Hiya everyone! Firstly, I’m so very sorry I haven’t been posting recently. I’ve just been super busy with stuff in my day-to-day life. Now, this post has been a long time coming, but I’m pleased to say it’s finally here!
My Amsterdam Adventure!
So, my friend and I decided to plan this way back in November. Once we had the cash, we went and booked it asap, as well as loads of excursions. It finally got to the big day, and we decided to stay at the hotel airport before our flight. This was because we’d booked our flight for 8am! We soon realised we’d made a huge mistake with that. We couldn’t sleep at all! We left the hotel at around 5am and checked in our luggage. After that, we went and had breakfast before browsing Duty Free. The time soon crept up to when it was time to board the plane. We were so so so excited! My friend actually had a nap whilst on the plane, but I couldn’t due to having my contact lenses in, and of course being super excited! I hadn’t been on a plane for about 6-7 years!
We then touched down, collected our luggage, and set off to find the hotel! We had to take the train to Amsterdam Central, as the airport was around a 20 minute journey away. It was a beautiful station, very modern and lots of gift shops! The staff were also very friendly, they all spoke English, great for tourists! Anyway, when we actually set foot in Amsterdam, we were left speechless! It was STUNNING! It’s built on marshlands, so a lot of the buildings are slanted due to rotting wood. But, this made it exceptionally scenic. The roads are separated for cars, bikes, and have tram lines! The trams were basically the equivalent of the London Underground – but much more efficient! It wasn’t a hugely busy city either, nothing like London.
Before we got to the hotel, we actually took a detour to find the excursions ticket office. This was great as we got to see lots of the sights, like Dam Square, and we passed Madame Tussauds! Anyway, we found the hotel which was right in the centre – great for getting everywhere quickly! The staff in the hotel were super friendly, and we had a very clean and cosy room. The bathroom was very modern, as the shower had glass panels which you could move to change the size of it. With our stay, we got continental breakfast included. It was amazing! We were honestly spoiled for choice! Lots of hot food options, cold meats, breads, croissants, juices, cereals, and hot drinks! It was also cooked to perfection – honestly an amazing breakfast spread for a busy hotel.
After getting settled into the hotel, we took a wander around the beautiful city. We saw a wide array of coffee shops, which was of course to be expected. There were also lots of restaurants for tourists. Weirdly enough though, there were around 20 McDonald’s stores! We found loads of familiar shops like Primark and H&M, as well as cute little gift and dessert shops! Honestly, if you ever find yourself in Amsterdam, TRY THE WAFFLES!!
Anyway, our first day we had a load of excursions to go on. I didn’t sleep the night before, as I struggle sleeping in new places, but I had loads of fun! We boarded the tram and went to the Van Gogh Museum, which was on the outskirts of the city centre! I’m a huge art fan, and especially of the post-impressionists, and Van Gogh is my favourite artist. This was honestly a truly surreal experience. We weren’t meant to take photos, but I couldn’t resist – I was only there once! They had some of his very famous paintings, like one of his Sunflowers (he has lots of famous ones), and the Almond Blossoms! There was also an entire floor dedicated to his self-portraits, which were hung up in date order. It was remarkable, his command of colour, and his style, and how all of this impacted his work. You could really see his emotions in his work, truly inspiring. After exploring the museum thoroughly, we took a look in the gift shop. There was so much! I collect pin badges, so I bought loads of them (featured below), and a postcard of one of his landscape paintings. They weren’t cheap, but I wanted to pay the prices they charged as it was an amazing experience.
After that, we went back to Amsterdam central and went on a canal boat tour. This was amazing! It was such a nice feeling being on the canal. There were loads of houseboats, and even some restaurants and shops that were set up! Crazy! We went past many famous sites, like the Rembrandt museum and Anne Frank’s house. It was around an hour, and we had an audio guide included – which was great! It was a nice relaxing trip, as the water was very gentle and we were just taking in the amazing sites!
We then went and had dinner in McDonald’s (classy, right?) and had a nap in the hotel room. It got to around 5pm and we realised we had to quickly get ready as we had our last excursion! The Ice Bar! Okay so, honestly, it wasn’t great. I’m not going to hype it up as it was just a bit of a let down. We were hushed into a very packed lounge/bar area where we were handed two silver coins, and one gold. The gold allowed us one cocktail in the regular bar, and the silver were for any two drinks of shots or beer. When it got to our turn to go into the ice bar, we had to endure a 5 minute video that ‘set the scene’. It was about pirates and them journeying into a frozen wasteland or something – it was extremely boring. Anyway, we were then handed slimy coats that didn’t zip up, and damp gloves that had holes in. Not exactly what you want when you’re about to spend 30 minutes in -10C room! The shots were very nice, but the room was very crowded and much too small. I mean, it is a tourist attraction so I didn’t expect too much. We left after about 10 minutes and went back to the hotel.
The second day we went to the Artis Zoo! I loved this, as I’m a huge fan of Zoo’s! I’d never been to a city zoo before so it was different for me. It was a very cold day, so a lot of the animals were sleeping. They were all very well looked after, and we came during feeding time! We actually walked into an area where a sloth was climbing a beam over our heads! It was amazing to watch! We also went into the butterfly area, where we saw them in their chrysalis’, and some had even hatched. It was so beautiful in there, and very warm so they could all thrive and fly with ease. There were lots of birds which were tagged, and could then fly around freely! I can’t express enough how much variety there was in this zoo, as it isn’t huge. They also had an Aquarium which was set in a huge historical building! I loved this as the tanks were mesmerising – exactly what you’d expect their natural homes to look like. I really did love the Zoo here, it was just beautiful and very well maintained. Definitely check it out if you’re ever in Amsterdam!
Unfortunately the next day was our last day. So, we walked around the shops and did our gift shopping! I bought myself a postcard and some Stroopwaffle from a giftshop. Their stroopwaffle is to die for, it’s so tasty! It’s crunchy on the outside, but silky smooth and sweet in the middle. I wish we had it in England! Afterwards, we waved goodbye to Amsterdam and went back to the airport, where as you’ve seen, I made a lot of purchases with my last few euros.
It was great to get back on English soil, although I did get stopped as passport control! Anyway, I’d honestly love to go back, but for longer. There was lots more I’d like to see, but didn’t have enough time. So for now it’s goodbye, Amsterdam! If any of you reading this ever get the chance to go, I implore you to do so!
I hope you all enjoyed reading this!
What are your favourite destinations? Let me know below!