Falling in love with Amsterdam

Programs for this blog post

Summer Business + Communications

Authored By:

CIEE Amsterdam

By Viktoria Ivan (Operations Manager Amsterdam) 

Falling in love with Amsterdam

I’ve lived in The Netherlands for 8 years now, but I always tried to avoid Amsterdam, as much as possible. Traveling through the country by train is convenient and there are many amazing cities to see. If I go to Amsterdam, I will have to fight my way through busy streets, stand in queues at packed stores and get annoyed at tourists who are overly excited about coffee shops. 

Now I spend every day in Amsterdam, and there’s one thing, I know: I was wrong.


Let me get the most important thing out of the way first. Amsterdam is not only the red-light district and the shopping streets. As in most big cities, there are many neighbourhoods with their own unique aesthetic and pace of daily life. There’s so much to discover and I guarantee that everyone can find their best match.

Eating and Drinking

I’m not ashamed to admit that in the past few months, a big chunk of my earnings has been spent on eating out. Amsterdam has given me hope. There is indeed good food to be found here, and you don’t have to spend hours researching either. Chances are, there’s a great place just around the corner, no matter where you are.

Public transport

I’m a big city girl at heart and for me, public transport is a prerequisite for a good life. Living in a relatively small city in the south of the country stripped me of the joy of easily getting around unless I’m biking or walking. In Amsterdam, I’m hopping from tram to metro, from metro to tram, and getting places is so easy. There are a few tricks to learn, but then you are good to go!


Being non-Dutch has never been easier. I will not catch anyone off guard if I reply in English. Quite the opposite! Using the little Dutch skills, I have is sometimes a breath of fresh air to the locals. Either way, not only getting things done but finding your community and feeling like you belong is effortless in Amsterdam. 

I am very happy that life brought me to this city, and I was forced to give it a second chance. I'm falling in love with Amsterdam, one day at a time.