12 Random Observations About Amsterdam

Two days to spend in Amsterdam isn’t a lot of time, but it is enough to get some general observations. (We also wrote about what to do with teens in Amsterdam).

In no particular order:

Bike a boatload of kids in Amsterdam. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

1. No one wears bike helmets.

2. You must look 6 ways when crossing the street. First there’s the bike lane. They ride fast and they don’t stop for pedestrians. Next lane is for cars. Then two lanes for trams coming in opposite directions. If you’re standing there and it’s clear, look again for cars. Then bikes. Once on the sidewalk again, you’re safe. Until you need to cross the street again.

Look 6 ways when crossing the street in Amsterdam. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

3. Coffee shops are for marijuana. Not coffee.


4. There are lots of plugs along the street for electric vehicles.

Don’t learn to parallel park in Amsterdam by the canals. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

5. I wouldn’t want to learn how to parallel park by a canal in Amsterdam.

6. If you want a photo of your family by the IAMSTERDAM sculpture, take it at the airport, not by the Rijksmuseum.

Photo at airport – see my family? Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan
Photo at Rijksmuseum – see my family? Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

7. Amsterdam has 250 museums. That includes the Cat Cabinet and the Museum of Bags and Purses. If you go for high tea at the latter, you can eat desserts made to look like handbags and high heels. Very Instagram-worthy.

8. The Millennials are very into group exercise in the park – any park. And they’re all attractive. Just ask my husband.

Exercising is popular in the park. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

9. You can buy gummy boobs and willies in the corner store.

Don’t buy these for the kids! Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

10. You can rent a bike that wheels your kids around in a giant wooden shoe.

Rent a bike with a wooden shoe for your kids. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

11. Europeans love to smoke. And they have some vivid cigarette packaging.

Would you do this to your baby? Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan
Duty-free cartons at the airport. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan

12. At “smartshops” you can buy magic mushrooms, “weed seeds” and herbal drugs. The stores are really nice looking.

A smartshop in Amsterdam. Copyright Deborah Abrams Kaplan


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