Battle Scars: 7 Signs You’ve Survived Amsterdam

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I know what you’re thinking: “Chris, you’ve never been to Amsterdam! You’ve probably never even bedded a Dutch lass!”

You’d be right on both counts.

Today, I thought I’d share this post from Claire at Traveltio. It’s definitely added more fuel to an already raging desire to visit Amsterdam, especially if I can time it so I’m there to take part in the insane party that is King’s Day.

7 Signs You’ve Survived Amsterdam

There are some people that walk around with their travel stories tattooed on their bodies like maps of their lives—no seriously, one of my best friends is the kind that tattoos coordinates or constellations or phrases every time she falls in love with a new place she’s been.

But for the rest of us who aren’t so keen on the ink (I like it really, but doesn’t it hurt?), the kind of deep marks our favorite haunts leave are more noticeable in the way we talk about the sidewalks we’ve met strangers on, the markets we’ve picked up one of a kind trinkets in, and the comfy armchairs we’ve sipped our cappuccinos from.

And like any of the other great cities I’ve visited, Amsterdam has marked me up in more ways than one. So if we’re of the same mind and ravenous wanderlust, you may have experienced these Amsterdam aftershocks once leaving the intricate canals, and one mention of any of these things throws you right back under those tree-lined streets.

In our very best dreams, at least.

1. You don’t know where to get your tea fix anymore.

High tea is for the British. Right? Think again.

For the Dutch, high tea is a matter of national pride because it’s not just about the beer. Here, the spreads get decadent and delicious fast because they’ve got a sweet spot for the clotted cream and buttered scones. You’re not Dutch but you couldn’t resist the call of a fragrant jasmine brew and a blueberry pastry either—and who in their right mind would?

Now that you’ve moved on and are taking in different sights, you still feel parched at that certain time of the day (actually, all the time) and you just want to sit down with a nice cup. Can someone get a kettle quick? That would be just divine.

2. You’ve seen renovation at it’s finest.

The Dutch are notoriously business and ecologically savvy, which has had a major affect on how they’ve been dealing with the growing demand for space.

From old tram depots turning into cinemas and ultramodern hang-out spots to an old office tower that’s making it’s own transformation into a hotel/recording studio, the innovation in the Venice of the North is getting more impressive by the minute, and you wonder why everyone doesn’t learn how to recycle with such style.

3. You’ve been charmed by the cafes of Jordaan.

Just off the path from the city center, Jordaan is the charming neighborhood that was once home to Rembrandt and it’s no mystery as to why. With it’s tree-lined canals and one of kind boutiques, this up and coming borough has just enough remoteness from the hustle and bustle of the Dam to make it perfection—and the coffeeshops are nothing short of enchanting.

Though the Dutch have adopted the fancy titles and stirrings of the Italian espresso and cappuccino traditions, getting a dark brew with coffee cream on the side is authentic and delicious. So sit back, relax and enjoy the view from the window.

4. Your new favorite snack is bitterballen and beer.

You’ve tried to quit the habit–you really have. But when the stomach starts to grumble, you’re still automatically hitting the pavement looking for some of those crispy meatballs (with a side of spicy mustard and a pint) and you just can’t stop.

The habit started slow; it was just one night when you went out for a few drinks before dinner that your friend ordered something to nosh on. You didn’t know then that the way you think about appetizers would change forever, but change it did. And now you wander around wondering why you ever left the city of endless bitterballen.

Editor’s Note: I’m still waiting for my friend Jetske to send me more amazing stroopwaffels!

5. You’ve marked out your calendar for their amazing festivals.

Fantasy Film Festival, Queen’s Day, Gratchenfestival, and Sinterklaas are all inked into your calendar and even though all of these happen at very different times of the year, you’re totally committed to being back in Amsterdam to party.

After taking in New Year’s from one of the amazing street parties, you know the trip back is worth it—there’s always more of Amsterdam to see.

6. You’re totally “museumed” out.

Amsterdam has so many museums to offer, and you’ve been through them all. There’s the obvious picks: The Rijksmuseum, The Anne Frank House, The Van Gogh Museum, and the Stedelijk museum, just to name the most popular. And even though you liked those first 4 immensely, you’re an adventurous spirit so you’ve also checked out the Heineken, Houseboat, and Amsterdam History Museums, and so many more.

The Tulip History Museum? Check. FOAM photography museum? Check, check. The Katten Kabinet cat museum? Check, check, check. Sure it seems like a bit of a culture shock, taking in all this new info in just a few days, but then again, you’re about to be the King of Trivia Crack.

7. You’re tired of hearing that Amsterdam is nothing but red lights and Mary Jane.

Sure, you know that there are a few certain reasons that some people come to Amsterdam, and those reasons are sometimes for the flexible drug laws and after hours festivities–but you hate when people think those are the only reasons to go to Amsterdam.

What about the museums! And the canals! And the cafes! There is so much more to the town than all of that other stuff, and even though they have their merits (I won’t deny it) don’t be one of those tourists that never make it past the center and into the real Amsterdam.

About Claire

I’m Claire – a self-confessed travel nut. I’ve been travelling around the world since my mum farewelled me in a teary goodbye and I haven’t looked back since. You can read all about my adventures through 3 continents, 16 countries, and 38 cities on my blog

Your Say

So you think you’ve got a scar from The Venice of the North that I haven’t discovered here? Leave a comment telling me exactly the fun I’ve been missing out on and maybe we can meet on the Magere Brug for another round with Amsterdam—I’ve definitely up for the challenge!

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