When I was about three or four months pregnant and we were living in Italy, I took a couple of quick three to four day trips. I wanted to get a few trips in before I was too pregnant to travel and because I knew I would not be traveling immediately after having Sam.
One of the places I went to was Amsterdam. I was only there for a few days so I really prioritized what I wanted to see in that short amount of time.
Here are my top picks if you only have a few days in Amsterdam:
- Visit at least one art museum. Amsterdam has a great museum quarter. I went to the Van Gogh Museum. They just happened to be having a visiting Toulouse Lautrec exhibition while I was there and it was incredible.
- Anne Frank Museum, you are not permitted to take photos in the museum. My first impression was how small it was, much smaller than I imagined. I was expecting a large open loft area, but it was small, little rooms, making you think about the lack of privacy and the already horrible circumstances under which people were living there.
- Eat a Dutch pancake, really, you must have one.
- Go to the floating flower market.
- Red Light District
- Walk around and look for what is “so Amsterdam”. For me that was bikes, cheese (I have never seen so many wheels of gouda!), Febo food vending machines and a quirky style to everyday utilitarian items like mopeds and bikes.
Dutch pancakes are the size of a dinner plate and you can get different things on them, fruit, bacon, chocolate, cottage cheese, to name just a few. I got an apple and cheese one. It was just what this four months pregnant woman needed. I had mine at the Pancake Bakery near the Anne Frank Museum.
The floating flower market was started in 1862 when flowers were brought in by barges. The market is still on barges even though things are now transported by roads. If you want to bring flower bulbs back to the US, please look for specific labeling saying they allowed into the US and/or tell the vendor you want to take them back and they can guide you to ones you can purchase and bring back legally. Don’t forget to explore the area around the market as well.
If you don’t have kids with you and are curious about Amsterdam’s Red Light District, have a walk around. It is an area of very narrow alleyways in one of the oldest parts of the city. Some alleys have windows in which prostitutes sit. The area actually does not feel seedy and you see people from all walks of life walking around, even families. Prostitution is legal in the Netherlands and it is regulated. The area also is home to the famous Condomerie, the world’s first specialty condom shop, and various cannabis cafes and related businesses. TIP: do not film or photograph the prostitutes in the windows, enforces may take your camera and well, just because you shouldn’t. I sort of snuck a photo, only because it was from a distance, most of the windows were empty and you cannot identify anyone.
“So Amsterdam”……..bikes, cheese, food vending machines and quirky style.