Our fourth and final day here in the beautiful city of Amsterdam. Sigh.
We had high hopes for getting out and doing a countryside bike tour today with Mike’s Bike Tours and hoped to visit the Van Gogh museum afterwards to round out our tourist activities for the trip. When we woke up we decided that we were in the mood for a more laid-back kind of day so we threw those plans aside and came up with new ones. Obviously I had been hoping to visit both of those places but sometimes you just have to call an audible and change things up a bit!
We started our day with another fantastic breakfast, this morning at Singel 404, a small little café just down the block from our flat. After yesterday’s super-size breakfast we decided to share a plate so we would have room to try a few more treats throughout the day. We had the 3 fried eggs breakfast served with 3 slices of bread, ham, cheese, and chives and it was delicious! All the other plates coming out of the kitchen were mouthwatering as well; if we had visited this café sooner in our trip I’m sure we would’ve stopped in for one of their tasty looking melts for lunch! (Although I can’t say we were really ever hungry for lunch during this trip!)
After breakfast we headed over to our first stop of the day, De Negen Straatjes or The Nine Little Streets. This is a small neighborhood in Amsterdam that is made up of nine little streets (surprise, surprise) and has an abundance of cute little shops filled with unique items, perfect for an afternoon of shopping. We stopped at Chocolaterie Pompadour for chocolates and macaroons, De Kaaskamer for a lovely block of Gouda cheese with truffles, and DR Wonen and de Weldaad for a few unique decorative gifts before continuing on our way.
From De Negen Straatjes we headed for the adjacent Jordaan neighborhood, which has been likened to Greenwich Village in New York City-more cute shops, small streets, and old homes. We (I) did a little more shopping, stopping off at a cute little shop called Juffrouw Splinter and the Tulip Museum for a few not-too-touristy souvenirs to bring home. We stopped for a quick drink at Wester Café and sat along the canal, enjoying the views of the Westerkerk (West Church) just across the way. This is also where you can find the Anne Frank House, which we visited later in the day.
On the north end of Jordaan we stopped for a slice of some very popular apple pie at Winkel 43. You’ll see this kind of apple pie all over the city, but no place that I saw had a whipped cream maker right on their counter! They pile a healthy dollop of this fresh whipped cream on top of your pie, a treat worth stopping in for!
We returned to our apartment to relax a bit after our long afternoon of shopping, walking, and eating…tough life, I know. About a week prior to our trip I purchased tickets online for the Anne Frank House. As we witnessed earlier in the day while walking around Jordaan, the line for tickets is extremely long every day of the week and when you buy your tickets in advance you are able to bypass the line and go right in. When I booked, the only option available during our stay was 7pm on Tuesday evening. I’m not sure if they make more tickets available closer to the actual day or if that was really all that was available for pre-sales for those days, but if this is something you want to do (which I highly suggest that it should be!) you’ll want to purchase your tickets ahead of time.
I’m not a history buff by any means, but for some reason I have a very strong interest in World War II history-from internment camps in the US, to POWs in Japan, to the Holocaust, and everything in between. Fiction or non-fiction, museums, exhibits, etc-I can’t read and learn enough about it. That being said, you don’t have to have a special interest in WWII to enjoy the Anne Frank House, and I would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone visiting Amsterdam.
The tour is self-guided and when you walk through the house there really isn’t much to actually see, but there is an endless amount to think about, knowing about the things that took place so many years ago, right where you’re standing. There are photos to look at and videos to watch throughout the house and at the end they have actual pages of Anne’s diary on display. Overall Anne Frank House was a very interesting place that Mike and I are both happy to have had the opportunity to visit.
After that sobering 45min-1 hour experience we headed over to Beer Temple-the only craft beer bar in Amsterdam specializing in American beers. They are the sister bar to Arendsnest that we visited on Sunday.
We weren’t incredibly hungry for dinner so beer, sausage, and more cheese at Beer Temple fit the bill. We saw a lot of familiar beer brands and were very excited to try 2 Three Floyds beers that aren’t even available in the US: Bitch Please, a collaboration with Brew Dog brewery in Scotland that is aged in Islay single malt whisky barrels for 18 months and Hvedegoop, a wheat wine (barley wine) that is a collaboration with Mikkeller. We enjoyed our beers and snacks and just reflected on our last few days; it was the perfect laid-back way to end our last night in Amsterdam.