How Does It Feel To Be In Amsterdam In The Middle Of Summer

The only close to that experience I can remember is being in Prague in September :). So many tourists on the streets, it’s difficult to walk. Weekend or weekday – does not matter. Lot’s of people everywhere. Lots of bicycles. People, cars, and bikes are trying to get from point A to point B and back without even pretending they are following the rules :). If it were by me, I would choose different dates to come here.

The city tries to survive this tourist invasion. Honestly, I can’t even blame anybody. On the big scheme of things, that’s their city; it belongs to people who live there, not tourists. My local friend commented on the poor quality of service here in Amsterdam, and in Holland in general. And sadly, I have to agree with her. But once again, I can hardly blame anybody.

In addition to really wild traffic on the sidewalks, the next problem we’ve faced was the operation hours of most of the places where you can eat. Being not just American, but also from the North, and even for a person from the North an extremely early riser, not being able to get breakfast on Saturday before 9 AM was a real problem. I am up by 5 AM regardless of the day of the week, so you get the situation :). On Saturday morning, although my sleep time was adjusted for the previous 31-hour day:), I was up by 6-20. We tried both breakfast places recommended by our host, but one was closed till 9, the other one was opened by 7-30, but they said, that they might have some breakfast “in an hour.” A couple of other places where just opened (about 8 AM), but took our idea to have breakfast in such a time on Saturday as an insult :).

Finally, one place close to the central train station was opened and had decent food, good coffee, and even fruits 🙂

Most of the time we travel, we enjoy trying some local street food, and I have some “calorie budget” allocated for that. One very satisfying experience was baked potatoes:

I am well aware of the fact that in the very touristy places the street food is geared toward tourists:), and I leverage my expectations. Here I was somewhat disappointed with the quality of “tourist-oriented” sweets: they were way too sweet, so my hopes of Amsterdam being a cross of Helsinki and Genoa did not come true.

ris says that I should not project Helsinki to Amsterdam because Helsinki is “not a tourist city.” I think the Helsinki can be quite a tourist city at times, and I know for a fact that cakes and pastries there are always excellent, regardless of the location.

Only by the end of our stay in Amsterdam, I’ve figured out how to find good sweets. The church cafe ended up to be the best!

The best apple pie ever from the Old Church in Amsterdam

We did not use any public transportation at all, and I do not think we needed it. The max walking time we had to walk between any two points was 40 min, most time less than that, and we’ve enjoyed each and single moment of these walks, even when we would get lost occasionally.

The weather was fabulous all the time, with one sweltering day (which was just a typical summer day by my standards), and the rest just right, even though the original forecast looked cooler. We’ve been outside most of the time or at least significant portions of the time, and I’ve noticed that I’ve got not too much tan, and nothing close to a sunburn. Of cause, I did apply sunscreen, but it won’t save me in Illinois!

9 thoughts on “How Does It Feel To Be In Amsterdam In The Middle Of Summer

  1. The only reason, come to Amsterdam for me that I would like to see Van Gogh Art. I had been few time there but only in an airport and I did not have extra time to see some attractions. I will save this kind of plan for future. Other wise, the better choice for me would be the cruise through Europe.

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  2. У меня были большие проблемы с едой в Амстердаме. Йогурт на завтрак я нашла только в районе Красных фонарей 🙂

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    1. А мне Амстердам запомнился как очень даже “вкусный”. Йогурты и свежие овощи-фрукты я себе покупала в супермаркетах, а из кафе очень удачными оказались кафе полусамообслуживания при различных достопримечательностях (в Эрмитаже, НЕМО, зоопарке). Также прицельно заходила по рекомендации в одно тайское (или китайское?) кафе – вкуснотища и недорого. Пробовала китайскую фаст-фуд сеть Wok to Walk – сытно, дешево, интересно.

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      1. I was pretty happy with Albert Hein, very close to the K-Market chain in Helsinki. The fruit selection was pretty good, and I’ve found the exact kind of yogurt I liked. However, I was hoping to see more places to eat with local food, especially for breakfast, which is my most favorite meal. In this respect, it was not Helsinki and not London :). I often complain that in Helsinki life starts later than I am used to, but it was even later in Amsterdam. None of it is a deal breaker, and none of it should be counted against Amsterdam, of cause. This is one of the cities which does not require anybody’s approval or disapproval :); it was just an unexpected feature.

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        1. Yeah, I loved Albert Heijn! I usually also try local cafes and local food specialties and do it at least once a day when I am in the city, but I need some me-time with my comfort food as well, especially in the evening after a long touristy day, so I also always buy something from a supermarket and eat in the hotel on my own (and I also enjoy browsing supermarkets as a way to learn about local life and produce, by the way).

          There were many food and interesting cafes in Amsterdam that I wanted to try, but I had no time or convenient opportunities for all of them. No luck with the famous herring, for example. But I felt that there were TOO MANY options for my short stay there, not too few.

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          1. For us, it looked like tons of options from the first glance, but very few of them ended up being good, there were several cases when we would walk in and even sit down, but then leave. It might be just a matter of personal preferences 🙂

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    2. Then you didn’t know where to look :), THe first thing I’ve asked my local friend was “what are the regular grocery chains?”, and she said to look for Albert Hein, which I did, and found the best yogurt ever (a big box, just enough for four days I needed it). AH stores are literally on each and every single street, including the most touristy ones.

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  3. Смешно, как мы все ищем йогурт. Я этим летом нашла совершено потрясающий йогурт в Загребе, и в Словении был похожий, но там у меня не было времени все перепробовать, только то, что давали на завтрак в гостинице. Даже в Германии йогурт был чуть хуже, чем в Загребе.
    Мне кажется у вокзалов все раньше открывается и позже закрывается. В Вене, где все магазины к моему ужасу закрывались в 8 вечера, я каждый день, то есть вечер, покупала йогурт на утро в привокзальном магазине в 11 pm.
    Я надеюсь, что здесь можно писать комменты по русски:)

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