Catching a Cold in Amsterdam

A picture of one of Amsterdam's Canals with the title of the blog post overlaying it: "Catching a cold in Amsterda."

One of the worst things that can happen when you travel is getting sick. Normally, I’m pretty good at packing different types of medicine (I’m lactose intolerant so I try to be prepared for everything). I was not prepared during my last trip to Ireland/The Netherlands. I was not prepared at all.

Catherine and I arrived in Amsterdam at 10am on January 5, 2017. By 4pm I was out dead, with a cold.

This cold/flu was not a surprise, as Catherine had been sick in the week leading up to our weekend trip from Dublin to Amsterdam. We’d been jumping from hostel to hostel leading up to this trip, so the fact that it took me so long to get sick was a miracle.

The cold did make my first 6 hours in Amsterdam a bit delirious. The beginnings of a cold for me are always the best. My body is just starting to shut down. Nose isn’t completely stuffed yet. Throat doesn’t feel like it’s on fire. My brain doesn’t care about simple discomforts. I can keep walking with no idea how bad my heels hurt.

This delirium also meant we were able to see almost “all” of Amsterdam in that first six hours of our trip. We started off at a breakfast house near the city center (it was so bad. I will never eat a savory crepe again). Followed by a walk around the canals and through many a thrift store, book shop, and bakery before our 3pm appointment at the Van Gogh Museum.

Before which we ate hot dogs and a fresh stroopwafel in the park (If you do visit Amsterdam make sure to get a hot stroopwafel, it’s the closest thing to magic). My gloves, pictured below, still have a bit of caramel stuck in them– totally worth it.

Minutes before max delirium ft. hot dog.

The Van Gogh museum was amazing, if not a bit too much, and far too crowded–even during off season! Our visit drained the last of my energy climbing up and down the stairs to the numerous exhibits. But it was super cool to see the evolution in Van Gogh’s style.

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Me and said stroopwafel.

The real horror struck the next morning when I couldn’t drag myself out of bed. It snowed while we were sleeping so Amsterdam was coated in a light layer of white. The streets sparkling with melted water–a wonderland for people like me who love winter. I missed the Rijksmuseum, and more site seeing with Catherine, but that night I did manage to walk around the canals to see the lights as well as have a freaking delicious dinner of focaccia bread and dim sum at the foodhallen down the street: an indoor food market.

The only good thing that came out of sleeping away my second day in Amsterdam were the fever dreams I had during it. I tend to have weird dreams when my body is in it’s normal state, but add a cold into the mix and everything is turned up to 11.

Those canals were too beautiful.

Amsterdam isn’t my favorite place I’ve ever visited. It’s definitely a beautiful city. The canals themselves worth the plane ticket, and I hope to be able to explore them more one day. But I’ll always remember it because of how delirious I felt that first day. Sometimes colds can be useful for preserving memories. Though, I’d rather just never be sick again.


Hello all 🙂 Been to Amsterdam? What were your favorite places? What did you think of the Van Gogh museum?

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Thanks for Reading!

15 Comments on “Catching a Cold in Amsterdam

  1. I loved Amsterdam, even though I only had 24 hours there. We took a canal boat tour so we got to see everything from the water. The only stop I made was the Anne Frank House which was a must on my list and so worth it. I didn´t get to the Van Gogh museum but plan to next time. And there will be a next time. So sad you were sick when you were there. It happened to me in San Fransisco. Sounds like you made the best of it though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Darlene! How are you? Oh I so wish we had taken a canal boat tour. That sounds like one of the best ways to see the city. We didn’t go to the Anne Frank House. The friend I was traveling with is Jewish and we didn’t want to go and cast a sadness on our trip. The next time I go I’ll definitely have to go on a canal boat tour, our one of those canal boat dinners. They sound like so much fun.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The visit to the Anne Frank house was very emotional. Your friend may have found it too sad. The hop on hop off canal boat tour was definitely the best way to see Amsterdam. xx

        Liked by 1 person

    • Oh gosh, thankfully I did not fall out of bed. They were pretty low to the ground as is. I really should avoid traveling in cold/flue season… but I like going places when it’s cold. The tips in your post should help when I take my next trip this winter!

      Liked by 1 person

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