As i write my first post, post-being-in-Europe-for-the-first-time, I feel like I have so much more to say. Being in Europe was such an eye opening, enlightening experience for me, I don’t even know where to begin. So I figured I should just start from the beginning.
Looking back at my trip, there is no place I would rather have started my journey, than Amsterdam. Amsterdam has so much to offer, and three days was just not enough time! But anyway, here is why everyone should visit Amsterdam (according to me).
1. First off, the scenery. Every street corner, every canal, every building, literally looks like it was taken from a movie set. It was honestly the most beautiful city I have ever laid my eyes on.
2. The Food: During our stay in Amsterdam, we had some really great food. The first being Chipsy King, which is essentially really, really good french fries, with a really, really good mayo type sauce on top. They have lots of different sauces, but the original sauce is so good, and a must try.
Next, was my personal favorite, Greenwoods. Greenwoods is a breakfast/brunch restaurant and English Tea Room, that serves amazing fresh food, coffee and tea. I had the vegetable quiche and salad, which was out of this world.
(photo by darthlader)
Last but definitely not least, you cannot visit Amsterdam without trying the dutch apple pie from Winkel. Make sure you order it with whipped cream!
3. The Bikes- Biking makes up 60% of the transportation used in Amsterdam, which is really quite amazing and eco-friendly. Also, the thousands of parked bikes lining the canals, make the streets of Amsterdam picture perfect. But be careful, the people of Amsterdam are serious about biking, so keep your eyes and ears open for bells, and treat them like cars when crossing streets.
4. The Anne Frank House- Visiting the Anne Frank House is absolutely something you need to do when visiting Amsterdam. It’s devastating, interesting, inspiring and so much more. The line is always very long, so I would suggest going a few hours before closing time (in July and August it is open until 10pm)! Admission is only 9 Euros for adults 18 and older, and 4,50 Euro for 10-17 year olds.
Here are a few more highlights of Amsterdam:
5. Visiting the “I amsterdam” sign
6. The amazing street art!
7. The “Coffee Shops,” which although do sell coffee, also legally sell marijuana in lots of different forms (muffins, brownies, blunts, etc.) (if you’re into that type of thing).
8. And of course, the red light district, which we were informed not to take pictures of, since the prostitutes in the windows do not appreciate pictures. I would also like to add that the red light district is completely safe to walk though, as there are lots of families and even children walking around, so don’t be worried if you want to check it out.
In conclusion, Amsterdam is a place like no other. It’s a great way to welcome a first timer to Europe, as it is so unique in every way, with the connivence of English being widely used and understood. I am so grateful for the time I spent in Amsterdam and am already dreaming about my next visit!
Our trip to Europe was unreal. Experiencing new places and cultures is the essence of traveling. Getting away from home, being outside of your comfort zone, and seeing what the world has to offer is the reason why we do this. Some of us have been to Europe before, and some of us were able to experience that incredible feeling of flying to Amsterdam and stepping foot onto the streets, busy with bicycles, for the first time. There were some places that were new to all of us, like Austria, Verona, Venice, Switzerland and London. Whether it’s going back to a place we’ve been already or experiencing a brand new city, traveling will never get old. Traveling with good friends will never get old. And meeting new, awesome people on your travels will never get old, either.
Stay tuned for all of our stories and photos from these past two weeks. We are so excited to share!
Photos from the streets of Verona, Italy.
Switzerland is really something.
Day 9 of 15
European road trip
NYC Italian Style! Start off with lunch at Artichoke Pizza (three different locations: E 14th St, Macdougal St or 10th Ave and W 17th St) for one of the best (and biggest) slices of pizza NYC has to offer. Then make your way down to Little Italy for dinner at one of the many adorable little Italian Restaurants on Mulberry St with lots of outdoor seating. Top it all off with Gelato for dessert of course! Delizioso!
Driving around the Pacific Northwest and stumbling upon a small secluded town in the mountains during our road trip.
Chile Pies & Ice Cream
San Francisco, CA
If you’re in San Francisco looking for a cold, delicious treat this summer, this place is my #1 recommendation. The pie-infused milkshake was nothing short of a mouthgasm. Choose your milkshake flavor, then pick a slice of pie - watch them blend it together - and enjoy!
We were just recently asked for some Berlin tips so I figured I would post them on the page as well ! Berlin is an amazing place. It’s a totally modern city even with so much history behind it. I spent 5 days in Berlin, so the tips I’ll provide should give you a fun few days there!
1. Holocaust Memorial - This memorial is free to walk around and explore. It is right near the famous Brandenburg Gate and offers a unique experience because of it’s large different sized blocks that get taller and taller as you walk through. I wouldn’t suggest sitting/standing on the blocks - our tour guide said they will tell you to leave! There is also a museum underneath the memorial which is amazing and very touching and I would definitely recommend going! I believe there is an admission fee for the museum.
2. Brandenburg Gate - A gate used to formally separate east and west Berlin which now symbolizes the unity of the city. It is one of Berlin’s most iconic symbols. It is located in a nice square called Pariser Platz with shops, cafes, a Starbucks and more! The architecture is beautiful and it is really nice to see lit up at night, too! This is free to see.
3. Berlin Wall - Go to the East Side Gallery located along the Spree River. Obviously a must see! Set aside a few hours to walk along the wall and see all of the amazing artwork that has been painted in this outdoor gallery. So much of it has meaning to the history of the city so it is really an important place to check out while in Berlin. Once again, it’s free!
4. Sandeman’s Free Tours - These tours are perfect and located in many different cities! They are free but you must tip your tour guide at the end! I think Berlin is a really important city to do at least one tour and hear a little bit about the history of specific locations. On this tour we went to Hitler’s death place, the Holocaust memorial, Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, and so much more. Click on the website and you can see the itinerary. If you do this tour, you may see places around the city that really interest you and you can make a point to go back and explore more!
5. Berlin Zoo - Zoological Garden. The oldest and most well-known zoo in Germany! We had so much fun here and it was a nice break from the history and bustle of the city. The place is huge so make sure you have a decent amount of time to check it out.
Here are some other things you should do:
- Fernsehturm (TV Tower) which has an observation deck.
- Museum Island near the Spree River, or any museum in general around Berlin … there are over 200 from art museums to Jewish museums to a Currywurst Museum!
- Eat currywurst - a hot sausage with ketchup and curry powder.
- Parliament Building - provides an amazing view of Berlin.
- Kurfürstendamm - one of the most famous shopping avenues in Berlin!
And some tips…
- The subway/metro is called the U-Bahn and you don’t have to swipe your ticket to get into it. Buy a ticket though because you can get checked at any time and it is a huge fine if you don’t have one! The tickets can be used for buses and trams as well. During the week it runs from 4 AM to 1 AM and the weekends are 24 hours. Buses run 24 hours.
- Don’t walk in the bike lane - you will get yelled at. :)
- You do not really have to tip in Germany, some people round up (like giving 45 for a 42 euro bill) but it is not necessary!
Photos by myself and Brittany.