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Summer 2021 in Amsterdam

 

Vondel Park
The Netherlands is open to US travelers and flights to Amsterdam from the US have been full. But despite the new arrivals, Amsterdam is still a sleepy town compared to past summers. You can really enjoy the city without crowds jostling for space and attention. It’s the best time to take it slow and appreciate the many attractions Amsterdam has to offer. 

Tourists from green listed countries including the U.S. may enter the Netherlands if they have proof of full vaccination or a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours of their flight. The vaccine must be one of approved vaccines by the European Medicine Agency (EMA) and the last dose must have been administered 14 days prior to arrival. There is also a health declaration form to be submitted to Immigration Control at the airport but the officer who handled my documents at Schiphol International Airport didn't bother to check my form. Face masks are required in public transportation, at airports, in the aircraft, train stations and bus stops. You will find details on entry requirements at this link:

Fish. Pablo Picasso. Vondel Park
Vondel Park is right in the heart of the city. There are so many trails and plenty of benches to enjoy the natural surroundings. And the bonus is finding a Picasso in the park.

Street art is alive and well in the city center. And what do you know? I used to eat at the Pancake Corner as pannekoeken is my favorite local delicacy. 

Noorder Amstelkanaal
On soccer Sunday, I walked  to Apollolaan to see some of the pieces of sculpture from the Artzuid Sculpture Biennale 2021. And because everyone was busy watching the game, it was peaceful outdoors. And I had this view to myself.

Dam Square with the Royal Palace 
and de Nieuwe Kerk
I took my favorite walk from the Leidseplein to Dam Square and found the stores on the Rokin open. There were a few people strolling in the pedestrian only street. But it wasn’t crowded as you would have expected in July. Dam Square was relatively quiet. I had planned to sit and have late lunch at de Bijenkorf Department Store but staff make you wait in line to control the number of people entering the store unless you had previously made an appointment. So I decided to pick up some food at Albert Heijn and made my own dinner instead. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised that Albert Heijn (beside the Apple Store) is cashless as well. It’s all about avoiding handling “dirty” money in these pandemic times.

Plantage Restaurant
My friends and I found the courage to dine at a restaurant during my visit. It was our first time in a while. The restaurant was busy as locals had just started to resume normal life again after months in lockdown. The Plantage is a beautiful restaurant next door to the zoo. They have an outdoor terrace where we would have wanted to sit but early diners got there first. Reserve in advance if you prefer outdoor seating.

Schiphol International Airport
Arriving in Amsterdam, I didn’t expect this empty square outside one of the busiest airports in the world. I caught the bus from here to the center of the city. The kiosk selling bus tickets is no longer there. I had to buy my ticket from the driver who was patient enough in helping me manage the card only payment machine. The ticket cost 6.50 euros. I counted five passengers in the bus which is normally standing room. There wasn’t much traffic on the road and it was an easy commute to Leidseplein, the final stop of Bus 397 which passes by the Olympic Stadium and Museumplein.

*****

Images by TravelswithCharie 

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