Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam! My friends Sun and Elliot have been living in Amsterdam for about two years now, and I’ve had it on my list to visit, especially since no one has anything but glowing reviews for the city. So we made our visit in the spring, just in time for tulip season. I’m saving the actual tulip fields for the next post, but here are our explorations around the city of Amsterdam, filled with cute architecture, bikes, canals, museums, and food.

First up, the floating flower market.

Begijnhof, a historic courtyard.

Shopping at boutiques in the Nine Streets area. We happened upon this store opening and were offered champagne and chocolates.

Bikes everywhere!

And adorable houses that look like they’re wearing hats.


Red light district.

After day one, we went over to the train station and hopped on a train to Berlin

… and we returned back to Amsterdam after a few days.

In the bottom of this building is the Apple store.

Canal at dusk.

We happened to be in town for Koningsdag, King’s Day! It’s a national holiday in the Netherlands celebrating the birthday of the king. Everyone wears orange, it’s like a giant street festival, and everyone sells their wares on the street like a giant garage sale / sidewalk thrift shop.

On a less festive note, we also visited the Anne Frank house on King’s Day. The museum was really well done. You can read some of my reflections from my sketchbook below.

The Rijksmuseum, which anchors museumplein.

The Van Gogh museum. Van Gogh was Dutch but spent much of his career in Paris and the south of France.

Justin’s friend Anuenue flew over from the UK to join us in Amsterdam for a couple days.

Inside the Rijksmuseum.

This is where you go if you want to see some classic Rembrandts!

I personally enjoyed this library room the most.

Contrasted with the recently renovated lobby areas.

I’ve never seen that giant triangular instrument before. On the right, a fresh stroopwafel!

Wandering the Albert Cuyp Market for some Dutch treats.

Fried seafood and bitterballen.

At the end of the market were a few guys handing out these roses with a little pamphlet saying “Hello, we are Muslims.”

Picked up a little tube of watercolor at this art store.

Justin’s friend Sascha is the manager at Librije’s Zusje, a two-Michelin-star restaurant inside the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam. We went to say hi and found ourselves being treated to a delightful mid-afternoon lunch.

So lovely. Thank you, Sascha (and Justin)!

Over to Dam Square.

Inside De Nieuwe Kerk, an exhibit from the World Press Photo. The foundation is based in the Netherlands and awards an annual grand prize for the best photojournalism photo of the year. This exhibit also showcased the many other categories and prizes awarded over the last year.


Finally, we had a meal with Sun and Elliot, who so graciously hosted us in Amsterdam despite being in the middle of moving all week! Our meal was at Ron Gastrobar.

Mini ice cream cone cheers!

Thank you Sun and Elliot!

I loved our time exploring Amsterdam! Just one more post to go, with the tulip fields coming up next!

Anna Wu is a wedding and portrait photographer based in San Francisco but often traveling and working around the world. She creates beautiful, soft, and timeless imagery while capturing the most fleeting of moments. View her work at, follow her daily adventures on instagram, or contact her to book your own session today.