Our second day in Amsterdam was also Viktoria’s birthday! The clear, crisp weather from the day before gave way to steady showers. Nothing to do but bundle up and enjoy the day!
We started with a quick walk through the Albert Cuyp Market. Although it was a Thursday morning, the market was much busier than the previous afternoon. Albert Cuyp is a great place to find local specialties like stroopwafle—two thin layers of dough baked on a waffle iron with syrup in between—or gevulde koek, two cookies with almond paste baked in between. It’s the Dutch cultural equivalent of the American chocolate chip cookie.
A short walk away is Amsterdam’s main flower market. From the street, Bloemenmarkt looks like a long row of stalls with a ton of tulip bulbs and other more tourist-targeted products (wooden shoes, marijuana seeds and Venus fly-traps for starters). But the 150-year-old market is actually set on platforms floating on the canal behind the shops and is the only floating flower market in the world
In the afternoon, we visited the Anne Frank Huis. The museum is inside the office building where Frank and her family hid from the Nazis during World War II. While light on information, the effect of walking through the building is powerful. You climb the “leg-breaking stairs” that Anne describes in her journal. You enter the secret annex from behind the same bookcase that covered the opening in the 1940s.
Pro tip: Skip the line and get your Anne Frank Haus tickets online. Only a handful of tickets are made available online for each day, so book several days in advance.
Anne’s father, Otto, was the only member of the family to survive the concentration camps. A secretary who helped the family hide kept Anne’s journals and gave them to Otto when they confirmed Anne’s death at Auschwitz. She had rewritten many parts of her journals before the family was captured, which would become the basis for the international best-seller The Diary of Anne Frank. Her original journals are on display as well as excerpts of the rewritten portions.
We finished the day with a birthday drink at Arendsnest, a craft beer pub near the Jordaan neighborhood. The pub features a large selection of only Dutch beers and a knowledgeable staff who encourages sampling until you find just the right choice.
More Photo of the Day posts from our January-March 2016 trip to Europe