Monday, 25 May 2015

Weekend in Amsterdam



So a couple of weeks ago I spent a lovely long weekend in Amsterdam with a group of friends. It is a beautiful city and one I would definitely recommend visiting if you haven't already. We crammed as much in as possible during our four-day stay and did a lot of walking - and eating. Here's a little rundown of what we got up to and spots I would recommend visiting...



Day One





The wonderful thing about Amsterdam is how quick and easy it is to get to. The flight from London took around an hour so arrived nice and early and ready to get started! We stayed at the West Cord Fashion Hotel which was great - it had everything we needed and the staff couldn't have been more helpful. Our hotel was slightly out of the city centre but was just a two minute walk to the nearest tram stop (we paid about 16 euros for an unlimited four-day travel pass) and it didn't take long to get into town.

Our first day was mainly spent exploring and gathering our bearings then we set off to the Heineken brewery tour experience. We had booked our tickets in advance so saved a little bit of money (16 euros instead of 18) and got to walk straight in rather than queueing, so it's definitely worth booking before you go! Once you book a ticket online they are valid until December so you're not restricted on when you have to go.

We were pretty shattered by the end of the day after getting up early for our flight so we decided to head back to the hotel for dinner. Our hotel also had a sky bar on the 10th floor which looked out over Amsterdam so we spent the rest of the evening there enjoying a few drinks!

Day Two






Most of our second day was spent at the Rijksmuseum - a Netherlands national museum dedicated to art and history. There was a huge queue to get in so we spent more than an hour queueing in the rain, but it was worth it once we were inside! It took us hours to get around and take everything in. Luckily by the time we got out the rain had stopped so we had time to take pictures at the IAmsterdam outside and enjoy some delicious waffles nearby. Dinner that evening was at Getto, a burger restaurant in the Red Light District. All the burgers are named after drag queens and there's a great atmosphere. Finally we spent the evening relaxing at 'tdoktertje bar (don't ask me how to pronounce it). This is the smallest bar in Amsterdam and has been running since the 1700s. It was so cozy and had such great character.


Day Three





We were up very early on our third day ready to join the queue for Anne Frank's house. No matter what time of the day you visit Anne Frank's house you will queue, so be prepared! You can book tickets online in advance but they are very limited and have to be booked months in advance. If you know when you'll be visiting it's worth trying to get them online as you can walk straight in. Still, we were prepared for the queue and took it in turns to walk to the nearby cafe to get a hot drink and a croissant! I cannot recommend a visit to Anne Frank's house enough. Entrance is just 9 euros and the whole experience was quite overwhelming - very emotional and informative. You aren't allowed to take photographs inside as it such an emotional place and there are real pages from her diary inside, which could get damaged.
We then hired bikes for the afternoon and spent the rest of the day cycling around Vondel Park. Loads of people cycle in Amsterdam because it is so flat and there are special cycle lanes on all of the roads and specific traffic lights for cyclists. We decided to stick to the park instead of the road though for safety! Vondel Park is huge and there are lots of things to see and do, it was full of cyclists and joggers and lots of people just lazing around by the grass!
Then we were off to drool over more delicious-looking food and we got Mannekin Pis chips for dinner - the best chips in all of Holland!


Day Four



On our final day we visited Our Lord in the Attic church - a church hidden inside an attic! Catholic church's used to be forbidden so this was built inside someone's house so people could visit it in secret. This was a lovely, unique way to spend our last day and was so interesting! We then crammed in as much eating as we could and did a last bit of souvenir shopping and sightseeing before hopping on the plane home. This last picture was taken at the Bloemenmarkt floating flower market. It's lovely to look at but we didn't bother buying anything so I wouldn't make a special trip to go and see it - just keep an eye out if you happen to be walking past!

If you are visiting Amsterdam I'd recommend setting out an itinerary first as there is so much to do and it's good to plan out where everything is - we ended up getting lost a couple of times even with our city maps!

4 comments:

  1. Great photos! You certainly packed a lot into a short trip! I have family in Holland but have never visited Amsterdam - only The Hague. Definitely want to do it someday though! x

    Kate Louise Blogs

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  2. Amazing photos! I've always wanted to go to Amsterdam! I really want to visit Anne Frank's house. I didn't know it was only €9, I thought it would be more! That's really good value! Glad you enjoyed it and it was worth the queue x

    Cliona | clionahill.com

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  3. This looks amazing! I've never been to Amsterdam but I'd love to visit one day :)

    lillies and lipbalm
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  4. Lovely photos! I'm planning a trip to Amsterdam early next year so def gonna use this as a bit of a reference for places to go! :D (that foooooooooooooooooooood tho)

    Fii | little miss fii

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