It was on a whim that we decided to book a trip to Amsterdam. I’d never been and Tom had only been to the city briefly on a school trip. Amsterdam has a bit of a reputation that kind of put me off but as we discovered, there’s so much more to the city than coffee shops and the red light district.
We were visiting at a peak time so finding reasonably priced accommodation wasn’t the easiest but we settled on a hostel called Ecomama, which was really close to Centraal Station. Although we didn’t end up spending a whole lot of time there, the location was great for getting around the city easily. The rooms were clean, the theming was spot on and the staff were really friendly so we had no complaints.
We probably didn’t even see a quarter of the museums Amsterdam has to offer. Although art isn’t usually my thing, the Van Gogh Museum was really inspiring. It really put his work into context. There was a bit of a queue and a little bit pricey for a ticket so although it was enjoyable, it’s skippable if you’re not too bothered. We wandered around the Museumplein and the Rijksmuseum although we didn’t pay to go in. Anne Frank house is the only stop I would say is essential and the only downside is the queuing. It took around two and a half hours in the cold, wind and rain but believe me when I say it was worth it. It was such an incredible and emotional experience.
On a lighter note, we also headed over to the Heineken Experience and it was really fun. As well as learning about the history of Heineken and the brewing process, there’s also a few samples to be had. It was the most expensive visit of the lot but we both really enjoyed it so it was worth the euros. Oh, and the Sex Museum…. Save your euros. It’s more disturbing than amusing.
We aren’t ones to eat extravagantly whilst we’re away so a lot of HEMA hot dogs and fries with mayonnaise were consumed. I’m not even sorry – they were delicious and potatoes are vegetables right? As with any new city, we did a little burger research and visited The Butcher on Albert Cuypstraat. It was seriously good and I would 100% recommend it if you’re visiting the city but there are limited seats so try and avoid peak times.
We also visited a café called Coffee & Coconuts, which was a gorgeous old cinema that had been converted into a café. It was seriously beautiful with delicious food. It’s huge and spaced over three floors but still incredibly busy. Amsterdam’s dessert scene is truly where its at. You can find pancakes, waffles and all kinds of delicious sugary snacks on pretty much any street. We tried waffles from Ice Bakery and frozen yoghurt from Koee and I would go back in a heartbeat.
We didn’t spend a whole lot of time shopping but there were some incredible looking shops around. For interiors inspiration, Sissy Boy and Anna + Nina were gorgeous stores. There’s plenty to see if you take a wander down Harlemstraat in the Jordaan area.
After four days, I had seriously fallen in love with the city. It just has the most relaxed vibe and I could have happily spent more time exploring as I’m sure there was so much more to see.
Where are your favourite Amsterdam spots?