Amsterdam Stories and Tips

Walking in Circles in Amsterdam

Amsterdam canal Photo, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is meant to be explored on foot. A canal boat tour gives a good overview. Bicycles are good transportation but the locals pedal very fast and do not appreciate slow moving sightseers in the bike lanes. On foot you can explore the many concentric canals and the multitude of bridges. This may mean you will get lost, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.

By walking, you get to see details you might miss at a faster pace. Walking allows you to stop to gaze in amazement at the many bridges and their varying styles. Or you can stop to enjoy a concert on a canal. You soon discover bicycles are chained to nearly everything. They are as plentiful as the gardens, mailboxes, and chain like fencing which adorn many of the houses. Young couples out on a date ride together on one bicycle. Young men in suits zip by on their bikes with briefcases on the handlebars. The Dutch are very open people who seem to have less need for privacy than us uptight North American or so it seems when you walk by urinoirs, outdoor commodes, sometimes decorated with wisteria vines. When you get near the many public squares, the Dam, the Rembrandtplein, the Lunt, and the Leidesplein, street vendors and street performers seem to pop up, well aware that you are a tourist.

The real enchantment of Amsterdam is its inhabitants, who you will not meet if you are cycling or boating. By ambling through alleys and across canals, you get the tangible experience of the city. Locals lean amiably within open doorframes, often smiling and offering assistance. Smoke, not necessarily from tobacco, wafts out of the occasional doorway. You hear the throat clearing conversations in Dutch. You can refresh your hard working feet at the many pubs where friendly bartenders will tell you where you can get a good meal and other native knowledge.

You can walk circles in Amsterdam, but you will not be lost, not really.

Been to this destination?

Share Your Story or Tip