A glimpse of Amsterdam on one chilly yet sunny winter day

Two years ago when my sister came over for a 2-week visit, the two of us went to Amsterdam for a day of sightseeing.  Amsterdam is a must-see place for anyone visiting Holland not because of the soft drugs or the Red Light District as what the city seems to be known for but the city with its many well-preserved buildings is very much like a living museum itself.

There are nice nooks and corners to discover such as museums which are home to priceless collections like Van Gogh and the Rijksmuseum or the home of Anne Frank.  And if the weather is nice, sitting outside the terrace of a cafe watching the world go by is just fun to do.

We skipped visiting museums this time because we already did that together when she came over for a visit a few years earlier.  Instead, we just wandered around the city and simply enjoyed playing tourists for a day.  My rule is that when the weather is nice, skip the museums.

While we were at the very center of the shopping area, we discovered one narrow passageway that led us to a charming garden surrounded by old houses.  This place is known as the “Begijnhof”.  The houses in the courtyard were once occupied by devout celibate Beguine nuns and are still home to single women today.

We still included the Red Light District in our must-see list for a visit to Amsterdam will not be complete without that.  The place as usual was bustling with tourists amongst others.

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