Blame it on “The Fault in Our Stars,” the new rom-com-dram (not sure if that’s an actual film category, but I’m running with it) about two teenagers with cancer who take an exciting trip to Amsterdam. Or possibly my tour guide in Paris – who was from Amsterdam and road around one a bike that I now know was screaming “Amsterdam” as we road throughout the streets of Paris for hours.

Or maybe it’s the fall. Something about this time of year makes me want to wrap up in a wooly scarf and explore Europe’s cobblestone streets and intricate, old buildings. Either way the draw of biking through Amsterdam has me looking up bikes of my own on the Leisure Lake Bikes.

10534154_10152403832785888_9127360522125432154_nWhatever the reason, this fall, I’ve got Amsterdam on my mind as I dream on riding my own Bombtrack from Leisure Lake Bikes.

Western Germany, in particular Duesseldorf, the “fashion capital” of the country, and the neighboring Netherlands are my favorite shopping destinations in the world. Here, you will find timeless, sophisticated styles that are always edgy enough to be interesting. Boots with chunky buckles. Lots of sleek black and denim and luxurious fabrics.

One of my favorite regions in Amsterdam is the Flowermarket, which is bursting with tulips and colorful bulbs — many packaged appropriately to bring with you back home.

Of course, a Spa Travel Gal trip to Amsterdam spas wouldn’t be complete without a spa visit. The spa at the Grand Hotel Amrath is a dreamlike escape within this already fairytale hotel. Use the fitness facility, get a massage or a facial and enjoy the high-end skincare line, Babor.

Or if you’d rather ditch the hotel scene when you’re in Amsterdam, rent yourself a little slice of authentic European life. You can stay in a vacation rental in Amsterdam — and get so much more for the value — when you book through HouseTrip. As the website explains, “Rent a whole house for less than a hotel room.”

HouseTrip offers more than 1,000 different rentals in Amsterdam, from bright and spacious apartments, to a long list of houseboats on the river, to a luxurious 17th Century Golden Age canal house, with silk walls and sweeping windows, right in the heart of the fashion district and only a few minutes from Central Station.

The great thing about vacation rentals is they are often located in areas where you could never find hotels, they are much more authentic and they can be wonderfully private. So if you are planning a relaxing excursion to Amsterdam, filled with shopping, flowers and spa treatments, you can continue to enjoy that serenity in your room throughout your entire trip.