Museumplein (EuroTrip Day 2 & 3)

I’m going to do something I don’t typically do and that’s combine two different mornings and 1 afternoon into one post on the Museumplein area within Amsterdam. The main reason I’m doing this is because we made three separate trips to Museumplein but I don’t have a lot of pictures (or any really) within the museums themselves so it seemed better to just do one combined post on the area combining all the information. We visited the Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk in the morning on Day 2 in Amsterdam and we went back later that afternoon to visit the House of Bols. We went back the following morning to visit the Van Gogh Museum. While you could conceivably visit all three major museums in one day, I am so glad that we broke it up into two different mornings. We didn’t get museum fatigue this way and were able to better appreciate the art in all the museums.

Museumplein is on the southern side of the city and is lined with different museums. In addition to the museums we visited, you can also find the Concertgebouw (concert hall), the Diamond Museum, Coster Diamond’s (a diamond polisher), and the Moco Museum (recently opened in March 2016 and I hadn’t read anything about until researching this post).

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Jordaan District (EuroTrip Day 1)

The Jordaan District in Amsterdam is located next to the main central area of the city and is currently one of the most popular districts for tourists to visit. The district is jam packed with galleries, shops, cafes, and other tourist attractions including the Anne Frank Huis. We made our way over to the area after our tour of the Royal Palace in the Central District.

Jordaan District

 

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Central Amsterdam (EuroTrip Day 1)

After checking into our hotel, we made our way back through part of the Southern Canal Belt and headed into the main part of historic Amsterdam, the Central Amsterdam district. Central Amsterdam is the sightseeing heart of the city and stretches from Central Station to the Mint Tower along Damrak. The district is full of shops, attractions, and restaurants. We wandered around aimlessly for a bit with the eventual goal of reaching Begijnhof.

The Begijnhof in Amsterdam dates back to the early 14th century when women formed a religious community. Beguines were simple women who removed themselves from society to dedicate themselves to God. The community is not as strict as say a convent with nuns, as the Beguines were free to leave the community anytime. The houses surround a beautiful garden and even today it retains a secluded feel from the rest of the city. It’s a very charming atmosphere, though single women still reside there today so when visiting you are asked to be respectful to the residents. The courtyard is only open to the public during general working hours, after 5pm it is closed off to non-residents. The oldest surviving house in Amsterdam is located here (dates from 1420).

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Amsterdam Southern Canal Belt (EuroTrip Day 1)

I am finally finished with my China posts and am able to recap our spring trip to Amsterdam, Brussels, Bruges, and Paris! We started in Amsterdam, arriving around lunchtime on a Sunday. We booked a Tinker Taxi from the airport to our hotel and the process was easy and straightforward and we arrived at our boutique hotel, No. 377 House very shortly after arriving. We were staying in the Southern Canal Belt area of Amsterdam, just off of Leidseplein. We arrived before we could check in, but luckily the hotel let us drop off our luggage, change out of our airplane clothes and told us to come back in about an hour and they’d have our room cleaned up for us. So off we went to explore the area near our hotel.

The Southern Canal Belt area is made up of a ring of canals just to the south of the main historic core. Museums, art galleries, and shops are scattered throughout the area. The main square of the area is Leidseplein. We walked through Leidseplein multiple times a day as we had to walk through it to get almost anywhere in the city, but we didn’t spend much time there. Leidseplein is most famous for it’s nightlife, but there are a multitude of restaurants and bars lining the square and surrounding side streets.

Southern Canal (Prinsengracht) + Read More

China: Wrap up

After finally finishing up all my Beijing and Xi’an posts, I am writing my more detailed wrap up post on our trip to provide some more detailed insight into how our trip in regards to planning, and how everything went for us, etc. For a quick post trip summary on our favorites, you can read that here. We decided on Beijing mostly because we made a list of top ten Asian cities we would like to visit and went with whichever plane ticket was cheapest. Beijing won, with Tokyo coming in as second.

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