Zocherpark

Zocherpark

While in Utrecht we walked along a substantial section of Zocherpark, a lush and scenic green space located on the footprint of the now-demolished city walls that used to encircle the city center.

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Around Utrecht

Our third and final day trip from Amsterdam was to the city of Utrecht. Neither of us had any preconceptions about Utrecht and it ended up being a wonderful surprise only 20 minutes away. Utrecht is home to over a million people, but the beautiful historic center feels more like a small town than a city.

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Hortus Botanicus

The Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world, dating to 1638. It originated as a source of medicinal herbs, populated over the centuries by rare plants brought home from Indonesia and other islands by the East India Company.

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Rijsttafel

Ubiquitous across the Netherlands are Indonesian restaurants offering rijsttafel. The name translates literally to “rice table” and refers to a meal consisting of many small dishes based on the traditional banquets served during Dutch colonial times to show off the exotic foods of their territories. Today rijsttafel is a popular choice when Dutch people go out with large groups for celebratory meals.

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Delft Oude & Nieuwe Kerks

Delft is home to two major churches commonly referred to as the Oude Kerk (Old Church ) and the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church). From our perspective they are both quite old, however, with the old church built between 1246 and 1350 and the new church built between 1396 and 1496.

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Wandering Delft

We spent a day in the town of Delft, located just under an hour from Amsterdam by train. With a population around 100,000 it was the smallest town we visited in the Netherlands. Delft is popular with tourists for its picturesque canals, towering old churches, and landmarks related to painter Johannes Vermeer.

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De Pijp & Zuid

De Pijp

We stayed in Amsterdam Zuid, a little south outside the busy core of the city. Separation from the overcrowded tourist areas was great for our sanity but the immediate surroundings didn’t provide many restaurants. Luckily, the neighbourhood of De Pijp, only a couple subway stops north, had many great spots for eating and drinking.

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Haarlem

We visited the city of Haarlem, a former port town with a pleasant medieval character, beautiful canals, and a fully-restored traditional windmill located less than 20 minutes by train from Amsterdam.

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Jordaan

We’ve explored the Jordaan neighbourhood of Amsterdam on a few different occasions. There we’ve found classic canal views, small crooked buildings, and cozy restaurants and shops.

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