I’ve been dying to write this post since I landed back home on Monday night and now I’ve just about got over my city-break blues and cheese induced coma to get it up on the blog. Me and Lucy booked this trip way back in February and somehow it rolled around double-quick and we were off to our Air bnb last Friday for 4 days of exploring this wonderful city.
DAY 1 – The Friday
We managed to bag a cosy air bnb apartment just a 10 minute tram from all the action of Amsterdam. It was on Commelinstraat and you can go check it out HERE. Shoutout to our amazing host Pieter who made us feel so welcome and left us wine, fresh oranges to juice (I mean how cute!) and lots of maps and recommendations on what to do in ‘Dam. I find air bnb’s such a nicer way to see a city. You have your own space to chill out when you want to and they’re far more flexible than a hotel room.
We headed out to explore and walked around Rembrandt Square and along to the floating flower market where we took our cute canal pictures and typical clog photos.
We stumbled across the cutest back alley with overhanging ivy and a bar that had 6 euro sangria hanging from a sign (so Dutch) – SOLD!
With plans to go out, we headed back to our apartment to get ready, but I was still in the stages of killing off this awful cold and it started thunder storming! So we ordered a pizza (again, very Dutch), felt sorry for the Deliveroo guy who climbed 4 out of the 5 flights of stairs and then munched on it hungrily as we watched the sky light up from all the lightning.
DAY 2 – 19 August
We had the Anne Frank House booked for 11am so spent an hour or so beforehand walking around Dam square checking out the Royal Palace and the National Monument, before catching the tram to Prinsengracht where the Anne Frank House is located. There was a big procession of boats on the river which we watched before queuing up and heading inside (an American dude asked me where I got my tickets, he wasn’t best pleased when I said we bought them online… over 2 months ago – book in advance people!!! You’ll be queuing 3+ hours otherwise!). The museum was such a humbling and moving experience. The photos, the excerpts of her diary written on the walls, actually going behind the bookcase that hid the two families for two years. It’s a historic must see of Amsterdam. Book tickets HERE.
We refuelled ourselves at the Pancake House right nextdoor to the museum. I had cheese and bacon, Luce cheese and apple. They were unlike any savoury pancake I’ve had before and omg I could’ve eaten about 10 more.
It was then time for our Sandeman’s walking tour. We met back at the National Monument and were told it would last between 2-3 hours. We did a Sandeman’s tour of Edinburgh and loved it so much. It’s technically free, but it’s the tour guide’s full time job, so the idea is that you pay them what you think it’s worth at the end. It’s SUCH a good way to see the city, we walked through the Red Light District and through the Amsterdam museum, saw the smallest house in Amsterdam and learnt all about the history of the city – loved it!
We managed to doll ourselves and head out to enjoy the city in the evening. We walked around the Red Light District at night – a COMPLETELY different experience to the one during the day – and enjoyed some double G&Ts along the canal. We headed to a gay club (I always have the best night outs at gay clubs) called Prik (lol) but it wasn’t really doing it for us (sausage fest and shit music) so we guzzled our gins and headed back in the direction of, you’ve guessed it, FOOD. Cue Wok to Walk and some seriously good noodles.
DAY 3 – 20 August
We had LOTS to pack in this day! We started off at the Heineken Experience with our tour at 10.30am (eep). It was so good, the museum was interesting and there were a few interactive bits throughout. The free beer was the best bit if I’m honest, as well as the cool views from the rooftop bar which you go to at the end. We were squiffy before midday so thought it best to go get some lunch. We ate at a place vaguely named CAFE at Leidseplein and had the nicest burger and beef sarnie.
We hired a pedalo from Stromma near the museum district and had an hour to explore the canals of ‘Dam. I’m not gonna lie, I’m a backseat pedaller and it made me all kinds of nervous, especially when we went against the one way system and had angry dutch boaters shaking their fist at us… stay to the right people!
I was lucky enough to meet up with my friend Levi whilst I was in Amsterdam. I met him on the kiwi bus in New Zealand and hadn’t seen him for about 10 months! It was such a lovely bonus and even if we were only able to catchup for an hour, it was so nice to see one of my travel buddies! After the short but sweet meeting with Levi, me and Lucy went to the Ice Bar, where for 16 euros, you get 20 mins in the bar including 2 drinks and a welcome drink in the room temperature bar beforehand. It was a very cool experience (if you’ll pardon the pun) at a nippy -9.4 degrees.
DAY 4 – 21 August
Our last day in Amsterdam included enjoying the views in the Vondelpark and another walk around the flower market for our final souvenirs (cue purchasing of postcards and pretty wooden tulips – I won’t kill those atleast). We had our tourist pictures at the IAMSTERDAM sign and then ambled back to our apartment to pack up, organise ourselves and head to the airport where we bought copious amounts of cheese and stroopwafels.
Honestly, we were SO lucky with the weather as we were forecast rain for the whole weekend. We packed in a lot of stuff but still felt like we relaxed and took in the city – bonus points for selecting the nicest apartment to use as a base. Another city break has been ticked off the bucket list, but this won’t be the only time I visit. It has something for everyone – history, booze, bars and the local herbs. It really is such a vibrant and laid back place. You can go check out the video I made of our trip over on my YouTube channel HERE – subscribe if you’re feeling nice!
With love and a lot of stroopwafel crumbs around me…
p.s. watch out for the bikes…