It wasn’t until a couple months ago that I realized you could leave an airport on a layover. I had read a few people’s accounts of the ease in which you can leave the Amsterdam airport and venture into the city – after all, there is a train station directly beneath the airport!
We landed earlier than expected so we had a 5 hour layover. Plenty of time to explore! It didn’t take long to make our way through the airport to the exit and find the ticketing counter. We easily hopped on the 7:29am train.
It was still dark out and rainy as we watched the city zip by the train windows, but we were equipped with rain gear so we were ready. I was impressed with how well things were marked and how easy it was to figure out the train station. In only 15 minutes or so we pulled into Amsterdam’s Centraal Station.
The sky was getting lighter and the rain had eased up a little bit, so we easily navigated our way into the city.
I was captivated with Amsterdam immediately – the store windows, the canals, the Christmas lights twinkling inbetween the buildings, and even the red light district. People were riding beach cruiser style bikes in droves, and the changing colors of the leaves made the perfect splash of color on a gray morning.
We were able to spend a full two hours walking around the city and had a quick breakfast before heading back to the train station. This is definitely a city I would love to come back to and spend some time in. (Ideally when it’s warmer than 40 degrees!)
I have a traveling tradition of buying Christmas ornaments everywhere I go, and then I hang them on my ‘travel tree’ which is a light up palm tree that I put up in my office. :). I made sure that I picked up a couple ornaments while I was in Amsterdam, and also grabbed a super cute t-shirt.
I would have had more pictures to post but I accidentally deleted almost all my pictures from that day! I recently started using Google photos to backup my pictures so I could clear space on my phone for this trip. After Amsterdam I looked in the app and saw all of my Amsterdam pictures already in there… But they weren’t backed up yet! I deleted the photos off my phone thinking they were already saved in my Google photos. OOPS. At least I learned that on the first day and didn’t lose any other photos.
Next stop, Athens!