Amsterdam will forever be my transit city. As a Sky Team member of the last decade and a half, Schiphol Airport is my gateway to the world, whether I was traveling out to live in Honolulu, Seoul or Kampala, going on vacation, or returning home to Norway.
I am, however, slowly getting the hang of how to make my transits slightly more exciting than trawling the airport bookstore for new and exciting reads. Case in point: On our way to a wedding in Portugal the other day, I ordered the cheapest ticket possible on Skyscanner. You know the ones that have a 23-hour layover that you usually try to avoid. And then I called KLM and asked them ever so nicely if I could make that layover 48 hours. For a small fee they agreed to this, and suddenly I had two full days of Amsterdam fun at the end of August.
My companions were two Ugandans and a Dutch guy. The latter drummed together every Dutch person who’d ever visited us in Uganda, and a couple of extras just for fun, to keep us company and show us around town.
We got a cute little Airbnb nestled at the top of 5 flights of steep stairs in the neighborhood of Overtoombuurt in Oud-West. We brunched, we biked, we visited the Rijksmuseum, hung out by the beach at Pllek in Amsterdam Noord, and even spent an evening driving through the canals in Jorrit’s boat.
As with my last layover trip to Amsterdam‘s city center, this trip left me wanting more. Maybe the ’20s will see me making it a destination, instead of just a transit stop.