On my last trip of the semester, I went to Amsterdam! It was a last minute decision (as usual), but everything worked out just right. I booked our tickets and found a cute apartment on Airbnb within 4 days of leaving. It was my first time using Airbnb and I absolutely loved it! It doesn’t make you feel like a tourist in an unfamiliar city. It makes you feel more like a local with a house to come home to at night.

But, enough about airbnb…on to the city! Amsterdam is by far one of the coolest cities I have been to. That’s probably because it is so different from everywhere I have been. The architecture was my favorite part…it is so charming. The buildings are some of the narrowest I have ever seen with some of the steepest staircases I have ever climbed. There are boutiques and cafes on every corner and canals running right along side the streets. English is the city’s second language so almost everyone spoke it, which is a major bonus! Oh and another thing…bikers dominate the roads and yield to no one. Cars and people must yield to them. Even though I was nearly taken out several times, I still think it was one of the coolest parts about the city.



^^How pretty is it with the fog in the mornings?? Also, those are houseboats and they are everywhere.




As usual, we ate our way through the city…our favorite treats included their specialties of Stroopwaffles, Dutch Pancakes and Chipsy King.

Stroopwaffles are like two crispy waffle cone-like cookies with honey sandwiched in between. A-ma-zing.


The Dutch pancakes were divine, divine, divine! We tried one with cinnamon, apples, mixed nuts and apple brandy and another with camembert, chicory, ham, and raspberry sauce.


^^We met up with fellow Lausanners who went to Amsterdam the same weekend we did for some pancakes!



Eating fries out of paper cones is kind of a thing there. And I think that is something I could get very used to! You pick any sauce you want to put on top – the most popular is just straight mayonnaise. I couldn’t exactly jump on board with the mayonnaise thing, but I did try sweet chili sauce and that was to die for. And we may or may not have gone back for a second time and I tried a hot peanut sauce. Also delicious!


amsterdam11And of course, besides the shopping and exploring all the different parts of town, we had to do some of the touristy things like taking a picture in front of the Amsterdam sign…

amsterdam12Visit the Van Gogh Museum…



And my favorite museum I think I have ever been to…The Anne Frank House.

Tip: Be in line by 8:00 for the opening at 9:00. You’re guaranteed to be one of the first to walk in and if you come a couple minutes later…you’ll be waiting longer. MUCH longer. When we came out after walking through the museum the line was wrapped around the entire building. Trust me, you won’t want to waste your time standing in the freezing cold while you could be off exploring the rest of the city. But, if you have no other choice than to go at a later time then I’d say the wait is worth it.


^^There we are, second in line!

I really am not even sure how I can put this experience into words. I’m not even sure I should attempt to do so, with a fear of not doing it justice. What I can say is I got chills up and down my spine about 100 times and I teared up about 5 times. Holding the railing she once held, climbing the stairs she once climbed…it really hit me. Her story became so real. Of course, I knew it was real. But, actually touching the things I had read about, had heard about like the original bookcase that hid the entrance to the Annex that tried to keep her and her entire family safe from the cruelest genocide the world has ever seen makes the story come alive. It was the first time I had really been so moved by a museum before. And I encourage everyone to visit it if they have the opportunity to do so.


Amsterdam was such a dream and unique in every single way possible. I think it was such a great way to end the first travel season! Finals here I come…and more importantly, family, here I come!


  1. Linda Wolverton :

    Thanks for sharing Caroline! I really want to go to Amsterdam now!! Good luck with your finals, although I’m pretty sure you don’t need it :) Have a wonderful break and a beautiful Christmas xo

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