Amsterdam is truly unlike any other city. Often described as the city of sin, it is only sinful of being beautiful. Each canal is unique and extraordinary in its own way. You'll find buildings that are centuries old, bikes, chocolates, bikes, parks, bikes, museums, bikes, sinful shops, bikes, and have I mentioned bikes yet? The city has more bikes than inhabitants! Anyways, here are just a few of the many faces you'll find in Amsterdam. Enjoy!
Covent Garden is a beautiful market a short walk from Big Ben and the river. I discovered a few pleasant (and unpleasant) surprises on my visit.
1. STORES, STORES & MORE STORES
Covent Garden is not only home to handcrafted goods, but to some of the world's favorite luxury items as well. If this is what you're looking for (and can afford it) then you'll love it. If you were expecting a larger range of market stalls (like I was) then you'll be disappointed. London has a lot of areas to visit, but you'll never run out of places to shop.
2. CHRISTMAS COMES EARLY
October isn't even over and they are already preparing for Christmas. These gorgeous ornaments are have already been hung from the North Hall ceiling and the Christmas tree is out front waiting to be decorated. Some stalls are selling Christmas wares as well. So don't feel like you have to wait until December to experience Christmas in London.
3. NEAL'S YARD IS AROUND THE CORNER
Neal's Yard and Neal's Yard Dairy are a five minute walk from Covent Garden. This small, colorful square is a quiet hiding spot when you're ready to get away from all of the stores. There's not much there except for health food stores and hair salons, but it IS rather lovely.
4. STANFORD'S BOOKSTORE
You'll find multiple Waterstones in the Covent Garden and 7 Dials area, but make sure you stop into Stanford's bookstore. They have a a variety of books and unique gifts. Check out the ground floor dedicated to travel books, maps, and globes. It is a traveler's paradise. While you're in the area make sure to stop by the Moleskine store too (now THATS paradise).
5. PATISSERIE VALERIE
Everyone talks about Monmouth Coffee Company in Covent Garden and Monmouth is good, but make sure you stop by Patisserie Valerie for breakfast or an afternoon snack. The barista actually enjoys making foam designs in coffees (she told me so herself) that we all love. They have amazing croissants (I suggest the almond one) and many other treats. They also serve meals so feel free to stop by and stay for a little while.
What are your favorite places in Covent Garden or London?