The Clean Hippie

Seeking the sustainable life in New York City

A Hippie Haven: Amsterdam October 1, 2009

Filed under: Places to go — Alden @ 11:44 am

Hello there! It’s been a while, I know. But this is a vacation, therefore I have been avoiding the computer. But I have to tell you about Amsterdam!

Knowing what everyone knows about Amsterdam – the Red Light district, readily-available weed and other mind altering substances – I had imagined a seedy city full of drug dealers, prostitutes, and tourists showcasing the worst side of America.

Happily, I was waaay off!


Amsterdam is the most cheerful and cute city I have ever been in. The first thing that struck me, and Katherine made our way out of the train station, were the trams that cheerfully ding-dinged as they made their way about the city. They were much more comfortable than the lumbering, groaning, exhaust-emitting buses in other cities. Though sometimes I thought they might cheerfully run over pedestrians or cyclists.

rusty ol bike

The next was the bikes. Bikes everywhere! Bikes in their own bike lane, physically separated from the road by a curb, parking lots of bikes, herds of bikes, seas of bikes stretching away toward the horizon.


Fashionable young women on bikes, old men on bikes, mothers on bikes with a little baby in front and a toddler on the back.


I’ve found that while it is much too easy to look like a grumpy-face while you wait at a stoplight in your car, no one can look grumpy while they sit atop a bike, legs pumping up and down at odd angles, grocery shopping in colorful saddle bags behind them. So cute!


We even stayed at the Bicycle Hostel/Hotel, where you can rent a bike to take around the city. It was cheap, yet clean and welcoming. I totally recommend it.


Amsterdam itself was a charmer too. The houses that line the canal are like wedding cakes with pretty molding and embellishments. The Rijksmuseum, even while under renovation, has a beautiful collection of artwork worth seeing.


Of course, we also went out to some of the clubs, which -if you are cute- will tempt you in with free drinks. We didn’t partake in the drug scene, so I can’t testify to that. But we did stay out until 3 in the morning, and made quite a few friends.



Also, the Heineken experience, though cheesy, it pretty f-ing cool. Above is a picture of prototypes of a bottle that would have a second life as bricks. Pretty, pretty cool, right? It never went into production. Why not??

All in all, a lovely trip. I wish we could have stayed longer! But I was heading on to Berlin, which I will write about later, when Katherine isn’t telling me to get off the computer and get in the shower. (I still smell like the club last night…ew.)


One Response to “A Hippie Haven: Amsterdam”

  1. […] @ 2:21 pm Tags: amsterdam, bike, copenhagen, cyclists, denmark Remember that post I wrote on how wonderful Amsterdam is? Well, apparently Copenhagen is just as awesome. Read this sweet article on how Copenhagen takes […]

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