Ever Awesome Amsterdam

Europe | Netherlands | RTW 6 1/2 - The Balkans Edition
canals Amsterdam Holland

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Sometimes I have good ideas and sometimes I have bad ideas. And then sometimes, though admittedly less often, I have great ideas.

Ending my 5-week trip through Europe and the Balkans with one final night in Amsterdam was one of those rare great ideas.

When I booked my ticket for the trip, the flight home from Bucharest had two layover options, one hour in Amsterdam or twenty hours in Amsterdam for the same price. For me, that’s not even a question, I went for the overnight.

Amsterdam is a great place for a layover even if you only have a few hours. The train to the Central Station takes just 20 minutes and costs less than 4 euro. After landing at noon, I was at my hotel shortly after 1:00pm with the rest of the day to wander.

It has been 8 years since my last visit to Amsterdam, but it was just as beautiful as I remembered.  Dutch architecture, a rainbow of tulips, winding canals, a flurry of bicycles and – as a bonus – absolutely perfect weather.  In fact, it had rained for two weeks straight prior to my arrival, but yesterday the sun emerged and it seemed all of Amsterdam came out to play.

Hotel Pulitzer Amsterdam Holland
The Hotel Pulitzer, Amsterdam – my last stay on the continent

Though I was originally searching for a reasonably-priced budget hotel (a holdover, I guess from the types of places I booked throughout the Balkans) I ultimately decided to blow quite a few Marriott points and finish my trip in style with a night at the glorious Hotel Pulitzer (2017 Update: Sadly, this is no longer a Starwood hotel, but it is still pretty fabulous)

I was hoping to end the trip with a nice fancy suite the Pulitzer did not disappoint. I was upgraded to a top-floor suite with wood-beam ceilings, skylights, and a canal view.

Hotel Pulitzer Amsterdam Holland
The bedroom of my suite at the Hotel Pulitzer

I spent the afternoon aimlessly strolling around the city just taking it all in. I stopped on bridges to watch the boats cruise underneath me on the canal below, sat at the water’s edge to feed the swans for a while and then grabbed a seat at a canal-side café to enjoy an ice cold Heineken.

I wish I’d had enough time to visit the nearby city of The Hague, but I suppose that will have to wait for another trip!

Read More: The Hague: Holland’s Royal City by the Sea

It was Holland at its best and it was a terrific way to end my trip.

Today I’m traveling home and tomorrow I’ll have a few thoughts on the trip as a whole.

It’s been quite a month.

4 Comments

  1. Any other hotels you can recommend in Amsterdam? So many to choose from!

    Going next April which is probably most expensive time of year!

    Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Suzanne, April in Amsterdam is amazing, you will love it! I don’t have much experience with the budget properties there (I’ve used points at the Pulitzer and the first time I went years ago I was at a budget hotel near the train station that I can’t remember the name of but I definitely wouldn’t recommend it!). Europe is always tough, especially in high season, however I’ve had good luck with both Mercure and Golden Tulip budget chains, both of which have several properties in Amsterdam. I just stayed at a brand new Mercure in Moscow last week and it was gorgeous (and only $120/night). Also, have you considered the apartment option? I use Airbnb.com all the time in Europe and they have some really great deals…way less than you would pay for a hotel and much more space. Some of the owners on Airbnb rent for as little as 2 nights so I’d plug your dates into their website and see what comes up! One note for Airbnb, I always check the “entire apartment” option because they do also offer just rooms for rent in people’s homes (haven’t tried that yet!). Good luck and I hope you have an amazing trip!

  2. Sounds fantastic!!! Great idea!

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