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Navigating Northern Europe: Amsterdam and Brussels

November 8, 2016



I had an incredible weekend in Amsterdam and Sunday in Brussels! I got to see old friends and although we were nervous it was going to rain all weekend, it cleared up for a lot of i†. 


On Thursday evening, Emily and I arrived in Amsterdam at my friend Gabe's apartment. He is studying there for the semester, so he let us stay with him. We didn't get there until late, so we went to bed and decided to start early the next day.


On Friday morning we headed to the gorgeous Centraal Station. There we met up with my friend Ari, who lives in Rotterdam, and was on my cheer team my freshman year when she studied abroad. It had been two years since we had seen each other, so we were so excited! We then went to an ...interesting museum which was on the main street right across from the station. It was definitely an experience! 





Then we walked around almost the entire city, my favorite part of the city was all of the canals. They were so pretty, especially with all of the fall foliage in the background. We eventually made our way to Rembrandts' house, which was actually his studio and was built in 1606. Next we walked to the Oude Kerk, or Old Church. This church is smack-dab in the middle of the Red Light district, but has tons of history behind it, hence its name. It's the oldest building in Amsterdam, and was built in 1300. The floors inside are (kind of creepily) made up of family grave sites, a practice which was eventually banned. 











Then we headed over to the Iamsterdam sign, which I'm sure most of you have heard of. It was insanely crowded, but we wanted to get some fun pics in front of it so we weaseled our way through the crowd. We also figured out that if we took a picture from behind the sign and then flipped it, it looked exactly like the front but with many less photobombers! Remember that if you ever get the chance to visit!






After stopping to grab a snack, we walked some more before meeting up with Gabe and eventually bringing Ari back to the train station. 


Later that night Gabe and I rented bikes and went into the city to meet up with my other friends that were in town for the weekend. We grabbed a few drinks before calling it a night and biking back. I wish all cities were as bike-dominated! This was probably my favorite part of the weekend, just being able to bike everywhere.


The next day Emily rented a bike too, and we all rode around the city almost all day. Gabe tried to convince me to try herring, but I was a little skeptical and passed on it. We went later to the Moco Museum which currently has exhibits on Banksy  and Andy Warhol which was super cool. I love both artists, so I was happy we got to see this! 





After biking around for a while longer we wrapped up our day and went to bed for an early bus to Brussels in the morning.


Once we arrived in Brussels North Station, we walked throughout the city. We went to La Grand Place, which is the main square in the city. The architecture is stunning and covered in gold details. We found a free museum about the city. This was a great way to pass some time and learn about the history of the city! We of course had to get a waffle, which was delicious, and also visited Manneken Pis, Brussels' famous statue of a little boy peeing.








We eventually walked back to the station (which was the most confusing place on the planet) and headed to the airport to catch our flight back to Madrid. 


Watch my video of the weekend below!





Abigail Marie


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