Amsterdam – Day 1

I stupidly flew into Chicago with a 3-hour layover and arrived in Amsterdam at 07:00. Let’s talk about getting from the airport to Amsterdam. First off, I am staying in a municipality just outside of Amsterdam called, Amstelveen. Why? The price for the hotel was much cheaper. I found this place, Amsterdam Forest Hotel for $170.00 (USD), which is a great price as I found an Airbnb where I would rent a room for about the same amount. Also, the convenience of the location is fantastic! I am close to buses, trains, and trams.

Let’s go over logistics of my stay here:

  1. I am traveling alone
  2.  I will be here for 4 days, 3 nights
  3. Tools I use (must-haves):
    1. Google maps – this will not only tell you where you are but how to get to where you need to go
    2. Google translate – download Dutch, when you use your camera over the words it will translate it for you in your chosen language

Getting here from the airport was fairly simple but if you’ve never been here (which I haven’t) it wasn’t clear how to obtain a pass. First, make sure you have euros (I’m such an American, I never carry cash). Second, it is way more expensive to purchase a ticket from the bus driver and you can’t transfer the pass. I had to take two buses to get to my hotel.

I got to the hotel and the room wasn’t ready, to be fair it’s 08:30, so I drop off my bag and decide to take a walk and find a place to eat. I stopped at a restaurant, “Cafe Anno 1890” and it was great! I got toast with bacon, egg, and cheese and cappuccino for €5,80. This place appears to be a place where locals come to enjoy a light breakfast, coffee, and discussions. I hung out for a couple of hours working on my book then returned to the hotel.

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After checking in, I was really glad that I chose to get a hotel room instead of an Airbnb. There’s nothing like having some privacy and alone time after having traveled for almost 20 hours. The room is small but well-connected. There are plenty of places to plug in AND as a nice touch, there is an outlet that supports the UK, US, as well as the standard prongs in the Netherlands. There are also lightning, micro USB, microphone outlet, and an old iPhone charger that are attached to the radio. The hotel also has a restaurant downstairs and free wi-fi.

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I, unfortunately, ended up sleeping until 20:00 so my first day is pretty blown. So I decided to walk around and see about finding a train station so that I could purchase the chip card. From the hotel, it is about a 15-minute walk.

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I caught the train to central Amsterdam, walk around, ate dinner at an Indian Restaurant called Koh-I-Noor, had dessert at a place called Sweetella, and then caught a bus back to the hotel.

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I’m sure tomorrow will be much more eventful.

Musings:

  1. Purchasing a card from the driver is not cost effective
  2. You can only buy a chip card from a train station
  3. Buses are cheaper than trains
  4. You HAVE to flag a bus down when you are at a stop or it WILL NOT stop

I look forward to Day 2!

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