Welcome to the #ButtontapperChallenge for May: Oh, The Places We’ll Go!

The Buttontapper Challenge is back! This month’s challenge is Seussily titled “Oh, the Places We’ll Go!” and will feature a new destination, daily, with inspiration from film and literature.

Today we’re traveling to Amsterdam.

What makes Amsterdam unique?

The capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is built on a series of canals – rather like Venice. The city itself is located about 6.6 feet below sea level, so this is a common cityscape:

Photo by Sávio Félix on Unsplash

Bicycles are quite important to the culture of Amsterdam, since there are many narrow streets and bridges best crossed on foot or by bike. Most locals regularly use bicycles as one of their main methods of transportation throughout the city, and you’ll see bikes everywhere you look.

Photo by Nick Scheerbart on Unsplash

Additionally, tulips are traditionally associated with the country at large, so you will often find these beautiful fresh flowers for sale in the markets. Visit in the spring if you’re interested in attending one of their tulip festivals!

Photo by Alice Achterhof on Unsplash

On the slightly more R-rated side of life, Amsterdam is also well-known for its Red Light District and marijuana-based coffeehouses.

Photo by Old Youth on Unsplash

Amsterdam is also home to several excellent museums, including the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Anne Frank House.

Films featuring Amsterdam

Many films have been set in Amsterdam, including the recent adaptation of John Green’s incredibly popular YA book, The Fault in Our Stars.

Other Hollywood films set in Amsterdam include:

[author_list style=”star”]

  • Diamonds Are Forever (a James Bond flick, starring Sean Connery)
  • Girl With a Pearl Earring (focused on the life of the Dutch painter Vermeer, and featuring Scarlett Johansson as the titular girl)
  • Layer Cake (a British gangster movie, starring Daniel Craig)
  • Max (a 2002 drama about a Jewish art dealer who teaches a young Adolph Hitler about painting, featuring John Cusack)
  • Ocean’s Twelve (a sequel to Ocean’s Eleven, featuring much of the original cast, this time attempting to steal a Fabergé egg)
  • Still Smokin’ (a Cheech and Chong flick about, you guessed it, smoking weed)


Books about Amsterdam

As you may have guessed, there are also many books set in Amsterdam, such as the aforementioned The Fault in Our Stars and Anne Frank, the Diary of a Young Girl.

Other books you might be interested in reading, either set in or written specifically about Amsterdam, include:

[author_list style=”star”]


You can also check out The Guardian’s list of the 10 Best Books Set in Amsterdam. Although it’s from 2011, it’s still quite a good list for those thirsty for more Amsterdammery.

Have you ever been to Amsterdam?

What did you most enjoy about visiting this city?