As an Indonesian, we probably have a love-hate relationship with The Netherlands as they colonised our country for 3,5 century! But that’s a long time ago. And if somebody ask me why I visit Amsterdam then my answer would be “Why not?” There are too much reasons to visit Amsterdam, and I’m gonna give you five! Here you go…
1. Because it’s so freaking BEAUTIFUL! That’s why!
Yes I love London. Yes I love Paris. But I must admit that Amsterdam is the prettiest of them all! That city is beautiful even just in the form of its map. It’s so neat and well structured. I instantly fell in love with this city since the first time I step out Amsterdam Central Station and took a tram to my hostel. The sights from the tram made me want to jump out of it and explore Amsterdam immediately. This city is busy yet still felt relaxing at the same time. There are people chilling and drinking beers everywhere in the evening.
Here’s my footage from Amsterdam which I took mostly from trams (btw it’s a trick to make you look like a professional cameraman!), from a boat when I was canal cruising, and when I was biking or strolling round the city.
2. Because of the TULIPS!
I met a friend from USA (shout out to Chill!) who traveled all the way to Europe just to visit Amsterdam. I asked her why just Amsterdam, and her answer was really simple, because she wanted to see some tulips! The next day we went to Keukenhof together. And I can see why this particular flower can attract more than one million people from around the world (in 2015) to visit Keukenhof which is called the most beautiful spring garden in the world. They are so pretty and colorful with hundreds of variety and arranged beautifully.
Keukenhof is not exactly in Amsterdam, but it can easily reached from Amsterdam. And by the way, if you are flying over The Netherlands in spring time, don’t forget to look out of the window! I saw a lot of colorful patches from the sky when I was flying over, and I’m pretty sure they are tulip fields. They are still beautiful even from the sky!
3. Because of the BICYCLES!
If you love riding bike, you MUST visit Amsterdam. I’d never seen that much bicycles in my life! Possibly thousands of bicycles running round this city everyday, it’s ridiculous! Most of the streets in Amsterdam have the bike lanes/paths, which makes Amsterdam the most bicycle-friendly capital in the world. Of course I was eager to ride one as well, to feel like a local. So I thought I’m gonna challenge myself and hired a bike with no hand brake and just the foot brake (which I hadn’t tried before and didn’t know how to use) for 3 hours. Less than 5 minutes, at the first intersection, I crashed in to an old woman and her bike because I couldn’t stop. LOL! She’s a bit angry and told me that I’ll have a serious problem if I don’t know how to use the brake, because the streets in Amsterdam are so busy. Thankfully, (after almost hit by a tram) I survived! It was super fun though!
4. Because it’s a CANALS heaven!
Originally built on water, Amsterdam has a lot of canals flow inside the city. With more than one hundred kilometers of canal and more than a thousand bridges, pretty much everywhere in Amsterdam looks similar (in a beautiful way). This is the first city that made me lost completely when I was wandering its beauty. The canals give a strong identity to Amsterdam and offer a distinctive beauty compare to other pretty cities in the world. They are the main part of the city that made it like it is today. Pretty sure that city wouldn’t be called AmsterDAM without those canals. The three main canals in Amsterdam are Herengracht, Prinsengracht, and Keizersgracht, which were built in 17th century. Be sure to take a canal cruise when you visit Amsterdam!
5. Because DRUGS and PROSTITUTION are legal!
I’m not trying to persuade anyone to do anything. But these two are the common reasons why somebody is visiting Amsterdam. Where else you can walk casually with your mates into a coffee shop (or weed shop?), order a weed brownie, smoke weed and get high all the way back home? I am grateful everyday for Nick and Elliot who brought me to a coffee shop (I can’t remember the name, but I’m pretty sure it’s in Red Light District Area) even though I didn’t try it but still, it was a new and rare experience for me, and I would never ever go there alone without them.
If you are coming to Amsterdam and visit this area, please prepare yourself before, browse for some informations because apparently this is a quite dangerous place so there are some rules to be followed. For examples, taking picture or video of prostitutes is forbidden and maximal amount of ‘soft’ drugs (marijuana, hashish, space cakes, and truffles) possession and purchase is 5 grams, more than that is illegal! It is an interesting area to be explored though! Red Light District is so different in day and night. In daylight, it seems pretty normal to me, just like everywhere else in Amsterdam. Once the sun is down, that place’s turning red and wild, half-naked girls are displayed in the windows. HA! Don’t go there by yourself, girls!
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