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By Elma B.

While living in Brussels, I had the chance to visit Amsterdam, which was only about two and a half hours by train from Brussels. In fact, a return train ticket from Brussels to Amsterdam was only about 45 Euros. For a very long time, I wanted to visit Amsterdam to see its canals, myriad of museums, and experience the bicycle culture firsthand.  

While in Amsterdam, I was struck by the beauty of its canals, which were extremely frequent, and by the sheer number of the bicycles in use. The city is gorgeous and quite calm, and most of the Dutch, whom I stopped to ask for directions, were very polite and spoke English quite well. 

I visited the Anne Frank House, which was quite spectacular and proved to be an emotional roller-coaster. The Anne Frank House was preserved quite well for the tourists to experience firsthand Anne's life in hiding during WWII.  In fact, her father, Otto Frank (and the only family survivor after WWII) helped the museum staff rearrange the furniture, photos and curtains to come as close as possible to mirror their life in hiding during the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam in WWII. 

The other amazing museum I visited was the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, which is one of three palaces in the Netherlands that is at the disposal of Queen Beatrix. I learned that the palace was built as a city hall during the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century. The Royal Palace has a lot of magnificent art and its interior architecture is quite spectacular. I would highly recommend anyone to visit while in Amsterdam. For details of my trip, please see all of my personal photos below. 

Morning in Amsterdam

My arrival to Amsterdam: graffiti at the train station
Morning sunshine in Amsterdam 
Myriad of bicycles in Amsterdam
The Museum Square in Amsterdam

Canals in Amsterdam
Royal Palace of Amsterdam
Atlas Shrugged at the top of the Royal Palace of Amsterdam

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