European motorhome Travel- VanlifeNetherlands


Another major city, to tick off the bucket list and one that so so many people love ….

Amsterdam. City of canals, coffee shops, and countless clichés.

We had found probably a perfect campsite, right by the river and short hop on the tram into the center, unlimited travel pass allowed us access into the city day and night – what could be better !

Did we arrive a little starry-eyed, picturing ourselves cycling past gabled houses, nibbling stroopwafels under sun-dappled leaves.

Had our time In The Delft, dubbed a little Amsterdam ruin our experience?

After all the fabulous things we had been told , how could this not be the ‘best’ city in the whole of Europe

But after a few days the charm wore thin, leaving us with a nagging sensation…..

Amsterdam was just… another big city.

Sorry guys ……

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not an ugly city by any means

The canals offer a picturesque backdrop, and the houseboats whisper stories of bohemian freedom.

But beyond the postcard shots, a different reality lurks.

Crowds elbow their way through narrow streets, bikes whizz past with reckless abandon, yes- but get me started about the bikes!

Perhaps our expectations were too high.

Amsterdam is marketed as a quirky wonderland, a city where history and hedonism do a waltz on cobblestones.

But the reality is grittier, dirtier, and frankly, a bit tourist-trappy.

We just couldn’t shake the feeling of being on a conveyor belt of tourists, ticking off boxes on a must-see list.

Maybe, we are just ‘tired of cities’ – but neither of us were feeling the love, but we pressed on trying to find something to grab hold of and change our minds.

Where was the Amsterdam of Van Gogh and Rembrandt? The city of defiant spirit and the artistic revolution that bloomed in its canals?

But all we found was only echoes in overpriced souvenir shops and museum gift stores.

Maybe we just missing something ?

Maybe Amsterdam’s magic unfolds over years, not days. Maybe you have to navigate beyond the tourist-trodden paths to find its hidden gems. But for me, Amsterdam felt like a city playing a role, a facade of quaint charm masking a bustling metropolis grappling with its own identity.


P.S. – This blog post is written from a personal perspective and may not reflect the experiences of all visitors to Amsterdam. It is important to do your own research and form your own opinions about the city.

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