Two Broke Young Adults in Amsterdam

When Emma and I were planning our trip, she asked me "Do you wanna go anywhere else other than Paris? Do you want to go to Amsterdam?" and i went "Yeah sure. Of course."

So frankly, i wasn't that looking forward to coming to this country. So like i said in my previous post, we just snuggled up in the apartment most of the time. When we arrived in Amsterdam, the temperature was around 3 degrees and it was so windy. My face was numb!

After checking in at the airbnb, we settled down and we waited for dinner. For dinner, we went to this sushi place near our apartment, as recommended by our airbnb hostess. And the food was quite good, to be honest!

I can't remember what it's called; probably Ayumi Sushi or some sort. After having sushi abroad, i've finally valued and grateful for the cheap price of Japanese food back in Malaysia. After conversion, the price of sushi in Amsterdam is around triple the price of sushi in Malaysia. That is why they tell you not to convert money when you're travelling. Unless if you go to a cheaper country than your homeland.

One thing i love about my airbnb location is that it is located in a Muslim community. Halal food is easily accessible; there's a masjid right down the road; and most buildings and street names have Indonesia influence e.g. Sumatrastraat, Awan Payung, Borneostraat.

On the second day, we had lunch at this kebab place right across the street. The food was quite good and the portion was big! But that's when we had our first language barrier problem for the Amsterdam trip. The shopkeeper couldn't speak in English but he was so warm because in spite of the barrier, he used his body language to explain the food to us. Ahh, the Dutch are so nice.

Fyi, in Dutch, fries/chips is called patat. Jangan silap sebut.

After lunch, we headed to our first tourist attraction. When visiting tourist attractions in Amsterdam, i strongly recommend you to purchase the tickets beforehand online because there are certain tourist attractions that do not sell their tickets at the door. 

1. Van Gogh Museum. (€ 18)

It gave me such a relief when i saw English descriptions for the paintings. The museum is quite big and the paintings are arranged according to his life journey and chronologically. The Van Gogh museum does not allow photography inside the museum, so sadly, there's not much that i can show you. But let me assure you, the paintings are beautiful. My personal favourite piece by Van Gogh is the Starry Night, but unfortunately, Starry Night is not exhibited here at the Van Gogh Museum but in New York instead. But fret not, other paintings like Almond Blosson, The Potato Eaters and Irises are still exhibited at the Van Gogh Museum.

And if you want to buy some Amsterdam souvenirs, do buy them at the Van Gogh gift shop! One postcard only costs €1 and hey, it's the official Van Gogh Museum merchandise! If you ask me, the gifts are totally affordable and reasonable. 

2. PANCAKES Amsterdam

Just because you eat here, doesn't mean it's not a tourist attraction, no?

This is basically dollops of super fluffy pancakes, topped with milk chocolate Belgian chocolate. Yes, i'm drooling too just by looking at this photo.

3. Lidl

Lidl is basically Tesco/Giant in Malaysia. Excuse me for being jakun, but dude, have you seen the price of the fresh produce here? Everything is fresh and cheaaaap! I would literally buy the whole supermarket and bring everything back to Malaysia, if i could!

This portion is actually way bigger than it looks in the photo, and it costs less then RM5! What?!

The blue packets are peeled and seasoned baby potatoes and the ones on the right are peeled baby potatoes. 

Lidl is only 10-minute from our airbnb and after every visit, i came back home with at least a bag full of food. During my stay in Amsterdam, i ate clean most of the time. My restriction to eating clean in Malaysia was due to raw produce being really expensive. But in Amsterdam, there was no excuse. I snacked on their pre-packed salads and ugh they were so good!

4. Rijkmuseum (€ 17.50)

We arrived at the museum quite late, less than 2 hours before the closing time and it was definitely not enough. I didn't even get to enter the library. Since it is a really big museum, i would suggest you to allocate at least three hours to go about this museum alone.

If you exit the museum around 5pm, wait till it gets darker. There's an ice skating rink right in front of the museum. Climb onto the bridge over the rink and the view is spectacular.

5. Red Light District

Going to Amsterdam and not visiting the Red Light District is like going to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower. The Red Light District is so lively at night and the ambiance honestly feels safe! Since the whole area is filled with 'coffeeshops', sex shops and window brothels, you're not allowed to take photos to protect the safety and privacy of the people. That is why you can barely see any photos of the Red Light District with clear image of people. Also, regardless of whether you smoke or not, do enter the 'coffeeshops' and have a look around. The interior of the shops are quite interesting. Also, they have announced that the district may be closed down for good due to hike in sex tourism. Therefore, pay that place a visit while you still can! 

There's another place that i went to-- IJ-Hallen. It is about a half-an-hour car ride from Amsterdam Central. On our second last day in Amsterdam, my mother's friend, Tante Grace and her daughter Shontelle, picked us and brought us here because she wanted me to bring me to the flea market IJ-Hallen. I'm on the fence on this one. This is actually a large warehouse that has a wet market, flea market and food stalls. It sells mainly middle-eastern food, low-end souvenirs and they have a Euroland. I'll just drop some photos here and you be the judge. 

That's it for our Amsterdam trip this time around. Till next time, Amsterdam! Dank je wel!

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