Travel for 2 cost breakdown (at the time of writing this post):
- The College Hotel: $195 per night
- Roundtrip Airfare from San Francisco to Amsterdam (1-stop): $520 pp
- Food/Entertainment/Transportation/Souvenirs: $1000
- GRAND TOTAL FOR 2 TRAVELERS – 4 days: $2820
***At this time, we are not endorsed by any outside affiliates. That said – when booking our trips, we have had a lot of success with Hotels.com, Skyskanner, and Tripmasters.
Booking a trip to The Netherlands (and most of the EU) is easy for Americans! The US passport allows US citizens to enter the EU visa-free for up to 90 days. You will be free to roam all Schengen Area countries (including Germany, France, Italy, The Czech Republic, Belgium, Finland, and more). All you need is a US passport, flights, and accommodations and you’re good to go!
Beauty and Determination
Did you know that many historians credit Amsterdam with the creation of capitalism and modern democracy? You can learn more about historical Amsterdam, city planning and the Dutch East India Company here – thank you PBS!
This was a city of misfits. It was one of the first “free” areas in Europe, meaning that people were leaving their home countries and fleeing to the area we now call Holland to pursue religious freedoms, business, and creation of new societal systems. You could argue that Amsterdam paved the way for the future United States, and they certainly did their part in building one of our best cities – New Amsterdam, which we now call New York City.
It was not without loads of determination. The water in Holland is constantly a burden. The whole region is essentially a swamp. But, through the creation of canals and land building, Holland was able to secure their land and build world-renowned architecture that was built to stand the test of time (and water). Further, with the melting-pot of different cultures, Amsterdam has had to navigate language and cultural differences, religious differences, and societal differences throughout its history – leading to a very tolerant region and people.
It is my analysis that the Dutch live the phrase, “Where there is a will, there is a way.” And, because of this, they have remained one of the most prosperous and happy people in the world.
In solving problems, it becomes evident that the Dutch truly value beauty. Through the growth and export of tulips, to the creation of the canals and windmills, to the rule of home-ownership taking up small lots and building “up.” There were other ways to navigate their future, but the Dutch found perhaps the most beautiful of ways to move forward. And that’s truly something to love.
What We Did
We spent three days in Amsterdam exploring the area around the Dam Square, the Museums, the Vondelpark, Bols and Heineken, the Jordaan Market, and Rembrandtplein.
But, perhaps the most fascinating and beautiful was our day-trip out of the city center. We took the “Flowers, Windmills, and Cheese Tour.” With this tour, you are driven to three of the most fascinating little tourist stops in all of Holland. It begins at the Zaanse Schans – a quaint and beautiful little village that hosts dozens of windmills. There are little cafes and shops in the town to keep you busy for hours, but you are also invited to visit and learn about working windmills in Holland and how they helped the Dutch prosper in the age of shipyards and trade.
Next, you will visit Volendam to see a working cheese factory – and of course to try all of the cheeses! This is also a famous fishing village that showcases many local cuisines and shops.
The tour concludes at the world-famous Kuekenhof Gardens. This is one of the biggest flower gardens in the world – and the colors are absolutely fascinating! Visit between March – May for the best of tulip season!
Toast the Moon Rating:
- Food and Drink: 9/10
- Culture/Locals: 10/10
- Things to Do: 10/10
- Adventure Opportunities: 9/10
- Cost: 9/10
- Total: 9.4/10 – Proost!
Enjoy your adventure!
Toast the Moon – Cheers,
Noah and Majhon