9 hours in amsterdam

On my way back to Singapore from NY, I had a 9 hour layover in Amsterdam, which I decided to use to explore the city. Since I visited Amsterdam about a year and half ago, I didn’t really do much research or planning before. I was ready to wing it. Taking the train into Amsterdam Central station was quick and easy. The train station is right below the Schiphol Airport.  After buying my roundtrip ticket, I managed to find the right platform. Thankful for wifi, a window seat, and scenic views, I arrived in Central station about15 minutes later.

I walked towards the center of town being careful of not getting run over by trams, cyclists, and cars. I decided to do what I do best. Go shopping. No matter how tired and hungry I am, I always manage to find enough energy to shop! So despite feeling extremely exhausted from lack of sleep during my red eye flight from NY, I knew shopping would perk me up. I did some window shopping inside the department store, de Bijenkorf.

Here are a few things you can do in Amsterdam:

  1. Window shopping at de Bijenkorf! Then, eat at the food court on the top floor. Not only is there free wifi, but an amazing selection of food, including steak, sandwiches, fries, salad bar, soups, frozen yogurt bar, fresh juices and smoothies, and more.
  2. Buy souvenirs like tulip flower pens and postcards in the many stores lining the streets so that you have proof that you visited.
  3. Go on an hour canal tour and see the beautiful sites of the city. Try not to fall asleep, like I did.
  4. Visit albert heijn supermarket and buy stroop wafels and chocolate! There is an albert heijn also in the airport!
  5. Take photos of the beautiful historic buildings and canals.
  6. Take the #2 or #5 tram from Central station to the Rijks museum and take a photo by the I Amsterdam sign. I would have totally done this if I wasn’t feeling so exhausted.
  7. Eat freshly made poffertjes.

I ended up coming back to the airport early because I just was too tired to keep exploring! In the end, 9 hours ended up being more than enough time to explore Amsterdam. Here are some photos from my iphone 5s.

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first stop: the hague

slice of life 2014

After a trip, I love being able to go through my photos. The great thing about photos are how they can capture different scenes, emotions, and memories that can easily get forgotten.  As I went through my photos in the Hague and Amsterdam, I felt like they came out better then my photos from Paris. Maybe it was being there for the first time or the fascination of their unique culture and foods.

I really did enjoy exploring the Hague and the neighboring town of Leiden with Carolyn! She was a great host and it’s always exciting seeing a peek of the lives of your friends in different countries. Not only did she teach me all about the Dutch culture of using bikes, but she introduced me to mint tea, stroop wafels, croquettes, windmills, and of course we did some shopping along the way.  I will let the photos from my first two days in the Hague do most of the talking for this post. Stay tuned for more photos from Amsterdam next… 🙂