Ray and I were both 30 this week, so we spent a long weekend in Amsterdam with to celebrate our birthdays.
Amsterdam doesn’t deserve its seedy reputation. It’s a bit of a cliche to talk about going to Amsterdam for the museums and culture, but no more of a cliche than the assumption that the whole city is full of drugs and prostitution. In truth, the red light district is confined to a fairly small and densely packed area, which has the side effect of making the rest of the city feel even more clean and family-friendly than I would have guessed.
- Anne Frank’s house (harrowing)
- Rembrandt’s house (interesting)
- Van Gogh Museum (disappointing)
- Hermitage Museum (brilliant)
and much more.
In stark contrast to LA (which you’ll remember I didn’t like very much) Amsterdam is a cultured and relaxing place to stay; no extravagant displays of opulence or vast downtrodden underclass. Houses may be expensive, but people get around on tatty old bicycles and drink beer and read books in cafes. It feels comfortable and friendly.
We really enjoyed our four days there, and I would definitely go back again.