We went on another Viking River Cruise! This year, we went during summer so we were able to extend our trip a couple of days to explore Amsterdam. I wanted to see their famous canals, museums, and the Anne Frank House.
Where I Stayed
Instead of shelling out $600 each for the 2-day extension in Amsterdam through Viking, I decided to book my own accommodations. Everything in Amsterdam was expensive! We did have 4 people though and was able to find 4 beds (private room) at the Stayokay hostel right next to Vondelpark. It’s a chain that’s suitable for families… and reminded me of my college dorm room but smaller.
Where I Ate
Our first stop was Foodhallen. I was unimpressed by its offerings and prices. They had Asian, Mexican, Middle Eastern, and American cuisines that we could get in the states. We shared the bitterballen, a burger, a Greek pita wrap, and charcuterie.
For a more Dutch meal, we went to Koffiehuis De Hoek on our way to the Anne Frank Museum. It was a small corner restaurant that didn’t open until 8am! I’m not used to the late hours in Amsterdam! We each got their coffee with steamed milk – honestly, the best coffee we had for our American tastes. We shared two pancakes – apple and ham & cheese – that were large and thin. They were the perfect light fuel before heading to the museum.
We walked to Bakers & Roasters in De Pijp later in the day for their all-day New Zealand-style breakfast. We chose their Navajo eggs with a delicious brisket and their special with chimichurri steak, halloumi, and cassava (right). We loved the flavors of the Navajo eggs but were disappointed by their coffee. *Here, we also started to realize service in Amsterdam can be a bit slow and unfriendly…
Omelegg has several outposts and many reviews and it was the only restaurant open at 7:30 or 8. Even the Starbucks in Amsterdam aren’t open early! The location in De Pijp was rustic, with lacquered wood tables, countertops, and even their menus were wooden! We chose their salmon omelette and Italian omelette as well as a fresh baked chocolate croissant. We agreed the Italian omelette with onions and cold cuts had much more flavor than the salmon and (unripen) avocado omelette. *Btw, service here was good.
Around the corner from Omelegg De Pijp is Coffee & Coconuts, a massive 3-story hangout. Their other location is in Bali. We were stuffed so we just ordered a couple of lattes to share. I chose their latte with coconut milk of course. The aesthetic was beautiful and we watched the staff prepare the food in the open kitchen. Lots of people trickled in, sitting at booths, couches, and workspace tables.
Where I Visited
Our first stop was Rijksmuseum. I bought tickets in advance to avoid the line, but it didn’t seem to be a problem. I was intrigued by the amount of artwork, much of it religious but also huge collections of Van Gogh and Rembrandt.
We went to the Anne Frank Museum, where we were so engrossed and also couldn’t take pictures anyways. Afterwards, we walked by the famous canals and bicycles.
Where I Stayed Active
I brought my yoga mat as my carry-on item. I rolled it out at the hostel one day for a bodyweight workout. Otherwise, I forced my family to walk a lot and dodge bicyclists, cars, trains, and other pedestrians! We were also by Vondelpark so we explored the massive park also dodging cyclists!
Overall, I’m glad we got to spend a couple of extra days in Amsterdam because it rained the day we were to embark on the ship. Most people who arrived that day didn’t go about town because it was pouring. We were happy to check-in, eat, and relax on the ship. More on that coming soon!
We didn’t get to visit the famous Red Light District, which I didn’t mind. Aside from the canals and history, Amsterdam is a busy and modernized city – people spend time outside at the parks and unfortunately, there was trash everywhere each morning.