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The Sights and Smells of Amsterdam

Amsterdam sure is a place to stimulate all of your senses, from the beautiful river canals, the whirring of bike wheels and bike bells and the smells of…well I’ll let you figure that one out.

Amsterdam sure is a place to check out and I was fortunate enough to visit it this year.


Just one of the many canals in Amsterdam


If you want to up your Instagram game, you’ll be spoiled for choice with the many canals dotted around Amsterdam. Strike a pose on a bridge or capture all the busy boats cruising along the water. The buildings dotted along the canals make for interesting photos too, many of them appear to be leaning and slightly drunk looking. They’re narrow and weird and wonderful to look at and study.

As we had arrived into Amsterdam at night, we had no idea what Amsterdam actually looked like so I was surprised with all of the buildings, canals, and the amount of bikes! As it was night time, we decided to check out the Red Light District, I personally didn’t find it as provocative or sketchy as I thought I would. While it may or may not be your thing to look at, it would still be worth a visit during the day or even at night if you want to see it come to life.

Plenty of low boats cruise along the tree lined canals which make for a different view of Amsterdam if a river cruise is your kind of thing! We did one at night which made for a great night out in Amsterdam.

Or if boats aren’t your thing, there are heaps of bikes to check out Amsterdam on. Amsterdam is a bike friendly city (maybe not pedestrian friendly) so definitely ride a bike in Amsterdam!

Tip: If you’re not so good on a bike but still want to go for a ride on one without the stress of other cyclists, check out Edam. It’s just out of Amsterdam and is much more quiet and peaceful than the busy bike lanes of Amsterdam. While you’re there, you might as well try out some of their cheeses and try on a clog!


No crazy bike lanes here in Edam.

For another view of Amsterdam that completely took me by surprise was checking out the A’DAM Lookout and Swing, which gives you a 360 degree view of Amsterdam at the top of a 328 ft building. Not what I expected to find in a city where there’s barely a city skyline but there’s also a swing on top of the building that swings you over the side.

For a cultural kind of sight-seeing, why not check out the many museums? The Rijksmuseum is a national museum dedicated to arts and history, or if you want to experience something a bit…different, there are plenty of alternative museums ranging from sex to weed so there is something for everyone’s interests.


No dodgy photography here, the buildings really do look like that.


One thing you’ll notice about Amsterdam is the amount of bikes, so if you hear a bike bell behind you, watch out! Bike lanes are a common appearance in Amsterdam so make sure you aren’t walking in one otherwise you’ll definitely hear that you are!


Lots to do and see in Amsterdam.


For all you foodies, this is probably the section you were looking forward to the most!

One of the places I had been eyeing up was ‘The Avocado Show’ a place entirely dedicated to the much loved avocado. Everything on the menu is avo based from avocado on toast, to burgers and even pancakes! I went for the humble avocado on toast, topped with beetroot hummus and an avocado rose. Whatever you order, you’ll always know there will be avocado somewhere in your dish!

We also ventured to the ‘Sea Palace’ one night, a floating Chinese styled pagoda restaurant, a perfect place to get your noodle and rice fix.

Just be warned, the ‘coffee shops’ located around Amsterdam serve up brownies with some different ingredients than the ones you get back at home…unless that’s what you’re after.


Linking back to what I just said before, I’ll let you figure out what Amsterdam smells like…


The colours of Amsterdam.


Apart from feeling the wind in your face as you cycle around Amsterdam, Amsterdam really does touch your heart. It’s weird and wonderful, yet has such a warming feel to it that definitely made me want to stay and explore some more.

While I personally did not visit the Anne Frank house, those that did said it was a touching experience that made them quite emotional, having read the book myself I will definitely visit when I come back next.

Next time you’re travelling, make a note of all the different senses you experience, it makes a great way to remember and describe a trip!

– Dana

Slice of Dana



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