Here we are, back at Centraal. Where all begins and all ends. This place will always bring me back the feeling I had when I saw Amsterdam for the first time, that rainy, dark evening with my bag on my back and an irrepressible smile on my face 😄
On the north side of the station, we head towards the other side of the IJ river (pronounce “Eye”) using one of the free boats, they run quite often in the daytime, and then one every hour at night. Our first stop is the Eye film museum, which offers a nice cafe in its main hall, with a great view on the river. Even the building itself is worth the trip.
After enjoying our morning break at the Eye, we agree to go to my favorite area in Amsterdam, aka NDSM. I discovered this neighborhood during my first trip in Amsterdam, and since back then it has had a special place in my heart. No I’m back, I just can’t roam the area without thinking about Berlin or Christiania (in Copenhagen), those three places remind me of each others.
The district is full of artists installations and workshops, and has a few open air bars here and there. For instance the Noorderlicht (Northern lights) has an outdoor stage, benches and a bonfire. October is a bit cold to spend the night out there but I feel like it must be an awesome place in the summer.
As we walk around we come across a big flea and second hand clothes market, which is held every month in the IJ-Hallen, the former ship Warehouses where a lot of artists’ workshops and startup companies are settled. A lot of people seem to have crossed the IJ just for this event. There aren’t a whole lot of foreigners here, I think tourists don’t really know about this place.
I’m glad we came here because I got to see more of NDSM, and I feet it is even more lively now. The northern part of Amsterdam (Noord) is developing, partly due to lower rent prices, and I think it’s well worth giving it a try.
Back to the Westerdok we now want to join the south of the city, following Prinsengracht canal and crossing the Jordan district. I realize I still remember a lot from my first time in Amsterdam 1y ago. It’s actually quite easy to find your way here, as the city isn’t that big, I’d say it definitely has a “human size”.
We pass by the great Rijkmuseum on our way to the flower market (Bloemenmarkt), but this time we won’t pay the gallery of honor a visit (which you definitely should if you have a few hours before you).
At this point we’ve already walked a lot and just want a great place at which we could unwind for a while. Fortunately the city has a lot of
coffee-shops cafes where you can settle for a while and chill by the canals. Our place of choice at this moment is the Susie’s Saloon, in the lively De Wallen district. The night’s slowly starting to fall as the city gets illuminated by hundreds of lights reflecting on the water.
Trying to find a good place to eat without breaking the bank is sometimes difficult, so here is my advice of the day : Café Kobalt, very near from the center, but just enough to be out of the hustle. This tapas cafe is quite cheap and serves good food in a friendly environment, which is about everything you need to enjoy a meal 😉
On our way back to Tamar’s place we cross the Jordaan district once more, which is now quieter than ever. We feel like being in a small Dutch village here, and people seem to be very trustful. Some of them live on street level don’t even need to have curtains, you can leave bikes, benches outside without them being stolen nor demeaned.
It has been quite a long day, and we’re starting to feel exhausted. You know this satisfying kind of exhaustion which means you have done and seen so much during the day, that you now have to rest to assimilate it all. Amsterdam’s nightlife will wait next time 😅
Our plane leaves rather early but Eyh! Who am I to complain? It has been an awesome week-end and there’s nothing to regret about it!
It sure was a short trip, but in the end it was a well needed bowl of fresh air ! Amsterdam will definitely stay one of my favorite places to unwind 🙂
Tamar if you read this, thank you very much for hosting Angelina and I. It was awesome meeting you here after our Cambodian adventures, see you soon in Brussels !