Europe Travel


My junior year of college I went to Europe for a month.  Three weeks in Paris and one in Amsterdam.  This week’s post is about Amsterdam.  I feel like I need to prove that I do things without Sam.  Like go places.  Amsterdam for example.

I stayed in the Flying Pig hostel.  It is one of the most famous grungy student hostels in Amsterdam.  There was a bar inside the hostel boasting of “the cheapest pints in Amsterdam.”  They were only 1 euro so it was probably a very true claim.  In fact, I know for certain that there were 3 or 4 guys in the hostel that hadn’t actually left the premises in at least 1 week.

(What do you appreciate more: the lamppost in the middle of my picture or my shadow?
So the most terrifying thing about Amsterdam were the bicyclists.  They take no prisoners.  If you are in their way they will hit you.  Which doesn’t sound super terrifying except that there are more bicycles in Amsterdam then people.  And they all seem to be on the road at once.
(I saw a bunch of drunken local boys throw bikes into the canal.  It seemed like it was a super common thing too.  Kids these days.)
The thing that made me double-take every time on evenings out was watching men use the pissoirs.  I guess it eliminates peeing in a back alleyway (if you’re a man) but there can’t be anything less dignified then peeing in this metal cage in the middle of the sidewalk.
(Just imagine a man in there doing his business.)
Amsterdam isn’t all drug dens, Heineken brewery tours, red-light district and sex museums.  In fact, I had a better time in the Van Gogh museum then I have had in other museum in the world.  It’s stunning.  And then there’s the Anne Frank house, which everyone needs to go to.  It’s one of the most moving testaments of human will that I’ve ever seen.
(Anne Frank House)
I made so many random friends from this trip and I am still in touch with a few of them.  I guess that’s what happens when you sleep in one room.  It’s a bit what I imagine living in a frat house would be like…but if all the brothers slept in one room.
(The girl in the hostel bunk above mine.)
(Obviously I need to end this post with the Amsterdam “boob”.
Yep. That’s a boob being groped.)


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  • I really hope to go to the Anne Frank house someday!!

    • Definitely go one day! Besides being ridiculously historical Amsterdam is so beautiful. All the old houses were build to tilt forward so that you can put a rope and pulley on your roof and host your furniture into top floor rooms because hallways and stairs were too narrow to get furniture up to other floors. It’s great! xx

  • I agree with you, the cyclists are scary! when I was biking around I was sure I was going to die! i never saw the groping boob though! can’t beleive you stayed in the Flying Pig! Thats awesome!

    • You were biking? Then you are 100% braver than I am! In retrospect my time in hostels makes me equal parts proud and grossed out. But its the most economical way to travel! The lure of the cheap…. xx

  • Thanks for the tips! I’m going to Amsterdam in two short weeks (ahh!) and so this was great timing to read. I was already planning on going to the Anne Frank house, but with a review like that, I will definitely include the Van Gogh museum. Thanks!

    • Well, I really like VanGogh. So I guess if you don’t dig him then you wouldn’t love it. But it is really lovingly put together and organised. You can also go outside of Amsterdam and tour a windmill and see some tulips! (Which sounds kind of lame but it’s really beautiful) xx

  • I had never heard of a pissoirs before this, but that just sounds gross. The rest of your experience sounds pretty cool though!

    I love the first picture by the way!

    • Thank you! It was a great experience if somewhat surreal at times! xx

  • Okay, what on earth is up with the boob?
    WHO decided it was a good idea?
    WHO funded it?
    AND WHO made it!?

    I am left with so many questions…

    • Ladyfriend, I have NO idea. What I do know is that it is right outside of the oldest church in Amsterdam. And it was left placed there anonymously and the city liked it so they kept it…. The current theory is that it was placed there as part of a “respect sex workers” campaign. But really no one knows. xx

  • I love your blog!! I just found it through the GFC blog hop and I love that you’re in Europe. I studied abroad last summer and I cannot wait to go back. Amsterdam was one of my favorite cities!

    • Thank you Jamie! I’m actually a follower of your blog already! Where did you study abroad at? I love talking to former expats! I have so many questions… xx

  • Love the pics! Amsterdam is definitely a destination I would like to experience. Always heard such great things! Anne Frank house sounds quite intriguing! How many days would you recommend visiting in order to see a good amount of the hot spots?


    • Hmm…. if you’re just staying in the city itself I’d say you could comfortable see most things in 3-4 days. But I’d also recommend staying for a week and make a few day trips by train or bus outside of Amsterdam and go see some of the tulip fields (season dependent), windmills, some small villages, etc.

      Stop back by anytime! xx

  • I have yet to go to Amsterdam and cannot wait. Its one place I wouldn’t mind just jetting away on a solo trip if I could. I have not really ridden a bicycle since losing my dad and somehow the thought of doing it again in Amsterdam sounds nice. Its crazy to think that more people bicycle than anything else. It was interesting to watch a documentary on how they got their safe roads for cyclists. Anyways thank you for linking up with us today girl! Hope you are doing okay. That boob grope is so random! x

    Bonnie Rose | A Compass Rose

  • Holly Nelson

    I loved Amsterdam so much. I loved the wonky buildings all leaning on each other! And Anne Frank’s house was super cool! Glad you wrote about Amsterdam – it has taken me back!