“Amsterdam is the city of freedom” John Green, author
Amsterdam. Even writing that is giving me serious holiday blues. It was by far one of the best holidays of my life. I can’t wait to go back. Put simply, it was a week of bagels, cola light, pretending to be museum goers and laughs. This was my first trip to the city and will not be my last, I’ve never enjoyed being somewhere so much. The food (well most of it) was lovely, the people so friendly and vibe was just amazing!
We landed in Schiphol Airport on Monday around 1 o’clock in the afternoon Amsterdam time and hopped on a train towards Centraal Station. When we finally found ourself in Amsterdam, it began to rain, brilliant. Luckily Amsterdam has fail-safe way of sightseeing without getting wet – their trams. Personally I didn’t enjoy any of my journeys on the trams too much, the conductors were a bit rude, they were very crammed and the whole situation was a teeny bit stressful. That first night in Amsterdam consisted of napping, MTV with Dutch subtitles, planning for the next day, a wee walk to the local supermarket Albert Hein and a delicious takeaway from The Three Chefs. It’s in the De Pijt neighbourhood and anyone who goes to Amsterdam must try it.
Tuesday was the rainiest of our days in this beautiful city. Luckily it didn’t dampen our spirits and I still wore a lovely summery Jack Wills dress (although with black tights). We started off our morning in a lovely cafe called Bagel and Beans which are a chain of cafes across Amsterdam. They serve bagels (obv) with almost every filling in the whole damn world. I treated myself to a mozzarella, pesto and pine nut one and it was delicious! It began pouring down whilst we were in this little cafe so we waited it out before heading for our next stop: the Rijksmuseum.
The Rijksmuseum is basically as massive art gallery. I saw a Van Gogh painting which was interesting but the thing with museums such as this one is tour groups. Tour groups are the bane of everyone’s life is you aren’t part of one. They are everywhere. Whilst in this museum we also saw the most famous painting of the Rijksmuseum, Rembrandt’s The Night Watch. I was informed on an open boat tour later in the week that the whole museum was built for that one painting. Wowza because it’s a pretty big museum. After our morning of culture, we trotted off for hot dogs and waffles at a street vendor near the IAMSTERDAM sign. I also really recommend this waffle place although again the the women who worked there were a little abrupt.
We then decided to stick in the museum quarter and go to on an open boat tour. Unfortunately the woman behind the boat desk informed us that the open boat tours weren’t running due to the weather so we instead decided on pedal boats (risky in the unpredictable rainy weather). This turned out to be the best fun of the entire trip (aside from Wednesday night’s shenanigans)! Erin and I bickered continuously whilst peddling around the canal, getting in the way of larger boats and crashing into the side of The Hard Rock Cafe. A couple where having their dinner there when we smashed into the side of it and provided them with some mealtime entertainment but on our way back along the canal, they waved at us so we basically made it as canal celebs. I 100% recommend this if you are in Amsterdam, it’s great fun and really good way of getting along a canal. Dinner that night was in a delightful Italian called Peppino were we treated ourselves to 5 euro pizza and garlic bread. On our way back to the hotel, we bought 5 euro prossecco from Albert Hein and proceeded on heading to a local bar called Bluemers for Sauvignon Blanc and Vodka, Lime and Sodas.
On Wednesday some of us woke up with hangovers so we trotted off in search of good food. We ended up De Carrousel at near The Heineken Experience and enjoyed the most amazing burgers. Picture is included below. Enjoy with your eyes. It then began raining so we returned with our tails between our bare legs to the hotel to change into more weather appropriate clothing. En route we stopped at a charming street market and sampled some fruit juices, being all basic bitches and that. We also stopped at Coffee Company to shelter from the rain. We instead ended up napping before heading out later in the early evening to grab disappointing tacos and nachos from a local takeaway called Taco Mundo. We then got the tram to Dam Square and went for a little wander around the Red Light District. I’m not gonna lie, seeing a prostitute in a window is srsly weird. And one very rude one did the finger at us for staring too long – ITS REALLY DAMN HARD NOT TO STARE. For this night, all I’ll say is, a lot of wine was consumed, some shots of sambucca, Australian and Irish friends, a guy from Ohio and Durty Nelly’s.
Thursday was a day which started with another bagel. I could srsly live in the Netherlands if they love bagels like I do. This time I had tuna which was interesting to say the least (not at all like Scottish tuna) but I then treated myself to a peanut butter bagel because yolo second last day and all. We headed back to Dam Square on Thursday for some shopping (hello 100% Holland) and more Red Light Destrict. We also went to the sex museum and there is only one word to describe that experience: hilarious. Freaking hilarious. It is just so weird it’s funny and it’s basically just 1940s porn. So if you are into that kinda thing the sex museum is your place. Unfortunately there is no gift shop but at 4 euros to get in, it’s a bargain. That evening we had dinner at an Italian restaurant but unfortunately I wasn’t feeling all that good and ordered bruschetta despite not even liking tomatoes.
Friday turned out being a really good day and only made me wanting more time in Amsterdam rather than wanting to get home. After checking out the hotel we ended up at De Carrousel again, this time for pancakes instead of burgers. I had a chocolate one (picture below) which was DEVINE. Exactly what I needed. We then ended up near the Rijksmuseum and finally got our open boat tour we had intended on on Monday. This is another must-do as it is a really good way of seeing the western canals and it was from this boat that I saw my only glimpse of the Anne Frank Huis. Our tour guide was lovely and gave a running commentary whilst we sailed along the canals. It was relaxing and interesting as well as good fun! In the square near the IAMSTERDAM sign we stopped again for waffles and do some culture shopping in the Van Gogh Shop. We then trammed to Dam Square for some shopping (THERE IS A MASSIVE H&M!!!!) and a final look around the Red Light District. We also stopped for chips in a bar near Centraal Station.We then taxied from our hotel to the airport and spent A LOT of time there but thankfully Schiphol is lovely and the staff so friendly! Till next time Amsterdam <3!
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Original Post Date: August 2015