A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
The main way I’ve been preventing the winter blues as of late is by hopping on a train whenever I can to see more of The Netherlands. I usually go with friends but yesterday I felt like playing the lone traveler, and took an hour’s train ride to Dordrecht on my own.
Stepping out of the station, the surroundings were very industrial. I trudged through construction sites for a while until I reached these beautiful, quiet streets.
I followed the streets down to the docks and spent a couple hours there taking photos and making conversation with friendly locals. I find Dordrecht to be such a gorgeous historic port city, sort of what Rotterdam would have looked like if so much of it hadn’t been destroyed in WWII.
I soon realized just how freezing it was outside and started to look for any kind of shelter. I normally don’t enjoy shopping but when it’s this cold outside anything indoors looks appealing. I found so many gorgeous vintage and second-hand shops – Dordrecht is littered with them! Here are 3 that really caught my eye:
I came across this beautiful pop-up store called Bluebirds in the Backyard. It had a large, cozy space for vendors and artists. There was also a little café set up in the back with two singers playing a beautiful rendition of “Hallelujah.” This shop had so many typewriters that all seemed to be under €25, and I wished I had the strength to carry one back to The Hague.
The second place that caught my eye was a church that was converted into a lifestyle shop. It can be found at Voorstraat 296. It had a very large collection of Easter decorations, but other than that it’s just a quirky little place to check out.
I must have gone into around 10 different shops just outside the city center while I was lost/freezing half to death. Therefore I can’t recall the names or locations of any of them, but I imagine they’re easy to stumble upon while wandering around. These shops had so much charm with the nicest shopkeepers and sold many books and antiques for just a few euros. They really reminded me of second-hand shops in America.
Apart from all the unique shops, I got such a warm feeling from Dordrecht (figuratively – I cannot stress how cold it was for me). I think it’s easily one of my favorite Dutch cities now and can’t wait to come here again!