Photos of Beautiful Amsterdam

Escalators to the Train Platform from the Airport in Amsterdam

Escalators to the Train Platform from the Airport

Amsterdam Schipol Airport

Inside Amsterdam Schipol Airport


Rooftop Terrace at the Airport

Rooftop Terrace at the Airport

Walking in Amsterdam

Walking in Amsterdam

Crowds at an Amsterdam Market

Crowds at an Amsterdam Market

Cheese in the Amsterdam Market

Cheese at the Market

Fruit at the Market

Fruit at the Market

Special Chocolate at the Market

Special Chocolate at the Market

Famous Amsterdam Dessert

Famous Amsterdam Dessert

Amsterdam Cafes

Amsterdam Cafes

Outdoor Cafes Everywhere

Outdoor Cafes Everywhere

More Amsterdam's Cafes

More Amsterdam's Cafes

The Cycling Culture of Amsterdam

The Cycling Culture of Amsterdam

Amsterdam - The Canal City

Amsterdam - The Canal City

Getting off the Ferry

Getting off the Ferry

Permanent House Boats

Permanent House Boats

Student Housing in Amsterdam

Student Housing at Nooderlicht

Noorderlicht Cafe

Noorderlicht Cafe

Abandoned Submarine

Abandoned Submarine at Nooderlicht

Fast Food Vending Machine in the Train Station

Fast Food Vending Machine in the Train Station

Inside the Tram

Inside the Tram

Downtown Amsterdam

Downtown Amsterdam

Bicycles on a Ferry

Bicycles on a Ferry

Boating the Canals

Boating the Canals

Private Cafe

Private Cafe

Cruising the Canals

Cruising the Canals

Amsterdam Shopping Mall

Amsterdam Shopping Mall

Papa Roach Concert in Amsterdam

Papa Roach Concert in Amsterdam

Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach

Jacoby Shaddix of Papa Roach

Bicycles in front of the Train Station

Bicycles in front of the Train Station

More Cafes

More Cafes

Canal Cruise Boat

Canal Cruise Boat

Horse Tours of Amsterdam

Horse Tours of Amsterdam

Amsterdam Tram

Amsterdam Tram

A Train Crossing the Canal

A Train Crossing the Canal

Cafe and Cycling Culture – What is Not to Love?

Amsterdam is one of my favorite cities in the world. There is an energy, openness and culture that is very different than any other city I have been to.

For starters the canals everywhere are beautiful but they also minimize the number of cars and force people to ride bicycles. The narrow roads keep pedestrians and cafes very close, creating a coziness not found in most of the more car centric cities of the world.

Click on the Google Map of Amsterdam below to get a feel for the layout of the center of the city. (The main train station is in the top right hand corner.)

View Map

Cafe Culture

My wife and I are big cafe people. Most of our time is spent relaxing in cafes and people watching. There is no better city in the world for its cafe culture. Every street you go there are multiple cafes with outdoor tables. In some of the more popular areas, the cafes butt up against each other so hundreds of people can gather in close proximity.

Of course, there are the drug coffee shops as well that are as equally prolific as the cafes. I love the fact that the Dutch are open enough to permit soft drug use, but at the same time having thousands of young, stoned travellers probably doesn’t create the greatest atmosphere for a city.

What really amazed us was the English skills of everyone we met. Since US television and movies are all kept in English with subtitles, it seems Dutch get huge amounts of English exposure from childhood. Everyone we talked to said they learned English from television.

Amsterdam Travel Tips

This is definitely a cash country. Traveller’s checks are not widely accepted. The front desk staff at a major hotel didn’t even know what they were. I did manage to cash a couple at the airport but it cost 5 euro per cheque plus a percentage fee. Even credit cards were very difficult to use in many restaurants and shops.

The trains from the airport were a little difficult to use. All trains stop at the same platform and they are not clearly labeled. Look around on the large yellow timetables on the platform to see which train to take. Only the final destination is listed on the trains so you will have to look at all the stops on the timetables to find your correct train. Several passengers including ourselves took the wrong train on our first attempt.

Daily train passes are only a little more than one return trip so buy the daily pass and use the transit system to get around the city.

The ferries behind the main downtown train station are free and are a beautiful ride. We took the Nooderlicht ferry across the canal to a great artist and student area.

Go up to the top floor of the airport for a great roof top terrace and some more restaurants.

The free tourist maps of downtown Amsterdam were terrible. If you can find a good map online, print it off and bring it with you.

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My name is John Bardos. My wife and I gave up our business, house and possessions in Japan to search for more meaning and fulfillment in our lives. We've discovered that a satisfying life is about rich experiences, quality relationships and meaningful contribution, NOT consumption.

10 Responses to Photos of Beautiful Amsterdam

  1. Wietske says:

    Nice to see Amsterdam through your eye’s! I remember the picture made with those guys sitting in the window.. 😉

    • John says:

      Hey Wietske,

      Those are all Motoko’s eyes. I don’t think I have the patience to be a photographer. 🙂 We sent you a postcard, did you get it?

      • Wietske says:

        Haha.. I love taking pictures, just got myself a fancy camera. Now all I need is a travelplan for NYE. Then I got some days off.
        Thats so cool!! I love mail! But no.. didn’t get it (yet?)

  2. Way cool!

    You just helped me decide to put Amsterdam toward the top of my bucket list.

    Thanks!

    Mr Twenty Twenty

    • John says:

      Thanks for the comment!

      Amsterdam is definitely a must see city. There are many beautiful cities in Europe, but I would say that Amsterdam is definitely in the top 3 for the culture and atmosphere of the downtown core.

      • wietske says:

        John just got your postcard today! What a coincedence.. Thanks for that!! I love it.
        Do you know where you guys are gonna be for NYE? Still looking for a nice place to visit since I got myself a week off 😉

  3. I spent a really nice Easter in Amsterdam, and loved looking at these shots. The canals made it for me, loved all the little bridges. Grant

  4. JONSIE says:

    I loved your shots! Really great, i must agree with Mr Twenty Twenty that Amsterdam just made top 3 places I want to visit in 2011! Where did you stay whilest you were there? I was thinking of getting my own place and renting something. Do you know anybody who did that? What do you think of these studios in the dam? Any good? Know it?

    • John says:

      Thanks for the comment. We couchsurfed in Amsterdam so I can’t give any accommodation recommendations, but the center is definitely the place to be.

  5. […] are some more photos of Amsterdam, definitely one of my favourite cities in the […]

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