Blogsterdam: KITTY EDITION 2.0

Blogsterdam is supposed to be a monthly thing but alas, the blogger behind this blog is very forgetful. Anyway, Blogsterdam is a blogging series in which this forgetful blogger talks about her hometown Amsterdam, as the city is so much more than drugs, cheese and the Red Light District.

Yes it’s true, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. It’s truly time for another Blogsterdam! KITTY EDITION (if your wondering why it’s 2.0, check out my post on the Cat Boat!). I mentioned going to a cat cafe last month, and I finally got around to writing about it.

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The cat cafe is called ‘Kopjes’, which is both the Dutch word for ‘cups’ and a cat rubbing its head against you (I couldn’t find a translation for this word). When you walk in you get to the register where you need to wash your hands and can buy some cat merchandise.

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Behind the register you go through the door to the cafe area where the cats live. The cafe is very cozy and full with cat related stuff. Like the menu has a cat on it of course

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Of course I don’t remember everything that was on the menu, but I’d really recommend the red velvet cake.

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Basically, if you like foods and cats this is the place for you. Now, time for what I’m sure you’re all waiting for: CAT PICTURES

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Meet the cats (unfortunately you can’t really read their names in the picture sorry about that)

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Look at that cheeky leg

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Story time: I was petting the first cat, but all of a sudden it moved like it was going to bite me. So I took the hint and left it alone. I sat back down in my chair next to my friend and all of a sudden the cat charged me. I thought it was going to attack me (we both did), then it jumped on my lap, jumped to my friend’s lap and sat down. IT WAS SO RUDE. I WAS GIVING YOU LOVE AND ATTENTION EARLIER WHY DID YOU CHOOSE HER.

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Look at her face lmao

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LOOK AT THE TINY AMSTERDAM HOUSE THEY HAVE

I don’t wanna play favourites but… Tiny (the one in the house) is my favourite

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CAN YOU BLAME ME THOUGH I MEAN LOOK AT IT

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Seriously recommend this cafe if you’re a cat lover. I had never been to a cat cafe before this one, so I don’t have anything to compare it with, but I really loved it.

Important information:
Address: Marco Polostraat 211
Opening hours: Wednesday through sunday 10.00 – 19.00
It’s best to make a reservation! You get two hours at the cafe
Also you need to pay three euros entrance (do it for the kitties)
You can only pay with a debit or credit card

Have you ever been to a cat cafe? Or something similar? How was it? Let me know in the comments! Also if you have a cat please share some cat stories with me I love cats

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Blogsterdam: The Answers To Your Questions

I feel like this is really late, but I actually planned to answer these in October so it’s not really late at all! I am annoyed that I just can’t make this a monthly feature, but oh well. Let’s finally answer these questions!

What’s the most unflattering image you think there is about Amsterdam?

Hmm I think you mean reputation wise? I guess that we’re all on drugs or something haha. Also let me introduce you to this wonderful video that was made in response to Fox News it’s hilarious:

Yeah it’s not a mess guys. It really isn’t.

Do you get have any bother by a person using a preference of Holland over the Netherlands?

Not really. I mean a lot of us say ‘Holland’ instead of ‘Nederland’ a lot of the time as well.

Do you cycle?

Okay this is not something I usually talk about because people in The Netherlands will give you a really weird look and usually laugh at you when you tell them but… I’m afraid to cycle. Yep. I don’t know how to ride a bike because it scares me. Especially the thought of riding one in a busy city like Amsterdam, no thank you. But seriously, it’s so normal to be able to ride a bike that people think it’s crazy when you can’t so I always feel uncomfortable when the topic is brought up and I know I might have to explain that I can’t ride a bike.

What is your favourite and least favourite part about Amsterdam? 
I can’t really explain in words why I love Amsterdam and why I love living here. Partly it’s because it’s my home, but it’s also so historical and magical in a way. My least favourite part is probably how easily people will throw trash on the ground and dirty the city.
If I move to Amsterdam, will that encourage me to actually use my bike and cycle more? 
Haha well that depends! A lot of people ride their bike instead of a car because parking is crazy in the center of the city (plus expensive) but if you don’t ride a car maybe not? But maybe it will motivate you to ride yours when you see so many others riding theirs haha.
Are there any underestimated cities/areas of The Netherlands that tend to get overshadowed by Amsterdam that you think are worth visiting?
Oh definitely! Utrecht (okay I’m a bit biased because that’s where my uni is) is also really gorgeous.
(not my picture)

Not my picture

Seriously I love the canals there. Also there’s a nice atmosphere and the people are really friendly. I haven’t explored it that much, but while Amsterdam is my home, I don’t feel like a stranger in Utrecht either.
Maastricht is also really pretty, but the one time I was there I wore my Converse platform sneakers and a lot of people looked at my shoes like I was wearing cats on my feet or something, so that ruined the experience.

Oh and Zaandam is also really fun to visit! It’s really close to Amsterdam so if you’re in Amsterdam you can just take the train and you’ll be there in like ten minutes or less (depending on where in the city you’re leaving from of course)

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Not my picture

Just look how cute? It’s not like the entire village looks like this though!
Where am I most likely to find Douwe? 😉
I’M SORRY EM I DON’T KNOW. You will definitely find him at his own concert of course. Maybe you’ll be lucky like me and see him as a guest during a different concert (how cool would that be??? Live tweet me when that happens). He opened his own bar in Amsterdam but I can’t find the address (obviously I’ll let you know when I find it). He does live in Amsterdam so there’s a bigger chance that you’ll run into him than when you’re in the UK so…
Also to most of you who probably have no idea what’s going on, the question is about Douwe Bob a Dutch singer who represented us at Eurovision and the love of Em’s life just kidding ;P. Here’s Douwe’s performance at Eurovision:

If you could live anywhere in The Netherlands, would you want to stay in Amsterdam or live somewhere else? 
I definitely want to stay in Amsterdam! If I’m going to move out of the city, I’m going to move out of the country. That sounds very dramatic; I’m just saying that there’s no other city in The Netherlands that I love as much as Amsterdam and that I feel at home at.
What’s your advice for making friends in Amsterdam? Any tips for making new Dutch friends?
Just be yourself! Don’t be afraid to speak your mind and joke around, as long as you’re not rude. Of course it depends on the person, but ‘Amsterdammers’ are always up for a chat and love wittiness and teasing each other in a fun way.
If I only had ONE day in Amsterdam, what place(s) would you advice for me to see?
Oh my gosh only one day! Well obviously you need to visit The American Book Center ;) Also you have to see the canals of course. I think the best way to spend the one day you have is to explore the center really. That way you can soak up the most of Amsterdam.
What kind of food should we absolutely try while in Amsterdam ?
STROOPWAFELS. OH MY GOD STROOPWAFELS. STROOPWAFELS ARE THE BEST. 10/10 WOULD RECOMMEND. Hot or cold, both is good (definitely try both though). Pepernoten are also good, especially covered in chocolate (ESPECIALLY covered in chocolate), but we don’t sell those all year long (we eat them around Sinterklaas, a holiday in December, but they start appearing in August or something already it’s crazy AND there’s a pepernoten store somewhere, though I don’t remember where). Marie this question is making me hungry omg.
Stroopwafels, a.k.a. the love of my life

Stroopwafels, a.k.a. the love of my life

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BUT SERIOUSLY GET THESE CHOCOLATE COVERED GOODIES INSTEAD

BUT SERIOUSLY GET THESE CHOCOLATE COVERED GOODIES INSTEAD

Favourite place outside of the city ? Could be in the suburbs, or in the Netherlands in general
Ooh I don’t know! This used to be Bakkum, but I haven’t been there in years. It’s a camping site not too far from Amsterdam and my grandparents went there every year, but when my grandmother got sick they sold the caravan and everything so I haven’t been there in over four years. If I went there now I probably wouldn’t love it as much as I did back then since it would make me sad (and I don’t know how much it has changed over the years!) but it was very peaceful and I loved being surrounded by nature. I went for long walks with my grandmother every day and I just sat outside and read.
Do you ever go around the city on bike, and would you recommend it?
Since I can’t ride one, I don’t. I don’t know if I’d recommend it either. I think riding one at one of the parks could be fun, but if you’re not used to riding a bike in a city like Amsterdam it might be a bit stressful!
Did you already go to see the TFIOS bench ? (sorry I HAD to ask that one haha)
Not specifically haha. I mean I might have seen it without realising it’s THE bench? I  thought I could handle The Fault In Our Stars even though cancer is a huge trigger for me, but when I read it I realised I really couldn’t (I haven’t seen the film either) so I haven’t gone out to look for the bench either.
Places to go outside of the obvious touristic ones? BOOKSHOPS? Shopping? GREAT FOOD?
Aaah let me think! I feel like tourists are maybe not that aware of our markets? (except for the Flower Market) But we do have those and they’re nice! Like the Noordermarkt, Waterlooplein Market and Albert Cuyp Market. If you love cats I’d definitely recommend the Cat Boat. There are so many more places I could recommend but I just can’t think of any!
For bookshops of course The American Book Center that I already talked about, but we also have a Waterstones (really close by the ABC!) and while it’s a Dutch bookshop Scheltema is really worth a visit! They also sell English books, but I just really like the store itself (one day I’ll hopefully do a Blogsterdam on it). It has four floors and it’s just really pretty. Oh and every Friday there’s a book market at the Spui, which is the square where the ABC is located!
Usually when I myself go shopping I tend to go Kalverstraat, Nieuwendijk and Dam Square, but really I’d recommend to just explore the center of the city because there are a lot of shops to discover there! Also the area around Waterlooplein has some interesting shops and we have our own Chinatown (make sure to visit YoYo if you love bubble tea! And if you don’t visit it anyway because it’s also a store and they sell some really cute stuff).
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Omg look at my panda sneakers I haven’t worn those since FOREVER. I need to wear them again. But now it’s Autumn and rainy and I don’t want my pandas to get wet that sounds so weird. Also rip that bag it’s been broken for over a year and I need to get it fixed

Oh boy there’s so much great food where do I start. Okay so my favourite restaurant has to be A-Fusion, also located in Chinatown. It’s a bit expensive BUT SO WORTH IT. They also have great bubble tea and oh my God just everything is so good I’m practically drooling as I’m typing this. Really, if you love Asian food, eat here. If you want to try stroopwafels I recommend to just buy them at Albert Heijn (our biggest supermarket chain) from the Albert Heijn brand itself. Oh and Van der Linde in my opinion has the best ice cream, but that depends on your taste. It’s very creamy and made with the best whipped cream, but not everyone likes it of course (there’s always a really long line in the Summer but really, it’s worth it and it won’t take that long!) They also sell other desserts. I’d definitely recommend their chocolate truffels and mergpijpjes. Also there are a lot of stores that will try to lure you in with the delicious smell of Belgian waffles so good luck. Again Marie you’re making me so hungry with this question oh my God. I want all of the stuff I just mentioned.
Why do you think more films aren’t filmed in Amsterdam?
Hmm I don’t know! I’m guessing you mean international films? Since Dutch tv shows and movies are filmed here. I think Amsterdam would make a great setting for movies, though I hope they wouldn’t go with the ‘Amsterdam is so dangerous it’s full of drugs!!’ narrative.
What do you think the most romantic part of the city is?
Hmm I think the canals at night, when it’s bathed in all the lights.
Ever met anyone famous?

When I was little my mom and I ran into this Dutch girl group at the McDonalds and I got their autograph #score

How would you describe each season, in terms of weather and how people respond (by actions/attitude/clothing choices) to the weather?

Spring: lots of rain and if it doesn’t rain people will complain about their hay fever (like me aaay). At the sign of the smallest ray of sunshine people will take out their T-Shirts and shorts and wear them like it’s Summer already even though I’m still wearing jumpers and I don’t know how many layers because it’s not Summer

Summer: people tend to complain that ‘we haven’t had a good Summer in years!!’ but honestly do we ever get a good Summer?? I don’t remember ever experiencing a ‘good Summer’. It still rains a lot. If we do get warm weather, the day will usually end in rain and thunder and misery. And usually when it gets warm it’s suffocatingly hot and just not pleasant. Also more hay fever yay.

Autumn: Most Rain™ along with Winter, crazy twelve year olds who think it’s cool to not wear a coat when it’s almost freezing and to get pneumonia, more Rain™, you won’t know what to wear like it’s too hot for Winter clothes so it’s a very confusing time

Winter: sometimes we get snow (we used to get a lot more snow and it used to freeze a lot (actual freezing, when I say ‘freezing’ I’m usually exaggerating) but then climate change happened) but it’s usually not a lot and it melts quickly. Usually we’re just stuck with gross muddy snow (I’m speaking for Amsterdam, it’s different in other parts of the country).
I hope I made you guys a bit wiser about Amsterdam. If I made you hungry, I’m sorry. I really am, because I made myself hungry and I have none of the foods I’m craving right now at home (seriously tempted to message my mom and ask her if she can bring stroopwafels…) What are some fun facts about your country? Let me know in the comments!
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Blogsterdam: The Amsterdam Book Tag

YOU CAN STILL SEND IN QUESTIONS FOR THE BLOGSTERDAM Q&A

This month’s Blogsterdam will combine Amsterdam and books (actually just like last month’s since then I talked about my favourite bookstore) in a tag I created!

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Seriously guys it’s not funny how many cheese stores there are in the same street. DEFY THE STEREOTYPES AMSTERDAM. Anyway, my choice for this category is The Selection series, which can be quite cheesy but still ‘delicious’. Well the first three anyway, since I still haven’t read the rest.

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I’m torn between Carry On and Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda.

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Since I’m very emotional, a lot of books make me cry, so let’s just go with the most recent one, which was my reread of The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Yep, that book does make me very emotional so a good choice for this one.

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That awkward moment you realise THEY SHOULD’VE BEEN HORIZONTAL BECAUSE THIS IS THE FRENCH FLAG And the idiot of the year award goes to…

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For this category you can go with fiction or non-fiction, I’m going with non-fiction since I want to choose De Kunst van Het Woord: Zijn Mooiste Brieven (literal translation: The Art of the Word: His Most Beautiful Letters), which is a book about Van Gogh and contains, like the title says, his most beautiful letters. I haven’t finished this yet since I haven’t been in the mood to read non-fiction lately, but I love Van Gogh so I’ll continue soon. It hasn’t been translated into English I believe (at least I can’t find an English edition on Goodreads), but it might be in the works.

PIGEONS

I have a love-hate relationship with pigeons. On one hand I find them cute, on the other I find them annoying, especially at Dam Square where they tend to accidentally almost fly at your face. I found pretty much every main character in The Crown’s Game annoying to be honest (Pasha was bearable until the end). Review to come soon!

I TAG

Marie | Em | Anne | Kat | Cristina | Cátia | Alex | Whoever wants to do this!

Don’t feel obligated to do this!

Have you ever been to Amsterdam? I hope you had a good time! Also: do you like cheese? Let me know in the comments!

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Blogsterdam: Q&A Announcement

I’ve been thinking about doing this for a while now, and I got a positive response when I asked if I should do it on Twitter, so here we go! If you have a question about Amsterdam (or The Netherlands in general) let me know! It can be ANYTHING. I won’t answer the questions next month, so there’s quite some time to ask them!

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Blogsterdam: My Favourite Bookstore

Blogsterdam is supposed to be a monthly thing but alas, the blogger behind this blog is very forgetful. Proof: the last one was posted in April, it is now July. Anyway, Blogsterdam is a blogging series in which this forgetful blogger talks about her hometown Amsterdam, as the city is so much more than drugs, cheese and the Red Light District.

Today I’m going to talk to you guys about my favourite bookstore in Amsterdam: The American Book Center. There are quite a few others that also solely sell English books (like Waterstones, which is my second favourite), but when I go out to buy books I’ll always automatically go to ABC first.

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They often have really nice displays and I’ve seen drawings like these on the windows before. I had to take a picture of this one though, because it’s just so cute.

The other photos used in the post are from ABC’s blog because whenever I’m there I feel too awkward to take pictures haha.

In the middle of the store there’s a tree, which makes the store so unique and adds to the atmosphere.

   

How cool is this? Fun fact: it took me a while to notice the tree, because I was too distracted by the books the first times I went there

The books are cheaper than at Waterstones (price difference between paperbacks at both stores really isn’t funny) and as a student I get a discount when I show my ID. I’m not 100% sure but I think that if you’re not from The Netherlands and show your student ID you’ll get a discount as well.

And of course, very important: the staff is lovely and helpful. I’ve never felt uncomfortable and I always feel welcome. There’s another bookstore that solely sells English books (and is often cheap) but the atmosphere there is so bad. The staff isn’t really friendly and make me feel like they want me to leave as soon as possible. I don’t want to bash another store while praising another one so I won’t call them by name, but thankfully this isn’t the case AT ALL at ABC.

Waterstones does have a bigger YA collection, but it’s still a pretty good one that ABC has. Also note: some books aren’t necessarily in the YA collection, but among the other fantasy books (like Marissa Meyer). So don’t immediately give up if you can’t find what you’re looking for! They also have a big manga and graphic novels collection.

They don’t just sell books, but I also got a lunchbox that looks like a Gameboy there and other fun stuff like that and Pop Funkos for example. They also have some stuff from Blossom Books (a Dutch YA publisher) like Shut Up I’m Writing or Reading mugs, bookmarks etc. And of course cute tote bags.

Important information:
Address: Spui 12 (really easily to reach by tram)
Opening hours: Monday 12:00 – 20:00 | Tuesday to Saturday 10:00 – 20:00 | Sunday 11:00 – 18:30
Don’t forget your student ID!

What’s your favourite bookstore where you live? Let me know in the comments!

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Blogsterdam: The Cat Boat

Blogsterdam is supposed to be a monthly thing but alas, the blogger behind this blog is very forgetful. The fact that the last Blogsterdam was in January and it’s now the end of April is proof of this. But hey, it’s the end of April, which means she almost missed April as well, but she didn’t! Anyway, Blogsterdam is a blogging series in which this forgetful blogger talks about her hometown Amsterdam, as the city is so much more than drugs, cheese and the Red Light District.

Last month I went to visit the ‘Poezenboot’, which translates to the Cats Boat. I had never heard of it, but it’s been in Amsterdam for many years now, so I find it weird that I only found out about it last month! I went to make a radio item and since I was focused on that I forgot to take a picture of the outside. This picture is from their website:

I first worried that the cats may not have a lot of space, but when I got inside that thankfully wasn’t the case. The cats have plenty of space and can walk outside as well (I don’t know if you can see it in the picture, but there’s gauze so the cats can’t fall off the boat). There are also plenty of toys and scratching posts inside.

While it’s an animal shelter, you can walk inside to take a look and play with the cats as well. When I went there the cats weren’t really in the mood to be petted or played with though. I only petted one cat. Speaking of which, there are certain cats you’re not allowed to pet because they can attack you, but there are pictures of those cats on the walls. Entrance is free, but if you can do donate! Or buy buttons or a hoodie (I’m not being paid to say all this I just love cats)

Now time for some adorableness!

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Important information
Opening hours: 13:00 – 15:00, closed on Wednesdays and Sundays
Address: Singel 38
Entrance fee: free

So if you love cats and you’re in Amsterdam, definitely go there!

Have you ever been to the Cats Boat? More importantly, do you love cats? (it’s okay if you don’t I won’t chase you with pitchforks no worries)

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Blogsterdam: Van Gogh Museum

Blogsterdam is supposed to be a monthly thing but alas, the blogger behind this blog is very forgetful. She does try to get one up every month though. She may have missed December, but not January! Anyway, Blogsterdam is a blogging series in which this forgetful blogger talks about her hometown Amsterdam, as the city is so much more than drugs, cheese and the Red Light District.


I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it on here, but I’m a huge fan of Van Gogh. He’s my favourite artist, he inspires me and I get emotional seeing every piece of his work in real life. It doesn’t matter what it depicts. I can’t even explain it, I just do. So of course the Van Gogh Museum is my favourite museum in the city (closely followed by Rijksmuseum). It’s been a while since I visited, since I’ve been busy with school, but last weekend was the last chance to see the exposition Munch: Van Gogh. Of course it’s a bit too late for you to go see it, but I just took this opportunity to take some pictures for a Blogsterdam post. Because obviously the museum is worth it without the exposition.

The exposition was amazing though! It was really interesting to see all the parallels between Van Gogh and Munch and of course it was amazing to see some of Munch’s work in real life and not just in a book. I wish I could’ve gone earlier so that I could’ve told you guys about it in advance, but sadly I just didn’t have the time/energy before that! (okay technically I didn’t have time last weekend either because of my exams, but it was my last chance, plus I don’t study that well during the evening anyway, so I had to go). It was a successful exhibition though, so who knows, maybe it will return one day!

On this screen they showed different paintings, as you can see in the picture it was just about to change! My mom and I tried to take a selfie with it as our background but…

As you can see I got a good one when my mom was out of the picture haha.

At the end of the evening of course we did some shopping! My mom bought the pencil case and a small painting from Munch (a replica, obviously haha) and the book is mine (surprise surprise). The title is ‘The Art of the Word: His Most Beautiful Letters’. It contains 265 of Van Gogh’s letters and I can’t wait to delve into it!

Reasons to visit the Van Gogh Museum:

  • It has the biggest Van Gogh collection
  • Not just his art work, but also letters
  • It may not have all of his famous work (I’m forever pissed that Starry Night is at New York), but it does have most of his famous work
  • It doesn’t only have Van Gogh’s work; it also has paintings of Van Gogh’s friends, artists he looked up too and French artists that lived during the same time period like Gauguin, Monet, Manet, Delacroix and Millet (and more!)
  • The staff is friendly
  • The general atmosphere is nice
  • At Fridays they’re open until 10 PM – they play nice music and on some Fridays (once every month I believe?) there’s an event
  • The shop has a lot of great stuff
  • It’s Van Gogh
  • If you love Van Gogh, do you really need a list of reasons?

Some advice:

  • Order your tickets online through the website. You might still have to stand in line to show your ticket, but you won’t have to stand in line at the register!
  • Friday evenings are a really nice time to visit the museum. It’s not that busy as usual. According to the website anytime after 3 PM is less busy though. But on Friday night they also play music, you can get something to drink and there’s sometimes an event like I said above!
  • Grab a map. We got a bit lost since we hadn’t visited since the new entrance had been built (they now have two buildings instead of one)
  • You are not allowed to take pictures. Usually the staff is really nice and kindly points it out to you, but obviously I don’t know the entire staff. I have some bad experience with museum guards in Rome though, so here’s a warning to you guys haha (seriously they basically attack you in Rome like oh my god I’m sorry don’t kill me I just wanted a picture I didn’t want to destroy it)

So if you’re going to Amsterdam and love art, I definitely recommend the Van Gogh Museum! Especially if you love Van Gogh of course ;) If you have any more questions, feel free to ask! Obviously I’m not an expert, but I’m happy to try and help!

Have you been to the Van Gogh Museum? Do you want to go? Are you a fan of Van Gogh’s? Or maybe of Munch’s? Let me know in the comments!

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