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We just got back from four amazing days in Amsterdam, and it made us realise even more how much we love travelling. When travelling to another country, even for a couple of days, it is always a challenge. And we love challenges. The biggest concern sometimes though is the language. So we – a group of four friends – arrived at the Amsterdam Airport, took the train and finally arrived at our destination – Amsterdam city centre. Everybody there speaks english and they speak perfect fluent English (seriously!) so we didn’t face any difficulties in communication which is something very important when travelling.
We have asked a friend who visited Amsterdam a couple of times in the past to give us tips and places we should visit while in Amsterdam. He just told us : “just go there, take a stroll, enjoy each and every step and view and then just lose yourselves around the city.” And so we did. We were actually walking for four days; walked all around the city and we really enjoyed it.
Amsterdam is known as one of the most progressive and cosmopolitan cities in Europe and it is, without a doubt, one of the most charming and beautiful cities we have visited so far. Bicycles everywhere, canals, and fantastic, narrow and coloured houses are the main characteristics of this amazing city. There are a lot of ways you can explore the city, either on foot or by bike but another great way of doing this is by canal boats. The trip with the boat was relaxing and incredible and we would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to go sightseeing in the famous Dutch capital. There are cafés with tables on the pavement and by the canals, where you can sit, enjoy the amazing dutch beer or coffee, relax and observe what is going around you: birds flying and landing at the trees nearby, bikers everywhere, boats in the canals, people walking or even groups of people dancing and singing in the streets. So Amsterdam has the combination of natural, cultural and urban elements and it is wonderful. Amsterdam is steeped in culture and a variety of museums such as the Anne Frank’s house, Van Gogh, Rembrandt or Rijkmuseum are a must for someone who loves Art.
However, although not everybody ‘loves’ art, some things go beyond art itself and touch the sphere of the aesthetically beautiful and of education. The Van Gogh museum, for instance, impressed us. Van Gogh is one of the most famous and unique artists. The vivid colours of his painting captures your attention and the landscape or nature-related paintings are more than great. For those who get to see it, art in that form resembles to traveling , and as traveling makes you a more open-minded person and broadens your view of the world so does Art. It is only after you pay a visit to a museum that you realise how art can touch your soul and broaden you mind. From the vivid colours of Van Gogh’s painting we went on to see another vividly coloured part of this amazing city, the widely known Red-Light District. For those not familiar with the particular part of Amsterdam, for the present article, it is enough to say that it is an odd place for someone to visit, but nonetheless a unique place, and maybe even one of a kind.
Lastly, the most beautiful part of the city was Jordaan. Such a beautiful area! Whoever visits Amsterdam must go there. The little shops, the cafes, the cheese shops! And the locals’ houses! One of us was constantly saying “I would love to live in such a house! How beautiful!”
All of us, each for a different reason, fell in love with Amsterdam. The “vibe” of the city is amazing! It makes you feel welcome. It is a very strange city in the sense that whatever kind of person you are, you will find something there that will attract you and in the end you will say that it was an amazing city… All you have to do is get a map and start wandering!
Written by Susanna Georgiou and Myrto Bartatila
The UoB Linguist Magazine
Guild of Students,
University of Birmingham