Some cities always make you feel like you’re coming home. For me, Amsterdam is one of them. I have been here before and was just visiting for a day so I didn’t have to be a tourist the second time around, which of course added to the feeling of coming home. I really was coming back as opposed to visiting for the first time, which let me treat it like a casual day out as less of a tourist and slightly more like local.
The first time I came I was in awe of the statuesque buildings which were reflected in the canals. The sense of liberation and tolerance engulfed me, with that touch of hedonism that is sprinkled throughout the streets, marked with a distinct lack of feeling judged. This feeling washed over me the second time just as much as the first time I visited. On my first longer trip, I of course visited all the attractions like the Anne Frank Huis, took a cruise along the canals and watched traditional clog making, all of which I loved, but as I had seen this side, this day was all about taking things as they come with no set plan.
I was allowed to spend a pressure free, box ticking-less day in this utopia. Brunching at The Avocado show is just the kind of thing I can do on a day out in London (except we don’t have one yet, hint hint). Not only was the meal delicious, but healthy and felt clean for the body. It was also found without having to Tripadvisor the top 10 affordable eats, taking all pressure out of decision making. As a disclaimer, I may have still been feeling the effects of another activity that enhanced the freshness of the avocado’s I was tasting, which you can read about here.
Being able to wander around without a set itinerary was very much freeing as I stumbled upon a long market that I had somehow missed on my previous trip, some cool street art and sipped a delicious hot chocolate which kept me warm in the biting cold. Even though I’m not usually a big photo person, the time we had allowed us to take photoshoots even I got enthused about after stumbling on some art work that I hoped was predicting my illustrious future…
My previous trip included a visit to the famous Rijksmuseum which is renowned for hosting works of notable artists, which are so breath-taking that it is the most visited museum in the country. However on this trip, I went for a smaller museum that I did not even know about before. Being able to see artwork at the Moco Museum by Banksy, one of my favourite artists was the cherry on top. The Moco allows you to experience modern and contemporary art with a unique vision, making it no surprise Banksy’s art was being exhibited here. It felt fitting that I could see his controversial pieces that challenged authority and went against the status quo, here of all cities.
Being able to see places outside of the traditional tourist path allows you to embrace the city more and relax into the spirit of the place. You feel free to be able to wander everywhere without the fear of having missed anything. I believe in any destination it is ideal to have one of these days or even a few hours if short on time, of roaming around aimlessly or filled with a day of less touristy treasures so you can better explore the place and perhaps stumble upon something you never would have otherwise. Let me know of some unexpected treasures you’ve serendipitously found whilst on holiday below!