Best Places to Eat in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Food is one of the most important aspects of a vacation. It’s a time to not diet or count calories, but rather indulge and fully immerse yourself in a city. We spent four days in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and had some excellent food during our stay. Today’s post will cover the best food in Amsterdam, taking us through breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. I hope you had a snack before you look at all the yummy photos below! 😜

In case you missed it, this post is a continuation of our one-year anniversary road trip through Europe. We already wrote about the charming town of Volendam here, the best places to see tulips in the Netherlands here, and Amsterdam’s infamous Red Light District here.

Food is very representative of a city’s culture. In order to really get to know a place and the people, you’ve got to eat the food.

Emeril Lagasse

🇳🇱🧀🥐🍔🍟🥪🍦🍪☕🍽️

Breakfast

De Bakkerswinkel (Warmoesstraat 69, 1012 HX Amsterdam) is the most darling sit-down breakfast spot. The café is two floors: The first floor included the open kitchen, to-go counter, and some dine-in tables, while the second floor offered more dining tables overlooking the first floor like a loft. The whole aesthetic was light and bright, including fresh tulips in bud vases on every table. The menu offers everything you’d want out of a brunch or high tea. We ordered quiche, French toast, and a scone. Everything was excellent, but our favorite part was the homemade jam. When you sit, the server supplies you with an assortment of jams. Our table had five flavors, and you can eat as much jam as you like. Needless to say, we tried all five. We loved them so much that when we were paying our bill we asked if they sold jars to-go. They did! We ended up buying jars of jam for all of our family and friends back home. It was the perfect souvenir and very affordable.

Snack/Lunch

Cheese Shops This will be the only free snack included in this list… so consider it my freebie to you! Stop into nearly any cheese shop in the Netherlands, and you can sample any cheese before purchase. We bought a bunch of cheese while in the Netherlands and loved that we could taste all the flavors and variety.

Febo is what I’d consider a grab-and-go vending machine fast-food spot. Food is prepared fresh every morning then delivered to the vending kiosks daily. They sell items such as croquettes, burgers, chicken skewers, ice cream, and more. The unique thing about this company is that they are a family-owned fast food chain and use local Dutch ingredients. They have over 66 locations, making them conveniently located all over Amsterdam.

Mannekenpis Verse Vlaamse Friet (Damrak 41, 1012 LK Amsterdam) is the french fry shop of all french fry shops. The potatoes are from Zeeland, Netherlands, and after being picked they are processed into french fries the same day they arrive to the factory, making them super fresh. What makes these fries special is the 20 flavors of sauce you can choose from as a topping. The fries are served in paper cones with little wooden forks that make them easy on-the-go and keep your fingers clean. The Amsterdam location is just a window where you order, no sit down. We picked up two cones and snacked while walking from one attraction to the next.

Simit Sarayi (Damrak 57, 1012 LL Amsterdam) is a diverse and affordable fast food option with a menu including breakfast, lunch, and some dinner-ish foods. They do have tables for those wanting to sit down, but you could also order and take your food to-go, making this spot convenient for tourists on-the-go. The location we went to was centrally located by many activities we were going to that day. We ordered at the counter then sat down for ten minutes to eat.

Dinner

Café Restaurant Mamouche (Quellijnstraat 104, 1072 XZ Amsterdam) is an upscale Moroccan-French restaurant. We love Moroccan food, and they did not disappoint. The Pastilla, lamb kefta, couscous with kebab, and Moroccan mint tea were all superb. We dined at a lovely table outside. Highly recommend this gem.

Restaurant Bazar was a Mediterranean restaurant located in Amsterdam. Since our visit, they have decided to close permanently. However, they still made my list because they were really tasty; just look at our dishes below! All hope isn’t lost though, because they do have a Rotterdam, Netherlands, location just an hour away. When we visited the Netherlands, we actually visited several cities, and Rotterdam was one of them.

The Burger Room (Paulus Potterstraat 30H, 1701 DA Amsterdam) is a burger restaurant and cocktail bar inspired by the Wizard of Oz. The 1920s art deco style is mixed with lush velvet emerald green and gold accents. The Wizard of Oz theme runs deep, with creative names on the menu, artwork, and a mini museum downstairs, including a replica of Dorothy’s ruby slippers. We had spent the day in the museum district seeing museum after museum, and this burger spot was the perfect place for a break and replenish. We ordered burgers and milkshakes, and they were really tasty. If you like burgers or are just a Wizard of Oz fan, then you need to check this place out.

Vegan Junk Food Bar (Marie Heinekenplein 9-10, Amsterdam) is a vegan eatery that sells everything from meatless burgers to ribs. We didn’t actually eat here but had stumbled upon it while on the way to our Moroccan restaurant. It was definitely the busiest restaurant in that whole area of town. The crowd we saw, plus the 4.5-star reviews on Yelp and Trip Advisor led me to believe that it’s really good. I wish we had one more day in Amsterdam so we could have eaten here. There are four locations in Amsterdam.

Dessert

Banketbakkerij v.d. Linde (Nieuwendijk 183, 1012 MG Amsterdam) is a special ice cream shop in the heart of Amsterdam. I’d heard really good things about this place so figured I’d give it a try. They only sell one flavor, a smooth rich vanilla whipped cream scoop in a waffle cone. Vanilla isn’t my favorite flavor of ice cream, but this is more than just vanilla. It was very affordable, and the quick-moving line out the door of this shop will tell you just how good it was.

Van Wonderen Stroopwafels (Kalverstraat 190, 1012 XH Amsterdam) is a stroopwafel shop that was highly recommended by a friend. Stroopwafel is a dessert-like chewy wafer cookie made from two thin layers of dough, pressed with a thin lining of filling in the middle (most commonly a caramel or honey-like substance). This shop makes them to order, and they were seriously gourmet and so scrumptious. They also sell a bunch of prepackaged stroopwafel items you can purchase as souvenirs, or to save for a midnight snack in your hotel room later. 😊

🇳🇱🧀🥐🍔🍟🥪🍦🍪☕🍽️

And that’s a wrap (pun intended) on our best food in Amsterdam post! I hope I introduced you to some new dishes and restaurants that will influence your next Amsterdam dining experience. Stay tuned for the next Amarvelous Honeymoon blog post, where we’ll be covering the best Amsterdam attractions, and in the coming weeks we’ll be writing about the rest of our unforgettable trip through the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Spain!

Amsterdam’s Infamous Red Light District

What comes to your mind when I say, “Amsterdam’s Infamous Red Light District?” Ever wanted to visit? Think it’s all risqué and sexy? Well, there’s more to this neighborhood than its promiscuous reputation. Come along as I explain how we traveled to and from Amsterdam, recommend some super tasty treats we dined on, explain the rules of the Red Light District (yes, there are rules to be followed), and share some must-see museums we experienced.

This post is a continuation of our one-year anniversary road trip through Europe. We already wrote about the charming town of Volendam here and the best places to see tulips in the Netherlands here, and in the coming weeks, we’ll be writing about the rest of our unforgettable trip through the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Spain.

❌❌❌ 🇳🇱 ❌❌❌

Our Arrival into Amsterdam

While this was a road trip, we should note that we returned the car for the duration of our time in Amsterdam. Between having to pay nightly for parking and the fact that the city of Amsterdam is easily walkable (and a pleasure to do so, since you’ll see so much more beauty and history by walking), we realized that it was the best decision for us. Public transportation, although readily available into and within Amsterdam, wasn’t something that we took much advantage of either. As I said, we love walking around to explore, and there are always great finds along the way that you never would have stumbled upon had you not been on foot. Amsterdam is the perfect city for that.

The hotel we selected was Hotel Piet Hein which sits next to Vondelpark, close to Rijksmuseum, and only a 17-minute drive away from the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. It’s a three-star hotel, and we paid $210 a night in mid-April. The closer you are to the heart of the city, the pricier the hotels become. We stayed in a prime location to still walk everywhere, but we were just outside of the city center, so we saved a little. To me, that $210 a night was still a steep bill. Do keep in mind that mid-April is the peak flower season in the Netherlands, so you will pay more at this time of year than other months.

Photo Credit: Hotel Piet Hein

The hotel was modern-looking. The rooms were on the smaller side, which we expected since we’re in a big city. Everything was super clean and nicely furnished. The lobby common area was cozy with plenty of lounge seating, and there was a fantastic outdoor backyard dining area where we spent time having a meal one day. The hotel does have an elevator inside, but the front entrance has steps and no ramp, so if you are traveling with heavy bags like we were, or if steps are challenging for you, then you may have some initial access difficulties at this particular hotel or need to ask for help from the front desk.

Canals are the most picturesque part of Amsterdam. There are many hotels with canal views, since the waterways run throughout the heart of the city. It would have been lovely to have our hotel room look out over one of the canals, but the rooms that share the water views have rightfully inflated pricing. Our days were so jam-packed that we hardly spend enough time in the room for it to be worth the price difference for us. Plus, we walked around all day along the canal waterways. In the end, we didn’t feel like we missed out, so don’t feel just because you’re in Amsterdam that you need to splurge for that hotel canal view.

After we checked into our hotel and dropped off our bags, we drove back to the airport to return our rental car. The airport is a convenient public transit hub that connects directly to the Dutch rail network. If our trip had only been to the Netherlands and not also Belgium, France, and Spain, then it may have been worth it to take trains all over the country instead of renting a car (food for thought).

Photo Credit: Project Mapping

We found a train that would take us from Schipol Airport into Amsterdam Centraal in just 14 minutes. Amsterdam Centraal is the largest rail station in North Holland and was the perfect spot to begin our day. The atrium where you purchase tickets at the airport had self-service ticket kiosks throughout, with help readily available if you need it. Tickets were only €5.60 ($6.85 USD) each, so it was an affordable way to get back to the fun parts of our trip.

Photo Credit: holland-explorer.com

The train ride was above ground, and I loved watching the scenery of the city as we passed. It was such a wise decision to drop off our bags with the car earlier in the day because now we could just arrive into Amsterdam Centraal Station and freely explore for the remainder of the day. The station building was beautiful. The tube the train arrived into was made of a glass ceiling that you could see the sky through. The older part of the building was made of red bricks and white stone, and it had a grey roof. Very stately. The exterior of the building had loads of bicycles lined up. Something you’ll see all over Amsterdam are bike racks covered in locked-up bicycles. It’s a major form of transportation, as it’s such a small walkable city.

First order of business was a quick bite for lunch. Not too far outside of Amsterdam Centraal, we stumbled upon a busy and very instagrammable french fries shop called Mannekenpis Verse Vlaamse Friet. This shop was just a window where you ordered and picked up your food. They had a line out the front, so it looked promising. The premise is that you order a paper cone filled with french fries and you can select a sauce for them to pour on top. The selection of sauces included a very impressive 23 different flavors. This wasn’t a bad selection for a snack, because it’s grab and go. We were able to snack as we continued to stroll through the city.

The Red Light District

About five minutes later, we found ourselves in the Red Light District, arguably the most infamous part of Amsterdam. It was still daylight when we entered this neighborhood, and you could already see how the name originated. The Oudezijds Archterburgwal canal and roadway was lined with many storefront buildings with lit-up neon window signs. I’m sure it comes to life even more so in the evening. Along the road, we passed brothels, sex shops, peep shows, strip clubs, and cafés that serve cannabis products.

Red Light District Highlighted – Photo Credit: Google Maps

Although Amsterdam is pretty liberal and has acknowledged sex work and the use of light recreational drugs and legal behaviors, there are rules in place to keep the environment orderly and safe to protect both the workers and visitors.

  • Taking pictures of sex workers is prohibited: This is a pay-to-play environment. Even taking pictures of a sex worker in a window is not allowed.
  • Don’t disrespect the sex worker in the windows: This is a hard job, and no one likes being gawked at or laughed at. Be respectful and polite.
  • Don’t block sex worker windows: Online advertising and street advertising is prohibited by the sex worker, so the window is their only way for the sex worker to showcase themselves.
  • Street prostitution and prostitution hotels are illegal: There are plenty of sex shops and approved establishments available, so do not buy off the street as the fine is €115 ($140.74 USD) for each party involved.
  • No drinking alcohol in the streets: Alcohol may only be consumed at approved establishments both inside and outside, and the fine is €95 ($116.27 USD).
  • No purchasing of drugs from street dealers: Light recreational drug use is allowed at cafés, and some menus even offer such products for sale and consumption. You can carry a maximum of five grams of weed on you legally.
  • Obligatory identification: Don’t forget to have a photo ID on yourself (especially if you look young). From age 14+ there are fines if you are asked for ID and cannot show one. Customers may be as young as 16 years old.
  • Respect the neighborhood, and don’t litter the streets or canals: This lively neighborhood isn’t just fun and games. Above many storefronts, there are residencies and hotels. The fine for littering is €140 ($171.34 USD).
  • Use designated public urinals: Urinating in the streets, alleyways, and canals is prohibited, and the fine for doing so is €140 ($171.34 USD).
  • Don’t smoke under open windows: Be conscious where you light up.
  • Walk on the right side of the street: In the past few years, pedestrian congestion has become more severe. When visitors follow the right-side rule, it assists flow and alleviates congestion.
  • Sleeping in your car is prohibited: Fine is €140 ($171.34 USD).

There is much more to the Red Light District than just red windows. There are churches, daycares, homes, groceries, everyday shops, and culture that this neighborhood has to offer both day and night. Be respectful of people, space, sex, drug, and alcohol rules, as there are fines and plenty of enforcement in this neighborhood. As it goes for any city, you can have a lot of fun, but you just have to follow their rules.

We were visiting on our one-year wedding anniversary trip and elected to not take part in the sexier offerings the Red Light District has to offer. If you’re in the same boat as us and not feeling like you want to experience that part of it, then I’d suggest you still do a stroll through this famous neighborhood just to experience it. “When in Amsterdam,” am I right? We stumbled upon a couple museum attractions that caught our eye, and we did experience those.

The first museum we visited was the Red Light Secrets Museum of Prostitution. Tickets are €12.50 ($15.30 USD) per ticket. This is the world’s first prostitution museum. The museum was a walkthrough experience that took you through a day in the life of one prostitute, Inga, a Russian sex worker who has been working the Amsterdam Red Light District for 15 years. The experience showcased how she was a real person and had a life of family and friends outside of her job, that her chosen career is nothing to be ashamed over, answered questions people always have of sex workers, and was actually really tastefully done and informative. There are 12 free audio stories included in the walkthrough experience. There’s also a photo opportunity where you can take a picture from inside one of the red windows. I was impressed.

The second museum was the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum. Tickets are €9 ($11.01 USD) each. This museum is basically the history of marijuana. They have artifacts and art to educate on all aspects of cannabis and hemp including history, culture, fashion, and modern medicine. The museum itself consists of two sites: the original building and a newer addition a few stores down. When purchasing the ticket, you gain access to both buildings. Our ticket included a free audio guide so we could learn additional facts as we walked through the museum at our own pace. They say the average self-guided tour lasts about an hour. I actually think we spent over an hour here as by the time we were leaving it was now dark out.

I also want to highlight a few attractions that we didn’t experience but that are popular in the Red Light District:

  • Erotic Museum: This is an attraction for those who may want to see what the Red Light District establishments look like, without actually partaking in booking a sex worker. There is an erotica shop, an exhibit on the history of the district, a wax figure of a girl working, photographs, and so much more. Tickets are €5 ($6.12 USD) each.
Photo Credit: Nat Geo Traveller India
Photo Credit: Wowabouts
  • Casa Rosso: Upscale theatre-style sex show with velvet seats and a stage. A combined ticket plus two drinks costs €55 ($67.31 USD) each.
Photo Credit: Amsterdam Travel Guide
  • Banana Bar: A popular club for bachelor parties where waitresses perform party tricks.
Photo Credit: Tripadvisor
Photo Credit: Tom Boltendal
  • The Bulldog: One of the first coffeeshops in the city and the first in the Red Light District.
Photo Credit Abariltur
Photo Credit: Hangover-Information.com
  • Cannabis College: This free experience educates visitors on both cannabis and hemp uses.
Photo Credit: amsterdam-coffeeshop-tour.com
  • Oude Kerk: Oldest church in Amsterdam. Built in the 1300s. I’ve read that the views from the bell towers overlooking the city are breathtaking.
Photo Credit: Amsterdam Red Light District Tours
  • Also check out these top food items:

Finishing our First Day in Amsterdam

We continued our walk back to our hotel and stopped into Van Wonderen Stroopwafel, which had been highly recommended by a friend. Stroopwafel is a dessert like chewy wafer cookies made from two thin layers of dough pressed with a thin lining of filling in the middle (most commonly a caramel or honey-like substance). We’d already had stroopwafel on our Netherlands trip thus far, but these were seriously gourmet and so scrumptious. They were hand-made to order, and then you could select toppings. Very decadent and the perfect dessert snack for our walk home.

The entire day, we were basically on a slow stroll from one side of Amsterdam back to our hotel. Though we could have walked from Amsterdam Centraal station to our hotel in about 30 minutes, all the sights and experiences we took in along the way were well worth it. There were also plenty of souvenir shops for us to pick up a few more trinkets for family and friends back home. We arrived back to our hotel in the dark, and the walk felt very safe. What a successful first day in Amsterdam!

Photo Credit: Google Maps

❌❌❌ 🇳🇱 ❌❌❌

All in all, we had a really fantastic first day in Amsterdam. This was partially a travel day, so we didn’t have a full morning-to-evening in the city, but we sure did see a lot for the few hours of daylight we had left. The famous Red Light District did not disappoint. We definitely felt like we had the full Amsterdam experience with today’s itinerary, yet there was still so much more to see! We hope that you enjoyed going on this journey with us through the Red Light District. The next few Amarvelous Honeymoon posts will cover our next jam-packed days in Amsterdam!

Best Places to See Tulips in the Netherlands

Imagine the most beautiful, colorful, vibrant field of flowers that you’ve ever seen in your life, and now quadruple it. This is how we spent the next day on our one-year wedding anniversary road trip through Europe. It had been on my bucket list to frolic through tulip fields in the Netherlands, and in this post we do just that, plus explain all the best places to see flowers on your trip. We make it out to a local family farm for a spectacular photo shoot, walk the gardens of Keukenhof, and even experience the historic Dutch Flower Parade. If you’re a flower enthusiast, or visiting the Netherlands in spring, then read on to ensure you experience all the best places to get your fill of flowers.

Did you know… the Netherlands is world famous for its colorful tulip fields? Around two billion tulips are exported every year, making the Netherlands the world’s largest exporter of flowers. Tulip season is around April 10th to May 5th. The exact week depends on when the last frost of winter takes place, because this affects when the bulbs can be planted. However, if you visit the Netherlands around this window of time, you are bound to see tulips. It was pure luck that our wedding anniversary falls on this exact date range! What a most perfect time of year (and excuse) to visit.

🇳🇱🌷🌹🌺🌻

Our last post ended in Volendam, a lovely town just north of Amsterdam. You can read about that quaint harbor town here. Our short time there was wonderful. The drive from Volendam to our next destination allowed us the opportunity to stop off at a few family cheese farms along the way and stock up on snacks for our next hotel.

Today we were headed to the towns of Lisse and Sassenheim. My best friend had recommended Lisse, as that is where the Kukenhof gardens are. Although Sassenheim wasn’t included in the list of must-see destinations that she provided us, I had done some research of my own and realized that we needed to stop in this town. While we were visiting, the Bloemencorso Bollenstreek (annual Dutch Flower Parade) was going to be taking place (what luck!), and Sassenheim was the perfect spot to view the parade.

Keukenhof Gardens

First stop was to Keukenhof Gardens. It happened to be only a 50-minute drive from Volendam and on our way to the hotel. We had left Volendam early enough in the day that we had plenty of time to spend in the garden before they closed.

Photo Credit: Kuekenhof

Entry tickets cost €18.50 ($22.42 USD) per person. Tickets are available for purchase online or in person. I’d say it was well worth the price. You can travel all over the Netherlands and see tulips but not get close to them… however, in this park you are incredibly immersed in floral heaven. The grounds were immaculately manicured and clean, and they offered endless photo opportunities, floral installations, performances, interactive activities, and dining. Although the website says most people spend three hours in the park, I can say from experience that the park is huge, and we spent way longer than three hours on site. You could literally spend all day there if you took your time and captured pictures along the way. And trust me, you’ll take hundreds of photos. It was extremely difficult for me to narrow down the photos I have selected for you below. It kind of feels like a disservice to leave so many great pictures out, but you’ll just have to take my word for it: it’s spectacular and a must-see destination in the Netherlands.

There are plenty of photo opportunities:

There are plenty of flowers:

There are even some art installations sprinkled throughout the experience:

Such a splendid park takes a massive team of horticulturists to plant and maintain the grounds. We visited in April of 2019, and although the park was closed for most of 2020 due to COVID, they kept the flowers blooming and offered virtual visits on YouTube. Check out this behind-the-scenes video welcoming us back for 2021.

And if you’re in northern Netherlands, I’ve heard good things about the Anna Paulowna garden, which is less touristy than Keukenhof. Holland’s largest contiguous area with tulip fields blooms near this village, about 37 miles (or 60 km) north of Amsterdam.

Flower Fields

On the way to Keukenhof, we had passed fields of tulips just off the side of the road, so when we left the park, we circled back to see if we could find them again. We found it, and just across the street there were some parking spots. We pulled over, crossed the street with our camera gear, and enjoyed a magnificent photo shoot on this beautiful farm.

A word of caution would be that these farms off the sides of the roads are privately owned. We definitely weren’t the only people there taking pictures, but there was a point when it seemed there were a lot of people on the site, and the farmer eventually came out to shoo everyone away. The most important thing is to be respectful. These flowers, as spectacular as they are, are that farmer’s livelihood. Don’t walk too far into the flower paths, don’t break stems or flowers, and certainly don’t pick them as souvenirs. You can enjoy them from a distance, or be extremely careful if taking pictures just inside the pathways, and then be on your way.

Take a look at how seriously breathtaking these photos are. I still cannot believe these photos are mine. The colors were so vibrant! The rows of yellow, pink, and orange seemed to go on as far as the eye could see. Since I’d learned of tulip fields in the Netherlands, it’s been on my bucket list to see. And on this day, I was able to cross it off. We probably stayed close to 45 minutes. It was a little drizzly, the sun was beginning to set, and it was getting pretty cold outside.

In hindsight, I really did feel terrible when the farmer came out to shoo us away. In that moment, I realized the farm is probably not open for visitors. I wished I had planned better and picked a tulip field that was more commercial or an attraction, over the one that we stumbled upon that ended up being privately owned for harvest purposes. I learned after the fact that there is a commercialized flower farm just 10 minutes away (or 5 km) from Keukenhof that is called Farm De Tulperij in Voorhout. The farmer and his wife take visitors on tours through the flower fields, teach you the history of tulips and the bulb growing process, show you the greenhouse, and even offer refreshments. The farm is open from 9:30am to 5:00pm daily in season. There are also a bunch of other fields that are open to the public.

Photo Credit: Tulip Farm De Tulperij (Farmers Daan and Anja)

My best friend (from the Netherlands) sent me the below bike map and landmark suggestions, which are an alternative and fun way to experience the tulips. If you have more time than we did, rent some bikes and go explore. The landmarks below can be put into your GPS in case you get off track or just need to put in a destination to get you to guaranteed tulip spots:

  • In the yellow area: Landgoed Kasteel Keukenhof (Mansion on a country estate), Keukenhof Molen (Windmill)
  • In the orange area (Lisse, Noordwijkerhout and Hillegom): Landgoed Tespelduyn (Restaurant)
  • In the red area: No specific landmarks but takes you to the beach and dune area
  • In the purple area (supposed to have the prettiest tulip fields of Lisse and Voorhout): Bloembollenkwekerij De Tulperij (Family farm), ‘t Huys Dever (Ancient Ruins/Castle)
Photo Credit: Tripadvisor

Our Hotel

Our hotel, the Van der Valk Hotel Sassenheim-Leiden, was only about 15 minutes away from the flower fields and Keukenhof gardens. We decided to stay the evening here because it had been one of the closest hotels to the parade grandstands (actually advertised on the map for the parade website). We planned to walk from the hotel to the parade the next morning, so this prime location was optimal.

Photo Credit: Bloemencorse Bollenstreek

The hotel itself is a 4.3 out of 5 star rating, beautiful, and modern. If you plan to attend the parade and visit during the tulip festival, I highly suggest booking as early as possible. As the cheaper rooms sell out early, the larger rooms can become costly. We booked early and were lucky to snag the Comfort Room which is the smallest room and runs as low as €79.00 ($95.80 USD) a night. Although it’s the smallest room, I actually found it to be huge with a great bathroom. Plenty big for two people for one evening. Highly recommend. Do keep in mind that if staying the weekend of the flower parade, prices can be inflated, but the price does include parking and wifi.

Dinner

We’d worked up a bit of an appetite walking around all day, but it was already dark out, and we didn’t want to roam too far from the hotel or be out too late as we had an early start tomorrow. We decided to drive three minutes to the nearest McDonalds for dinner. You may laugh, but hubby and I actually enjoy trying McDonalds everywhere we travel to compare the quality to home. They also have different menu offerings in each country, and even some usual menu options (like double cheeseburgers) just taste better outside of America. Dinner hit the spot.

Photo Credit: McDonalds

Grocery Shopping

At dinner, we had come up with a great idea to Google if there was a local grocery store nearby. We knew we had an early start in the morning and wouldn’t have time to go out and buy breakfast, so if we could purchase that today, then it would make our morning easier. We also figured we could use a few more snacks for the parade and continuation of our road trip. Lucky for us, a Dirk van den Broek was only a four-minute drive away.

This store was huge! It was such a great decision to go grocery shopping. We stocked up on all the essentials: Bread, deli meat, cheese, yogurt, fruit, and Nutella, and then we spotted the motherload of stroopwafel (a wafer cookie made from two thin layers of baked dough joined by a caramel filling). They came in a dozen flavors. We’d already had wonderful homemade from-the-farm stroopwafel on our drive from Volendam this morning… so how good could grocery stroopwafel be? For the very affordable price of around €3 ($3.65 USD) per sleeve, we were willing to take a chance, and boy are we glad that we did. This grocery store-bought stroopwafel, probably made in some factory in the Netherlands, was still way better than any store-bought stroopwafel that we have been able to find in America since this trip. Not only did we pick up a few sleeves for ourselves, but we also stocked up on a bunch more sleeves that we planned to bring to our offices when we got back to America. When buying souvenirs for our colleagues at work, we require such large quantities, that it costs us a mini fortune, so my pro tip would be to purchase food-related items from grocery stores over airport shops or boutique shops (although buying from small mom-and-pop shops is lovely too).

After an extremely successful grocery trip, we returned to the hotel, put away our small trove of yummy groceries, and then got ready for bed.

Flower Parade

One of our most highly anticipated activities that I had planned in the Netherlands was the Flower Parade. It was a happy coincidence that I stumbled upon the information online, and the parade was taking place while we were there. This parade is unique in that it’s the only parade around the world that is totally made up of spring flowers. Every float is adorned with flowers. With more than a million visitors from all over the world, it’s definitely a festive attraction for locals and tourists alike. I just knew it was meant to be that we attend. “When in Rome Holland,” am I right?