Recently I spent few days in Leiden and Amsterdam in The Netherlands so here are my impressions and images from the trip…
One of the best things this October was the opportunity to explore and enjoy Leiden, one of the most enchanting cities in The Netherlands and much bigger but equally amazing Amsterdam. This post in not a guide to those places but more a visual diary of my trip and some impressions I wanted to share with you.
I’ll first write a bit about Leiden as that’s where I spent more time and I’m so glad I did. I visited it with a friend and had plenty of time to enjoy this charming city in the province of South Holland. Leiden is easily reached by train and the journey from Amsterdam takes between 30 and 40 minutes.
Leiden is a typical university city with university buildings scattered throughout the city and it’s home to the oldest university in the country, founded in the 16th century. It’s also the birthplace of Rembrandt. The city is full of charming little cafés, pastry shops and restaurants, shops and of course colourful narrow houses.
The first couple of days we were there it was quite windy (I guess it’s almost always windy but more than usual lol!) and the wind was chilly so not very comfortable. For that reason there weren’t that many people on the streets and most of the terraces were empty. That of course didn’t stop me from being outside for hours, exploring and taking photos. I just love that feeling of being somewhere for the first time! But after those few days we also had some sunny days, still windy but much warmer. So it was nice to experience that too, sunny Autumn in The Netherlands! And sitting outside drinking coffee and eating delicious pastry by the canal… Little things that mean so much.
Talking about food, it was nice to visit local farmers’ market and enjoy bustling atmosphere and delicious food. I was very impressed with fish and other seafood selection and of course the varieties of CHEESE! For a cheese fan like myself, it’s heaven! 😀
I hope you enjoyed this little visual story from Leiden. I’m so glad I visited this city as it has a totally different vibe than Amsterdam, it’s much smaller, easy to explore on foot and it has a lovely atmosphere.
And now some images from Amsterdam, the Netherlands’ capital. City known for its artistic heritage, elaborate canal system and narrow houses with beautiful colourful facades. Can I also mention, bicycles! Over 60% of its residents cycle every day, and there are about 3 bicycles for every car on the road. It can be dangerous if you are not used to so many cyclists so be sure to stay on the right path when sightseeing in the city.
One thing that I believe everyone who visit this city loves are its narrow houses. Do you know why they are so narrow? Well, in the 17th century, the amount of tax citizens had to pay was based on the width of their houses. This resulted in numerous slender buildings with about 4 or 5 floors.
Amsterdam has more canals than Venice. 17th-century canals are so frequently compared to Venice that it earned the Dutch capital its nickname, the “Venice of the North.” In fact, Amsterdam is home to 165 canals with a total length of 50 km, while Venice has about 150. The inner city is divided by its network of canals into some 90 ‘islands’ and the municipality contains approximately 1,300 bridges and viaducts.
A bit more about Amsterdam…
I really enjoyed walking around the city (wear comfortable shoes lol!) and would like to go back in Spring when the weather is nicer and the city is more colourful with all the blooming flowers. But Autumn is nice time to visit too. This time I didn’t have time to visit any of the museums so that’s another reason to go back. There are some 40 museums, which attract about four million visitors annually. The Rijksmuseum (State Museum) is famous for its collection of 17th-century Dutch masterpieces. The Stedelijk (Municipal) Museum is a leading international collection of modern art. The Van Gogh Museum is dedicated to the work of Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries.
One thing you have to try when In The Netherlands is stroopwafel, thin and round waffle made from two layers of sweet baked dough held together by caramel filling. I tried it more than once, believe me! 😀 And brought home with me as a food souvenir for my family and friends. And myself lol.
So that’s it. I hope you enjoyed this virtual trip with me and maybe I inspired you to put these cities on your travel list if you haven’t visited them yet. I would like to explore rural Netherlands one day too, you know windmills, tulips and all that! And of course cheese! 😀
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