Monday, 10 September 2018

My 3 Day Guide To Amsterdam

Amsterdam really stole my heart and I've definitely said that a few times this year due to my travelling but this city was so pleasant and full of the nicest surprises that I really felt at home there. When I returned home from travelling back in June, in my heart I wasn't quite ready to leave England for a bit of fear of feeling homesick and not embracing even more change. But with this holiday already booked I managed to excite myself for a brilliant girls weekend away with my sisters.

We had been wanting to go to Amsterdam since foreverrrrrr and we spontaneously booked it because why the heck not! I being unemployed and that, got down to business and planned us an epic trip full of culture, food and fun. We entertain ourselves quite easily being 3 complete jokers (we do matinees on Saturdays) so all we needed was a simple bit of organising. I'd heard about the city so I knew what I wanted to see, but if you are wondering about what there is to do I would strongly advise investing in a Lonely Planet guide book - they are SO handy!

I recommend 3 nights in Amsterdam. We did this and I still felt like I needed more time there so if you have more then take it you'll need it!

Day 1

Arrive into Amsterdam early morning ish (if you've planned your flights right it's better to get there early) and make your way to some epic brunch places. The Dutch love a relaxed and leisurely lifestyle which makes brunching the best thing ever. TRY the Avocado Show - it's full of avocados believe it or not! FYI -  a lot of these cool cafes only take card payments so best to take a debit/credit card with you everywhere.
Drop your luggage off at your accommodation and head straight to the Heineken museum. Even if you aren't a lover of beer such as myself it's still really interesting finding out how they made it way back when it all started in the 1800's. Plus you get a couple of free drinks at the end! Walk down to the De Piip District to have a wander around the Albert Cuyp Market, a perfect place for some souvenirs and local food.
No doubt you'll be starving again so definitely head to the Hard Rock Cafe if you can. My sisters and I like to go to a Hard Rock in every country/city that we go to but if it's not for you there are lots of restaurants around the Old South (Oud-Zuid) district.

Day 2

Embrace the brunch for the second time and head to Lavinia's Good Food. After, head over to the Rijksmuseum for some artsy influence. With amazing pieces by the famous Rembrandt and lots of sculptures and ceramics it's a great place to get lost in the talent. Behind the Rijksmuseum is the Van Gogh museum with many pieces from the legend himself. Don't forget to try and get a picture of the Iamsterdam sign in the middle of the museums, although it is always super crowded with other tourists! If the weather is nice have a stroll into VondelPark, maybe even hire a bike if you haven't already. We had a nap here the weather was so nice! FYI - the Dutch ride their bikes more than they drive so be careful as to not to walk in the bike lane, you won't be well received!

 For dinner go to the Foodhallen, Amsterdams big indoor food market. You can get so many different varieties here, they have burgers, pizzas, dim sum, french, spanish food, japanese and their very own Dutch cusine. It's a good place to grab some food and drinks and they sometimes have live music!

Day 3

From now on just assume you are having brunch :) try Pluk, it's a pretty haven of healthy smoothie bowls and Nordic home accessoriesPre -book your tickets to visit the Anne Frank Museum - the Annexe where Anne Frank and her family hid for 2 years during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. I read the diary about 10 years ago so this was high on my list to see. It's a real insight into what their lives would have been like, one that none of us can ever understand but something we can all learn from and be thankful we don't have to live in fear. I recommend reading her diary and to share it with whoever you can. After, walk around the Nine Little Streets (De Negen Straatjes) where you'll find lots of cute boutiques and niche shops selling Nordic fashion /homeware or photos and art. Just enjoying the views of the canals was one of my favourite things to do and being amidst their culture is really enjoyable. If you have time, the Amsterdam Museum is in the same district where you can find out more about their culture and an in-depth history of Amsterdam.

Later wander into Dam square where all of the hustle and bustle is. You'll find lots of shops and bars and restaurants to get souvenirs or grab lots of stroop waffles :) There are literally so many of these cake shops full of waffles, cakes, cookies, ice creams you just have to go in one. We got something of everything to try hehe! This is also where you can venture into the Red Light District, an experience to say the least. FYI - Don't take any photos of the women behind the windows as this isn't allowed.

Day 4

Time for one last brunch, try Pancakes, they're everywhere in Amsterdam and you can have either Dutch or American pancakes that are so delicious. Depending on when you're flight/train is, (hopefully the evening) take a canal cruise for an hour and learn more about the history of this wonderful city.

If you're here for a bit longer try going over to the Eastern Docklands where you'll find the Zoo and the Hortus Botanicus and other little discoveries, something I wish we had time for!.

So there you have it, the perfect guide for a full on 3 ish days to see some amazing parts of Amsterdam and this is only just the beginning, I know there are many hidden treasures that I and you would love to see.


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