Strolling along the canals, the lights shimmering on the water. I love the romantic side of this city. I always feel relaxed, safe… happy! Every day as I ride my bike around I realize how happy I am to live here. I feel loved.
I am talking about Amsterdam, of course. This city stole my heart many years ago and everytime I look at her I fall in love all over again.
I know Paris has the reputation of being the most romantic city on earth, but in all honesty: I do not agree: Amsterdam is!
I know both cities well. And yes. Paris has great views: the Champs-Elysees, Montmartre, the Eiffel Tower, the Seine, … and many less touristy charming areas… I have been to Paris quite often. As a tourist or to visit friends. I do recommend to go and see Paris at least once. Just as you should go and see Rome, or Vienna. They are all gorgeous, full of history and culture, totally worth as many visits as you like. But all that romantic? Not for me… I honestly don’t feel special or intimate alongside the other 29 million tourists that visit Paris each year. And half the time I don’t feel all that safe. I hate getting lost in Paris because I often end up in dodgy neighbourhood, get nervous and can’t wait to find the way back.
In Amsterdam I often get lost (literally) on purpose. I take my bike and cycle along streets I have never been before, look around, nose up, right and left, no rush, soak in the beauty around me, without any worry in the world. Then I sigh, smile… feeling blessed. And perfectly safe.
What makes this city so romantic?
The little & quiet cobblestone streets, far from noises and crowds, lit at night by nostalgic lampposts; the 17th century bridges leaping over canals reflecting buildings and lights. Amazing gems like the ‘hofjes’ (secret gardens) ready to be discovered behind an ajar doorway in the middle of the city. Just to name a few.
Amsterdam just has it all, nobody can deny it. Forget about the touristy area or the coffee shop scene. This city has so much more to offer! I like to call Amsterdam a global village with a romantic heart. With just a little more than 8 hundred thousand souls officially living here, as many bikes and only one fourth of cars, it is the perfect place to make peace with yourself and the rest of the world. A city filled with beautiful architecture everywhere you look. Where everybody speaks English and has nothing to hide. Isn’t it true that Dutch people always say what they think and have no curtains at the windows?
And you? Are you in love with Amsterdam or Paris?
If you had to choose between Amsterdam and Paris, what city would you vote to be the most romantic one? Please comment below and let me hear your opinion.