A day sauntering amidst the embracing aura of the dutch capital Amsterdam and the Halloween festival

This year (2015) my birthday fell on a weekend and the best part we were in Europe. And Chalukya was all keen on making it memorable. He booked tickets to Amsterdam; no plans, no itinerary, just a day relaxing amidst the maze of canals relishing the embracing aura of Amsterdam.

Amsterdam and the Halloween Festival

Amsterdam, the Dutch capital is every travel fanatics dream and on top of the bucket list. Amsterdam has something to offer to everyone with its historic canals lining the streets, the romantic canal cruise, world-famous museums, lively Amsterdam nightlife and many cannabis coffee shops.

Amsterdam and the Halloween Festival

‘I Amsterdam’

We reached Amsterdam airport early morning and boarded a bus to Amsterdam central station. We started our city tour posing for pictures with the city’s iconic landmark and the most photographed structure of the city – the large red and white ‘I Amsterdam’ slogan. Located at the back of the Rijksmuseum on Museumplein beckons all the tourists to hop on and around the letters for the best photo ops possible. As we visited early morning the area was desolate with only a couple of other tourists.

Amsterdam and the Halloween Festival

Gassan Diamond Factory

The city being the leading center for diamonds in ancient times our next stop was Gassan Diamond Factory. The factory is walkable from the central station. Sauntering through the canals and bridges and surprised by the overwhelming bicycle traffic we reached the factory.

A guide walked us through the diamond cutting procedure and explained us the 4 C’s of diamond – Carat, Color, Cut, and Clarity.

Amsterdam and the Halloween Festival

We had an opportunity to hold the sparkling precious stones with bare hands and wonder. And the prettiest of them made it to my priceless possession as my birthday gift.

Flea Market

We visited the flea market in Waterlooplein just a couple of minute’s walk from the diamond factory. One of the oldest and a big outdoor day market with around 300 stands exhibits new and second-hand clothes, leather items, Jewelry, paintings and lots of interesting bric-a-brac.

Amsterdam and the Halloween Festival

Eating in Amsterdam

We strolled around the cobbled streets of the city crossing numerous canals lined up with the elm trees and the bridges watching the canal cruises, colorful flower markets, street food stalls where we had some delicious chocolate crepes.

Amsterdam and the Halloween Festival

There is no dearth for coffee shops and outdoor cafes in Amsterdam which create a vibrant ambiance and a great meeting point.

Amsterdam and the Halloween Festival

Red Light District

The Red Light District of Amsterdam is no secret and everyone visiting the city must have heard about this neighborhood for sure. Though we did not have this on our list of must do we many times crossed paths with these alleys and several cannabis coffee shops as they are very close to the Dam Square.

Canal Cruise

It was near dusk and the weather was getting chilly hence, we decided to hop onto a canal cruise for a hour-long relaxing sail. Floating on the Amstel river through the enchantingly lit canal rings watching the historical sights backed by intriguing audio commentary was a great experience.

Amsterdam and the Halloween Festival

Amsterdam and the Halloween Festival

Amsterdam and the Halloween Festival

Halloween Parade

After the cruise, we walked down to the Dam Square to watch the most awaited Halloween Parade. By the time we reached the square the streets were filled with scary and spooky characters dressed for the event. The freaky procession with people dressed as zombies, witches, monsters, vampires and scary clowns was accompanied with band and music. We could spot the famed personalities Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson celebrating the ‘Immortal Fame’ theme for 2015.

Amsterdam and the Halloween Festival
Yes, the Zombies use mobiles too…

Amsterdam and the Halloween Festival

Amsterdam and the Halloween Festival

We definitely missed a lot of what Amsterdam had to offer but visiting the city during the remarkable Halloween festival was an indelible experience. One can also take a break from the city life of Amsterdam and take day trips to many fishing villages around the city for a laid back experience. Click here for day trips from Amsterdam.

What are your views on visiting Amsterdam and how has been your experience? Do share in comments.

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39 Comment

  1. Nya says: Reply

    I have never visited Amsterdam before, but always meant to. I am even more curious now. Absolutely loved the pictures, the canal cruise looks particularly beautiful.

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thanks Nya, glad you liked the pictures πŸ™‚

  2. GIGI says: Reply

    wow! I love when unplanned day come together! and not only together but turned to be an exotic day!

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      True.. Completely agree with you πŸ˜‰

  3. Joanna says: Reply

    I have never been to Amsterdam but your post did remind me of my city for Halloween, last year. We did not had a parade but everybody dressed up and went out on the streets to party. That night was very foggy and it was like a proper zombie town out there.

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      wow that sounds like great fun and spooky at same time. Looks like you had a great time πŸ˜‰

  4. Amsterdam is definitely on my bucket list. I would take that canal cruise for sure. I noticed that you did not have pictures of any windmills. Perhaps it was not the time of year for tulips. I don’t know. I would like to be able to see the tulip fields when I visit. We would probably schedule our trip during the tulip season. Great review. Thank you for sharing it.

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thanks Roy yes it wasnt the tulip season but we are going to fill up that space soon πŸ˜‰

  5. bee says: Reply

    I love the nightlife in Amsterdam. I’m I the only one who doesn’t have a picture at the “I Amsterdam” writing?
    Lovely photos.

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      πŸ™‚ True tourists are crazy to take pictures with the iconic signboard!

  6. I have always wanted to see Amsterdam!! First saw its beauty in the Fault In Our Stars Movie, and now in your post…Seeing those canals is really part of my bucket list!!

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Amsterdam is beautiful indeed. Hope you make a visit soon πŸ˜‰

  7. Jed says: Reply

    Great pictures, and what a fun birthday trip! The Halloween festival looks like a blast!

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thank you so much Jed for stopping by πŸ™‚

  8. I went to Amsterdam once. Absolutely loved it. But I was only there for a couple of days and never got around to seeing half of these things. Great adventure.

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      There is so much to see in Amsterdam hope you plan to revisit soon πŸ™‚

  9. I’ve never been but always wanted to. It seems the weather was perfectly eerie for the events taking place!

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Yes Amy weather was pleasant and we had a great time. Thanks!

  10. KatR says: Reply

    Wow! That trip looked and sounded like so much fun! The diamond market looked very intriguing. How exciting just to see all those sparkling jewels! ! would love visiting the flea market and taking the river cruise. The Halloween Parade looked fantastic! What a fun little get away for your birthday!

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Agree! Amsterdam trip with all the cruising flea market and the diamond factory was great fun. πŸ™‚

  11. Chris says: Reply

    Seriously that first picture looks like a renaissance painting, Amsterdam looks absolutely stunning can’t wait to go especially to the Halloween parade.

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Agree watching Halloween parade atleast once is a must. It was great fun πŸ™‚

  12. Carrie says: Reply

    I loved Amsterdam when I visited a few years ago! But I don’t remember such incredible looking donuts! πŸ™‚ I might have to go back just to eat some! No really one day I would love to go back and explore me.

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thanks Carrie, then you should definitely plan a visit soon for those donuts πŸ˜‰

  13. Sara says: Reply

    From the way you detail it and the photos, it looks like you had the best time. I’d love to visit Amsterdam one day, I’d particularly be interesting in the canal cruise and the diamond factory

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thank you so much Sara, Yes Cruise and Diamond factory was our favorite too πŸ˜‰

  14. I’ve always wanted to travel to Amsterdam. It looks like so much fun! Although, I’m not to sure about the canal cruise as I am not a great swimmer. I have this phobia of being in the boat and it capsizes lol! I’d probably be that one friend who wants to go enjoy the fabulous foods than a cruise during the trip.

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Cruises aren’t as scary as you feel πŸ™‚ For us every city we visit if we have an option we definitely do a cruise. And yes exploring food is absolutely interesting.

  15. Yes, Amsterdam is definitely on my bucket list! I believe Amsterdam as a beautiful place has something to offer to everyone.

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Agree, Thanks for stopping by.

  16. Ana says: Reply

    Amsterdam is in my bucket list. Hope to go there some day! Your trip sounds so much fun. I have pinned your post for my future reference. Have a great week ahead! πŸ™‚

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thank you so much Anamika. Happy Travelling!

  17. Your pictures have tempted me even more to plan my next holidays here. I wish you had added a picture of tulips too. I guess for that I myself have to get there. Lol! πŸ˜‰

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      It wasnt a Tulip season when we had been. We are going this year for the Tulips. Il post pics of them πŸ˜‰

  18. Kerry says: Reply

    Most of my family members have been to Amsterdam and really enjoyed it. The say the streets and canals are really picture-esque. You’ve captured it well and I love a flee market πŸ™‚

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thanks, Kerry. Amsterdam with the crisscrossing canals is gorgeous indeed!

  19. Flea Market is the best part of your trip to Amsterdam. And yea, of course the diamond factory. But seriously, you wouldn`t believe what can be bought there πŸ™‚

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Agree Sidney Flea market is fun and We can do a lot of window shopping in the diamond factory πŸ˜‰

  20. I love trip with no particular plans. Just travel, get along with the new city and enjoy your time there.
    This is how we did our road trip through Europe and it was wonderful. We didn’t even know where we’d stop for the next few days.
    I haven’t been in Amsterdam just yet, so it was lovely to see your shots from this beautiful city πŸ™‚

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