We appreciate that our local MeetnGreeters are happy to share with the world their favourite venues, national traditions and peculiarities, the most delicious local dishes, and, what is more, love to their cities! So you can get more insightful information about engaging Seoul, Russian cities of Moscow and Sergiev Posad and chic Milan. Today we will meet Walda – an art historian and professional tour guide from Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
My motto: Don’t follow just any guide, have your own private art historian! – Walda.
“I love Amsterdam! It’s my birth place, my ancestors grew up here, it’s loaded with history and breathtaking stories!
The spirit of Amsterdam
Though Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands it has a village feel, it is young, hip and happening because of all the university students are here, it’s alive and vibrant with tourists wandering along the canals, it’s a friendly and safe city, because all the locals are easy going and open (and speak English!) and it’s festive with lots of entertainment (classical music, ballet, museums and galleries), festivals and (bachelor) parties. If you are looking for a romantic or picturesque place in Amsterdam, just pick one of the many bridges over the famous canals, or hire a boat and enjoy the sunset!
The best getaway places in Amsterdam are outside city center, of course. Wander around in the small streets of the Jordaan area, once a poor people’s neighbourhood, now a wonderful mixture of locals and yuppies, or find a quiet place in the Vondel Park or Botanical Garden, one of the many churches or the hidden beguinage courtyard. Most of the time it is not crowded in the smaller museums like FOAM (Fotography Museum), the Museum of Bags and Purses or one of the canal houses that one can visit.
Red Light District
Want to feel the real city? Well, you will have to go to the Red Light District actually! This is the oldest part of Amsterdam, where sailors, merchants and prostitutes met around the Old Church, the oldest stone building in Amsterdam.
Speaking about the Red Light District; here you will find our Chinatown with the best Chinese food (not changed to European taste). Or find an Indonesian restaurant (like Blauw), it’s popular in Holland and very good! Do you prefer fine dining? Go to one of the Michelin star restaurants in Amsterdam. Typical Dutch are pancakes or poffertjes (look like little cushions and made with the same batter) and split peas soup.
My favorite restaurant? Rijks, belonging to the Rijksmuseum. Here you will find a guest chef from Dutch origin (like the museum sometimes has a guest curator) preparing small dishes with typical Dutch and local ingredients, often organic too!
After you have visited everything listed above, just go to the Amsterdam Museum. I’m an art historian, I love museums and I enjoy sharing my passion for art! Most people’s favorites are the Rijksmuseum (Dutch Masters from our Golden Age: Rembrandt, Vermeer, Frans Hals) and Van Gogh Museum (both at Museum Square). Here’s also the Stedelijk Museum (for modern art).
Did you know we also have the Hermitage Amsterdam with exhibitions from St. Petersburg, a Biblical Museum and a Portuguese Synagogue from 17 century?
If you like architecture, do a city walk or canal cruise with me and we’ll visit one or two canal houses, the Rembrandt House (where he lived and worked), Anne Frank House, or the Royal Palace. I can arrange skip the line tickets, give you a private guided tour at your own pace and you can ask me anything you want.
When you want more
Want to have a day out of Amsterdam? Why not go to Haarlem, Delft, Gouda, Edam, The Hague, Rotterdam, Nijmegen or Maastricht with me or let’s see some windmills, try some cheese, visit a traditional wooden shoe maker and wander around in the countryside! I have more than 20 years of experience, I’m sure you will enjoy it!”
We thank Walda for such an amazing and detailed story about Amsterdam. If you want to tell how marvellous your city is, just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will promote your city together!