When I visited Amsterdam, my first day was spent doing the usual touristy stuff — walking along canals, eating cheese and snapping photos of the gaggles of bikes. That day of sightseeing, while beautiful, also felt a bit clichÃ©. I wanted more.
That night, I went home and keyed Amsterdam into Pinterest (my favorite method for figuring out what’s cool in a city — for those of us that are more visual, it’s a goldmine of must-see sights). I knew there had to be something out there that was slightly wacky and not too far outside of the city. I only had to scroll for five seconds before the answer was in front of me: The Inntel Hotel in Zaandam.
This wasn’t just any hotel, though. Located in Zaandam, a town just twelve minutes from the center of Amsterdam, the faÃ§ade was made up of 70 stacked traditional Dutch houses. Completely mind-boggling. The hotel was right next door to the train station (convenient!) and featured a restaurant that overlooked the canal. Though we didn’t stay there, the rooms are gorgeous, featuring scenes of Dutch history across the walls.
Yes, it was absolutely worth the tram ride to visit this architectural marvel. If you’re making a quick trip like I did, there are tons of restaurants and shops surrounding the train station so it’s ideal to tie it in with lunch or dinner. And when you run out of ideas for posing in front of this crazy place… just dance.