and amazing Van Gogh Museum.
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!