We slept in very late on Day 9 so we opted for a coffee breakfast and headed out straight to lunch.
We ate at a lovely little place called Restaurant De Belhamel – by far the fanciest place we ate in Amsterdam and a worthy choice.
The restaurant has amazing outdoor seating with romantic views.
We started with a tenderloin Carpaccio.
And both tried the Wagyu burger. Everything was really great.
We were in such a good mood we even took a picture of ourselves. How exciting.
The rest of the day involved a heavy amount of “strolling” we went to different areas of the city and checked out other neighborhoods. I had a tasty coffee break at Screaming Beans.
Eventually we wound up at Winkel 43, the go to spot for Dutch Apple pie. Here is Jason contemplating life and pie.
Dutch apple pie is essentially deep dish style pie. This was tasty but I’d eat 20 stroopwafels before I’d go after this pie again. Just saying.
We decided that we would choose today to do a canal cruise, a touristy endeavor that seemed worth the expenditure. We bought tickets to a night cruise and killed a few hours at a nearby bar Tale & Spirits.
The hideaway bar was a bit more upscale, they even had a few “House Rules” listed which basically just reiterated to not be a total douchebag. It was kind of a nice change of a pace from the heavily tourist-crowded bars near the Red Light District and surrounding areas. There’s nothing wrong with hitting a spot like that but it’s not my general cup of tea.
T&S also specializes in cocktails and culinary treats. Almost all of the drinks came equipped with a dash of creativity.
We also ordered these pork sandwich sliders because fuck it. They were so good but we were really full and it was pissing me off. I still ate most of them.
To kill a bit more time before our cruise we headed over to check out the Red Light District. This is the area of Amsterdam most people have heard of – it’s a private area (no pictures allowed) where legal prostitutes are ‘on display’ in windows with glowing red lights. There are also a lot of places to smoke weed known as coffee shops which I can not begin to explain how frustrating that made my search for actual coffee ( I mean most of them still serve it but, come on now.) The Red Light District took me back a bit to be honest. I have no problem with sex workers and I think it’s great that there is a regulated (and therefore hopefully safer) system setup in Amsterdam but i suppose I was expecting that to equate to happier ladies?> It’s not that anyone looked as though they were doing anything against their will, but a good 80% of the ladies looked entirely disinterested in the work night ahead of them. Most were hunched over in a stool wearing nothing but a corset and scrolling through their iPhones. A lot of people have jobs they aren’t interested in but here it just felt odd being so visual.
Moving along, it was just about time for out canal cruise so we picked up our tickets and had a quick cup of hot chocolate before boarding.
We chose the Candlelight option from Lovers Canal Cruise. Look, I don’t make the names so don’t blame me for how corny that sounds. The cruise itself was actually a very nice way to see the city and relax. The guide we had was great and down to earth. My favorite part was checking out the extravagant houseboats all lit up along the canals. The only off point I remember about the cruise was that it played one really long “romantic” song on a loop that once you caught on to it was impossible to avoid. “Diamond riiiiing” crooned out of the speakers about 173 times. But all in all, I was glad we took the cruise. We didn’t do any big museums or anything in Amsterdam so the money spent was well worth it.
It was very hard to get decent snapshots while moving at night but here are a few from the cruise.
The photos don’t do it justice. Just trust the recommendation and make it a point to do a canal cruise when you’re in town.
Have you ever been to Amsterdam?
Where are your favorite places to go?
Make sure to comment with your own recommendations!
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