#AdventuresOfAnthro: An Amsterdam Escape with @taramilktea

May 9, 2018

There’s no wrong time to visit Amsterdam. But if you’re lucky enough to drop by during peak tulip season, you’re in for a real treat. Each spring, the Netherlands’ famous flower fields erupt in a rainbow of blooms, but it’s nearly impossible to predict exactly when they’ll put on their much-anticipated spring show.

Tara Whiteman — also known to her 1 million Instagram followers as @taramilktea— had Mother Nature on her side during a recent visit. After an unusually cold winter that caused some fretting among flower fans, the tulips made their appearance just as she arrived. “We were so lucky as they only bloomed for two weeks thanks to the weather, and it just so happened to be exactly during our visit,” Tara says.

At just 23, Tara has what many would consider to be a dream job. The Sydney-based blogger developed a love for travel as a teenager during trips to Asia to visit her mother’s family. With a keen eye for fashion, a tireless itinerary, and a knack for finding the most colorful corners of the world, she’s already documented her adventures in more than 30 countries, turning her passion into a full-time career.

“The world is incredible, and I’m always excited to see new places,” she says. “I don’t think I’ll ever stop.”

We caught up with Tara during a rare trip home to recharge after her Netherlands adventure. Here, she shares her top tips for visiting Amsterdam.

The Packing List
For Amsterdam, Tara packed plenty of florals, naturally. In her suitcase? The Daisy Days Denim DressHibiscus Maxi DressWild Poppies Headband, and Lazaro Pommed Skirt. Eugenia Kim’s roomy Dream On Tote Bag was perfect for shopping the flower markets, while House of Lafayette’s beaded boater came in handy for sunny days in the gardens.

Where to Dine: MaMa Kelly
When it comes to entrees, there are only two choices at MaMa Kelly: chicken, or lobster. While they’re both solid options, most patrons don’t actually come for the food—it’s all about the photo ops at this over-the-top, entirely pink restaurant. “Check off all your Instagram goals here,” says Tara. (#Intrigued? Be sure to plan ahead—reservations for the week open Monday morning at 9 a.m. sharp.)

Where to Snack: Van Wonderen Stroopwafels
You can’t visit Amsterdam without indulging in a stroopwafel (or three). The delightfully sticky treat is essentially two wafer-thin waffles glued together with caramel syrup. “Van Wonderen has the best in town,” says Tara of her personal favorite bakery, which serves both traditional stroopwafels and dressed-up versions topped with marshmallows, peanut brittle, cookie crumbles, and more.

Where to Get Your Flower Fix: Keukenhof Gardens
One of the world’s largest flower gardens, this 79-acre park is less than an hour outside the city in the town of Lisse, which is easily accessible by bus or train. Keukenhof boasts millions of tulips, as well as daffodils, hyacinth, and other spring blooms. “The gardens are definitely crowded, but you’ll find so many varieties of tulips perfectly laid out here—it’s stunning” says Tara, who recommends arriving as early as possible to beat the crowds.

Where to Shop: Bloemenmarkt
Located on a canal, Bloemenmarkt has the unusual distinction as the “world’s only floating flower market.” In business since 1860, it stocks everything from fresh flowers to rare tulip bulbs to kitschy souvenirs. “There’s no such thing as too many flowers in Amsterdam,” says Tara.

Where to Spend a Rainy Day: The Museums
Amsterdam enjoys a generally mild climate—winter is cold but tolerable for Northern Europe, and summers are cool and pleasant. But its prime positioning on the North Sea means high humidity and quite a few rainy days. When the weather won’t allow for tulip tours, Tara recommends paying a visit to the city’s many museums. “Because it rains so much in Amsterdam, there’s so much to check out indoors,’ she says. “The Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Anne Frank House are well-worth a visit.”