When you say ‘Amsterdam’, most people will immediately think of drugs, the Red Light District, bicycles and canals, and they wouldn’t be wrong! These are all things which can be widely found in the Dutch capital, and are the characteristics that first spring to mind at the mention of it. However, on my recent visit, I found there are a few other things, almost just as common, but which don’t often get a mention!
5 Unexpected things I found to be pretty common in Amsterdam
Eating chips out of paper cones – This one really threw me! As much as I love chips -typical Brit – I didn’t know the Dutch did as well, but every corner you turned, there were people devouring chips out of paper cones. I’m not sure where this tradition came from or how it started, but I enjoyed taking part!
Nutella – okay, we all know Nutella has taken the world by storm, and who doesn’t love the chocolate and hazelnut spread?! But I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much of it in one place! Every shop, cafe, ice cream parlour or bakery had tubs of the stuff, and I mean tubs! It was used on cakes, biscuits, ice cream, sandwiches, macaroons.. You name it, you could have it! I did wonder if it could be a go-to-snack if anyone is suffering with the munchies after a visit to a ‘coffee shop’…
Trams – I’ve never been on a tram, and only every seen them on a short visit to Germany for the Formula one back in 2013. Amsterdam, well, The Netherlands in general was buzzing with them! I loved seeing them, and think it’s a great way to get round the city, however this combined with all the bicycles and cycle lanes meant you always had to be alert when crossing the street!
Heineken – for some, this one may have been obvious, but I didn’t know that Heineken was Dutch! I travelled to Holland with my friend, who informed me it was his duty to drink a pint, for every Heineken sign he saw.. I didn’t stay with him for the duration of the trip, but imagine he had a sore head on his flight home! It’s everywhere and you can’t walk 100m without seeing another neon green sign!
Famous architecture – The other thing I didn’t realise we’re so popular in Amsterdam were the amount of famous and historic buildings and landmarks! These include many churches, museums, bridges and canals. Even the Centraal Train Station was a neo-gothic build which was fantastic on the eye. I would love to visit the city again and spend more time learning about these beautiful old buildings and visiting some museums such as the Anne Frank House.
So there are my top 5 popular things in Amsterdam you might not have known about! If you’ve been and thought something else was worth seeing or sharing, comment below!