Making my (Den)mark: Amsterdam

My first travel weekend: complete. Last weekend, I took an excursion to Amsterdam with two of my DIS friends. First of all, I’d just like to say that European airports are way more efficient than those back home. I’m not even kidding; it took 15 minutes total to get through security and all the way to our gate. Amazing.

I have several recommendations for all you readers out there who are thinking of going to Amsterdam in the future.

First: See the Anne Frank House. For this museum, it’s important to look into tickets far in advance, otherwise they’ll be sold out. This was by far the most incredible part of the weekend. After years of learning about Anne Frank and the Holocaust in high school and Hebrew school, I never thought I’d actually get to visit the house I’d heard so much about. Going in, I had expected to venture into just one small, closet-sized room, so I was surprised to end up in the entire annex in which the Frank family hid. The museum and house were curated and laid out very thoughtfully and respectfully. It was less of an exhibit and more of a way to experience of Anne Frank’s story and the history behind the Holocaust in a new way. It was so different from simply reading about them. To be honest, I could’ve left Amsterdam after just seeing the Anne Frank House, and I would’ve been satisfied.

Second: Visit the art museums. I think it would take me several months to get to them all. The three of us visited the Van Gogh Museum and the Moco Museum. The Van Gogh Museum was underwhelming and overwhelming at the same time. There wasn’t really anything special or unique about the layout or curation of the museum, but there were so many people that it was hard to enjoy what I was seeing. The Moco was not overwhelming at all. It had a really efficient, quick-paced layout so it took about 45 minutes to see all of the artwork. The Banksy exhibit was the highlight and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed such modern art. Plus, the Banksy Garden featured an interactive horse statue that I managed to climb onto without falling off and breaking my nose. Oh, and a life-size gummy bear. Loved that.

Lastly: Eat stroopwafels. If you aren’t familiar with the name, stroopwafels are delicious Dutch pastries made of a very thin waffle, sliced and sandwiched together with caramel. You can even get them dipped in chocolate and covered in various toppings, if you’re feeling ambitious (or just extra hungry). I recommend stopping by van Wonderen and trying a stroopwafel dipped in chocolate with crushed Oreos. I could not stop talking about this sweet treat for the rest of the day. Literally.

This was a great first weekend trip after a month of exploring Copenhagen, and I’m thankful I had great friends to keep me from getting totally lost — and who didn’t hate me too much for making so many Amsterdam puns.


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