For the next month, I'll be making Amsterdam, the city of 1500 bridges, endless canals and even more bikes, my European home base. I'm excited to spend some more time exploring and getting to know the city better.
Of all European cities, why Amsterdam? The usual choices are Paris, Barcelona or London. The obvious factor was a personal one. My best friend moved to Amsterdam last year, claiming there is more to the city than its coffee shops and nightlife. Amsterdam is conveniently located within continental Europe and connected domestically and internationally with a number of European railways and airlines.
My home neighborhood is the Nine Streets, or de Nagen Straatjes. It is in one of Amsterdam's canal districts consisting of nine side streets of Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, Herengracht and Singel. It is a fun spot to stroll and go window shopping through the many art galleries, luxury boutiques and vintage shops. Alternatively, you can get an espresso or pancakes at one of the many beautifully appointed cafes like Pluk or Screaming Beans.