Yesterday I got back from an 8-day trip to Amsterdam. What an incredible city! As this is primarily a blog about books, I ought to mention the book-related things first. The Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam is a huge newly built brightly lit library with the most incredible cafe on the 6th floor that has the best views out across the city.

The picture below is me looking out across the 4th floor at a corner window towards the Nemo Science Centre.


This is a cute little reading area in the children’s section. Incidentally, the children’s section is one of the best children’s library areas I’ve ever seen! I was running around, appropriately, like a big kid.


The Mouse Mansion by Karina Shaapman was in a case in the children’s section and was absolutely incredible.


I also liked this cute reading banner:


Other things I liked about Amsterdam:


  • Cycling. Amazing! The city itself is so bike-friendly and there are bikes everywhere you look. We also cycled out into the countryside and there were actual roads for bikes with signs and proper routes and everything. I went out on my bike in Manchester today and felt slightly disappointed at how few cyclists I saw on my route.


  • Food. We didn’t eat out all the time due to being on a budget, but we did eat a lot of dessert; pancakes, waffles, apple pie, ice cream. All amazing. We found a tiny old pancake house called “Upstairs” which had teapots all over the ceiling. There were indeed stairs that you went up to get there. They were very steep. There were only four tables in the place. I had a giant pancake with bananas. We also ate some amazing Indonesian food.


Speaking of teapots, this was the kettle in our apartment:


  • We went to the EYE Film Institute and checked out the free stuff in the basement. You could do stuff like leap around in front of a screen making colour patterns and making daft five-second video clips of yourself.


  • BEER. We found quite a few tiny little bars selling Dutch beer. This picture was taken in a brewery bar called De Prael. We also did a brewery tour at Brouwerij ‘t IJ which I would thoroughly recommend if you like beer and find yourself in Amsterdam!


Also: everyone was so friendly! We got rescued from a potential 17 km walk due to a flat tire by a friendly Dutch Biology teacher and we met so many nice people. I would definitely go back.


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