Bye LA, Hello Amsterdam!

 

There is a word in Dutch called gezellig, and it's kind of a big deal here. It translates roughly to "cozy," but it really describes everything that makes a space warm and charming— good company, pleasant ambiance, an upbeat atmosphere. I'm not sure exactly what they're doing to create it, but the feeling was almost palpable everywhere we went. In the brickwork on the buildings, charming little storefronts with red doors and flowerpots on the windowsills, and lots of dark wood interiors— they have gezellig down to a science.

It's this aesthetic value that makes Amsterdam so damn charming. Even though it was SO cold (at least for us Angelenos) when we got there, I was absolutely in love— the narrow brick buildings, bright red doors and shutters, the canals dotted with adorable houseboats along the side— I could not get enough. I think I may have more than 100 canal pictures from our five days there. Ha! 

I realize it's weird to photograph someone's doorstep, but they just make them so precious here! I tried to be subtle, but to whoever's doorstep this is: thank you and keep being fabulous. 

Fondel Park is one of Amersterdam's most beloved parks. It's in the city center and surrounded by tall brick buildings, but still very lush— and all these little blue-green bridges are straight out of a fairy tale. 

Cobble stone: difficult to walk on, always picturesque. Same thing with brick. Both Paris and Amsterdam have this figured out.

There is a little museum in the Jordaan neighborhood dedicated exclusively to cheese. Then, of course, you must purchase cheese on your way out. I mean, it's not a requirement… but let's be real, cheese was purchased. 

There is another little museum located near the cheese museum that is dedicated entirely to tulips and their place in Dutch history. 

People really put effort into their front steps here. I couldn't get enough of these pretty railings and doors, painted different shades of red and blue. And bikes are basically locked to everything. Somehow they make that look nice too.

We were in awe of the Rijks Museum and all the masterpieces it  holds.  Through colonization and cultural exchange during the Dutch Golden Age— they have a lot of good stuff. Exploring this museum was such an adventure— it could take up to a full day or several to fully explore it, but it's definitely worthwhile.  

Guys, Indonesian Food… what?! Apparently it is all the rage in Amsterdam, so we had to go. How have I NEVER tried this in my life before? Adam and I ordered this inspired thing called a "rice table" that comes with about 15 little dishes, both meat and veg, and rice. They had some items I recognized from Thai cuisine, like satay, and others for which I had absolutely no reference point. Everything was amazing. We ate way too much. No regrets here. 

Canal tours: cheesy but worth it for the intimate view of the city and just to be on these beautiful canals. 

Oh man, Amsterdam is so picturesque at night, especially with all their holiday lights still up. My photos are not even doing it justice. 

More tulips… because they love their tulips here. 

Dutch markets are incredible.  We went to several, including their biggest: Albert Cuypt Market. They have incredible produce, cheese (that's a given), stroop waffles (also a given), and lots of interesting housewares— some vintage, like the above. It's one of many moments you realize Amsterdam is the design capital of the world: good design is very accessible here. 

Have you been to amsterdam? what did you love/what should we check out next time we visit?