Home Amsterdam: A Cultural Oasis

Amsterdam: A Cultural Oasis

by Sarah Martin

Last Updated on December 16, 2013 by

For Halloween weekend I decided to pack up my bags and head to Amsterdam.

Note to self: Just because an overnight bus ride is cheaper does not mean it’s better! Although, I really couldn’t argue with a 12 euro ticket. The price was right and Amsterdam was beautiful. After stepping off the bus in somewhat of a fog, our group headed straight for the all girls hostel (Hostelle) twenty minutes outside of the city. It was a bit of a hike from the main city but I would highly recommend it. It was clean, the staff was incredibly nice, and all of the girls there were so welcoming. It was like being in a freshman dorm hall all over again. We dropped our stuff off at the hostel, and fighting the urge to sleep, we headed straight for the city.


When booking my trip, I really had no idea what Amsterdam had to offer. I feel incredibly ignorant that I didn’t know about the red light district or any other aspect of Amsterdam’s colorful nature. So needless to say, showing up in a country that liberal was eye opening. The first day we were in Amsterdam we decided there was no better way to beat the fatigue than to spend the entire day wandering the city from beginning to end.



We took the metro into the city and walked around until we arrived at the Anne Frank House. The Anne Frank House was one of the most meaningful experiences of my life. I got chills walking through the home, reading her diary, and standing in the same rooms she had spent so many dark days. It was heartbreaking to think of a young girl who only wanted to be outside, locked away with the windows constantly boarded up.


My goal for Amsterdam was to immerse myself in the culture; and that has really been my goal these last seven weeks abroad. I spent the next few days in Amsterdam wandering around the Van Gogh Museum and the Heineken Brewery, and seeing Holland firsthand.  I loved the floating flower market and recommend it to anyone visiting. It is the only floating flower market in the world and a great place for souvenirs and tulip bulbs to send home to the family!






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