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Exploring Amsterdam

Updated: May 10

Day 1

After checking in to the Kimpton DeWitt and dropping our bags, we headed out to explore Amsterdam. Though it was my first time in the city, Mrs. ATX Jetsetter had visited previously and was on the hunt for some pancakes so off we went. After winding through some back streets we reached one of the main streets in the city center, the Damrak, and found a local pancake/crepe shop where we stopped to grab lunch.

First I started with coffee, which was served with a miniature stroopwafel. From there, I moved on to the bacon and fried egg crepe which was delicious.

Full of food, we headed out to wander the streets and canals of the city. It was a gorgeous day outside and we meandered through the streets before passing by the Anne Frank House. We didn’t think to get tickets in advance and they were sold out by the time we got there.

From there, we continued walking and passed by the Tulip Museum and Cheese Museum. The tulips were in full bloom and appeared all over the city. I can only imagine what the Dutch countryside looked like.

After wandering the streets for a couple of hours we stopped at a corner café overlooking one of the canals for a beer and a bite to eat.

Recharged, we walked over to the other side of the De Wallen area towards the Rembrandt House where we grabbed a real lunch at another canalside café before heading to the botanical gardens.

We paid the modest entry fee and were admitted into the gardens, which had been around in some form there since 1638 and housed a wide variety of native and non-native plants spread across indoor and outdoor gardens.

After walking through the Botanical Gardens, we walked back to the hotel via a different route and found a charming little neighborhood with some nice streets.

We still made it back to Kimpton for the complimentary happy hour around 4:30 where we had a glass of wine and some snacks. The wine was far from the top shelf, but was very good for a free pour. The snacks were also interesting and tasty. The jet lag was starting to catch up with us, so we retired to the room where we napped for a couple of hours.

Kimpton DeWitt Amsterdam Complimentary Happy Hour
Kimpton DeWitt Amsterdam Complimentary Happy Hour

We found a place called Jacketz which specialized in baked potatoes just around the corner from our hotel. The shop was tucked on a side street and we split a baked potato which was so large we still had leftovers after we both were finished.

From dinner we took the long way back to the hotel and, even though it was 9:30 at night, it was still light out.

Amsterdam at dusk
Dusk in Amsterdam

Once back at the hotel we decided to visit Super Lyan, which is the bar located in our hotel for a nightcap. The bar is part of the Mr. Lyan group which operates many bars across Europe. We were also able to use our $100 Hotel Credit here which was nice and I had the beeswax Old Fashioned while Mrs. WS93 had the Mary Pickford. After cocktails, we were both exhausted and retired for the night to rest up for the next day.

Day 2

The next morning started with breakfast in the hotel restaurant, Celina. Since we booked through The Hotel Collection from American Express, breakfast was included for free. You could order off of the menu and there was also an extensive buffet available.

After breakfast, we headed off to the Rijksmuseum to check out the exhibits. Unfortunately, some of them were closed for remodeling. The biggest disappointment for me was the fact that the aviation exhibit was closed, but we still had a great time.

Behind the Rijksmuseum was a small, shaded garden which we relaxed in for a bit before heading down the Museumplein. We walked past the Van Gogh Museum before doubling back down the Hooftstraat which was lined with luxury shops. Thankfully, I was able to get Mrs. ATX Jetsetter out of there without any damage to our American Express card.

We turned back into the park once we made it to the end of the street and headed through the Vondelpark towards a café called ‘No Rules’ for a snack and a drink.

We took the long way back towards our neighborhood, walking through some of the less touristy areas and saw the locals going about their day to day lives before stopping at another café near the Anne Frank House for a light lunch (notice a theme here?).

After filling up we hopped on one of the canal tours offered by Flagship and headed around the city for a tour. We boarded the Flagship Tours ‘Lucky Stripper’ and headed out for our tour around the city. The boat had a full bar on board and drinks and snacks could be purchased throughout the tour.

Flagship Tours Amsterdam Onboard Bar
Flagship Tours Onboard Bar

As we cruised around, we saw some sort of show being filmed as well as the oldest houseboat in Amsterdam (which definitely looked the part) and the former headquarters of the Dutch East India Company along with the narrowest house in Amsterdam. Back in the day, the city charged tax on the number of windows you had in your house, so the larger your façade the more of a status symbol it was. I did find it somewhat ironic that the narrowest house had a Lamborghini Urus SUV parked out front.

After our cruise ended, we made the short walk back to the hotel where we once again caught the tail end of happy hour.

Kimpton DeWitt Happy Hour
Kimpton DeWitt Happy Hour Round Two

After HH ended we took advantage of the free bikes offered by the hotel, and rode them back down to the Vondelpark where we found an open-air café and had a beer. The bartender was wearing a Texas Tech T-Shirt and I had to ask him about it as you don’t see someone repping Lubbock, TX on the other side of the world. He just said he found it at a thrift shop and thought it looked cool so he decided to buy it.

We took the long way back to the hotel and ended up passing through what must have been one of the wealthier parts of town. There were some massive houses that overlooked the park and some gorgeous, shady trees along with a nice collection of rolling art parked by the curb.

Once back at the hotel we dropped off the bikes and headed out on foot for a late dinner. We didn’t make any reservations in Amsterdam and we learned the hard way that some of the restaurants we wanted to go to were full. Ultimately, we found a place right on De Dam with a view of the national monument.

Amsterdam National Monument at Dusk

After dinner we decided to walk back to the hotel through the red-light district, which I can only describe as an experience that is shocking to the senses. Definitely not a place you want to stroll through with kids or your grandparents.

Amsterdam Red Light District
Amsterdam Red Light District Entrance

Day 3

Since we were out late the night before and still had to pack, we decided to order breakfast in bed to use the rest of our food and beverage credit from The Kimpton.

We headed downstairs around 10:15a and checked out of our room. We also stored our luggage with the front desk since our flight wasn’t until 4:40p that afternoon. We rented a couple of bikes from the hotel and rode around for a bit before stopping at a café for a cup of coffee.

After coffee, you guessed it, it was time to eat again. We found a restaurant near the waterfront and split an order of fish and chips.

Finally, on the way back to the hotel, we stopped for one final pint in Amsterdam before dropping the bikes back off at the hotel and retrieving our luggage.

From there we headed off to Amsterdam Centraal and caught the 2:08p train out to Schiphol and our waiting Aegean flight to Athens.

We really enjoyed our time in Amsterdam and definitely want to return on a future trip. We enjoyed being able to walk and bike everywhere in the city with minimal impacts from vehicles.


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