We’ll write more in the coming weeks about the ins and outs of Amsterdam (prostitution! canal tours! tulips! weed!), but for now all you get is this sneak peak (stay tuned via RSS or facebook for more of the nitty gritty details!).
Want to live on a houseboat in Amsterdam? Unfortunately you’ll need to be super wealthy to afford that pleasure. It’s not so much the houseboats that are expensive, though – it’s the moorings, which are strictly limited by the city.
Ah, the Red Light District, where you can find things like condoms in the shape of Homer Simpson.
Amsterdammers have a thing for hanging out in their windows to enjoy the views and mild weather. Even on the top floors they didn’t seem too concerned about falling out; in fact, we saw one person washing the outside of their 3rd-story windows with no harness or anything. Daredevil!
The front walls of most buildings in Amsterdam are built at a slant, with the roof leaning slightly further out than the bottom wall. This is because cargo was traditionally off-loaded from the canal boats and brought up into buildings via pulley systems on the roof (which are still in use today for things like moving couches into top-floor apartments). The slant of the building allows things to be drawn up without banging into the wall and breaking windows. Brilliant, huh?
Amsterdam doesn’t have a lot of street art (especially not compared to Berlin!), but there are still a few fun pieces around the city.
We arrived in Amsterdam on 4/20, a popular stoner’s holiday. The streets were… pungent, to say the least. But if smoking ain’t your thang, you can easily munch on a “space cake” or coconut cannabis cookie instead.
Amsterdam is teeming with coffeeshops, which are places where you can somewhat legally imbibe marijuana. CAUTION: these are not to be confused with cafes! Cafes = coffee, coffeeshops = drugs (but also with a side of coffee, if you’d like). Confusing, I know.
Some coffeeshops in the central districts are sketchy tourist traps, but others have a more relaxed vibe. Just to give you a sense of the nicer variety, here’s the upstairs lounge of DampKring in central Amsterdam.
Holland might be best known for its tulips and tolerant policies on sex and drugs, but did you know they also make some delectable cheeses? You can sample a few varieties at the local outdoor market, or just take the plunge and buy an entire wheel.
You may think pedestrians should have the right of way when crossing a street, but that’s silly talk. It’s bikes. BIKES own the roads in Amsterdam, and it’ll take a few instances of almost-getting-run-over to truly appreciate just how quickly you’ll need to MOVE THE F**K OUT OF THE WAY in order to avoid getting furiously cursed at in Dutch.
Believe me, I speak from experience.