Europe Trip Recap – The Netherlands

Now that we’ve covered how to Pack Light for Europe, it’s time to get to the good stuff! Our trip recaps!! I’m breaking these posts up by cities and will be spreading them over the next couple of weeks.

We started our trip in Amsterdam. We chose Amsterdam mostly because there are direct flights from Boston and it is close to the other places we wanted to go. On our red-eye to Amsterdam, we had a screaming baby on the flight. Not sleeping on the plane made us pretty tired the first day, but we were able to stay up until about 9pm which really helped us get ahead of the jetlag.

Strawberries at the Haarlem Market
There were tons of cute little alleys in Haarlem

We decided to stay in Haarlem because I had been doing research and it seemed like a cuter, more quaint town than Amsterdam itself. After landing at 8am, we took a bus straight to Haarlem and were able to check in to our hotel room. We actually laid down for about 30 minutes before getting up to head to the open-air market. We bought some fruit and bread to have a snack. We even ran in to someone who works at our company (big company, small world).

One of the canals in Haarlem
Canal in Haarlem

We both weren’t overly impressed with Amsterdam. Parts of it were really cute, but the main drag was just really crowded and felt very Western. We did go to the Van Gogh museum which was awesome. Tip – buy your tickets online for the Van Gogh museum. They cost the same price and you can skip the long line outside. We tried to go to the Anne Frank house twice. Both times the line was insane. It was hot and we just weren’t up for waiting, so we skipped it. As you can see, we had great weather the first two days of the trip. We just enjoyed walking around and doing a lot of people watching.

Canal in Haarlem
Block of restaurants near our hotel in Haarlem

We stayed in Haarlem for two nights. Just before bed the second night, I saw that Elina from Healthy and Sane posted a picture of herself in Dam Square. Turns out she was in Amsterdam that same day! We chatted a bit about trying to meet up, but we were catching an early train to Belguim the next morning, so it didn’t work out. To say the least, those first two days were a little crazy with running into people…

Windmill in Haarlem
Another view of the windmill in Haarlem

We absolutely loved Haarlem and highly recommend staying there if you’re visiting Amsterdam. It was a 15-20 minute train ride from Amsterdam and offered cute little outdoor restaurants, a windmill that you can go up in (the tour was really informative), and just a more quaint look at life in the Netherlands.

Train Station in Haarlem
Dutch Apple Pie from Winkel in Amsterdam – you better believe I’m going to try to recreate this in the fall!

One Year Ago: Summer Shrimp Salad
Two Years Ago: Pita Bread and Tzatziki Sauce
Three Years Ago: Chorizo, Shrimp, and Lentil Stew
Four Years Ago: Layered Cookie Cake and Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

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