Mid-Term Break in Europe
In Temple Rome, the Mid-Term is a week long from the 16th to the 20th. Including the weekends on both ends of the week, the break totals to nine full days. The break is a perfect opportunity to travel around Europe. Plane tickets to European countries are significantly cheaper than if taken from the United States or Japan and it’s remarkable to experience and see the world.
While many countries in Europe consist of their own unique appeal, I chose to visit Amsterdam. The personal appeal of Amsterdam were the small towns, the museums, and the incredible stories I’ve heard from my friends. Below, I will include some of the perks and beauty of traveling to Amsterdam.
Arrival and Sight-Seeing
I arrived in Amsterdam at around 1pm on October 13, 2017. Upon arrival, the ecstatically unique and ravishing scenery was immediately evident. Our group had decided to stay at a clean and economical hotel called easyhotel in the Arena Blvd area.
The advanced transportation system in Amsterdam enabled us to get from the airport to our station (photo above) in just about 30 minutes by train. While seen from a Japanese person’s perspective, it might not be too amazing by comparison. But, considering the transportation system in the U.S. (in some areas), I was astonished by the speediness and the cleanliness of the trains in Amsterdam. After a quick nap at our hotel, we decided to head out and appreciate the city.
When planning to visit the center of Amsterdam for shopping and sight-seeing, you’ll get on the train and exit at Waterlooplein station. Upon walking from Waterlooplein station for approximately 10 minutes, you’ll arrive at the city.
There are numerous restaurants, shops (clothing, cheese, and etc.), cafes, bars, and museums. The clothing stores consists of famous brands to Amsterdam originated brands. Museums surrounding the main city area of Amsterdam are some of the most beautiful museums around the world.
Out of all the museums around Amterdam, I highly recommend visiting the Body Works museum and the Van Gogh museum. They are both easily accessible through public transportation and are close to the center area of Amsterdam. Personally, the Van Gogh museum struck me as one of the most sophisticated and magnificent museums you’ll ever find. If you ever find yourself in Amsterdam, definitely visit the incredibly amazing museums.
At approximately an hour away from the city of Amsterdam exists the Zaanse Schans. It is home to some of the best cheese and chocolate shops, as well as stunning windmills and vividly colored houses.
The most appealing trait about this village is while walking around, you’ll consistently smell chocolate. There seems to be huge chocolate factories around the area causing such a pleasant scent. Since the train fair will only cost about 10 Euros both ways, Zaanse Schans is certainly a location to visit when traveling to Amsterdam!
A Downside to Amsterdam (maybe worth hearing)
While Amsterdam overflows with beauty, there is a downside to staying for a week. The downside is that everything costs more compared to in many other European countries. A small bottle will cost you 2.50 Euros and a meal at a semi-fancy restaurant could somewhat cost you around 50-70 Euros per person. As a sort of poor student, I recommend seeing Amsterdam for a few days rather than for a week.
I personally felt uncomfortable with some of the price selections in Amsterdam, the people, scenery, and architecture were all great. I highly, highly recommend visiting Amsterdam at least once in your life!
Comparing Amsterdam to Rome
Personally after being in Amsterdam for a week, I could confidently mention that Rome is an incredible city in comparison. The people in Rome, Italy are immensely kind and are willing to help you at any moment. Regarding prices of living, Rome offers a cheaper and better environment than Amsterdam. Although I appreciated my vacation, I was also extremely glad to be back in Rome!