I've done it! My first trip without the 'rents and I loved it. My friend Kirsty and I spent a few days in Amsterdam and loved all of it- I already want to go back. As I usually do when I go anyone slightly interesting, here's what I did and some pictures.
We'd purposely booked a really early flight o make sure we could make the most out of our time in Amsterdam. We spent less than an hour on our plane before getting a train and a tram to where our Airbnb apartment was. After spending half an hour trying to find the apartment we finally did where we met our host, dropped out bags and headed straight out. Right next to our apartment were some fairly well-known markets so we took some time to walk through those before heading towards the canals. We spent the next few hours exploring the local area before settling in a park and taking in the beautiful weather. At about 1 o'clock we headed back to the apartment after picking up some gorgeous pizzas and pastries from the market as we headed back through. We spent a while settling into the apartment before going out and having a further explore and going to the supermarket for some supplies. For the rest of the evening, we sat out on our little balcony making the most of the sun and the tranquil atmosphere that, surprisingly, we were surrounded by.
After a stroke of luck the night before, we managed to get early tickets for the Anne Frank House so we headed even further into the centre. We decided to walk rather than take a tram and this is what we ended up doing for the whole trip. After, again, getting lost trying to find the destination and nearly missing our time slot, we made it. It was so interesting to see the house and how some of it had managed to remain the same such as the bookcase in which hid the ladder to their annex and Anne's posters that still remained on her walls. I definitely need to read the book! One of our only set in stone plans before our trip was to visit this cafe we'd found on Instagram called PLUK. It was just round the corner from the Anne Frank House so we went there for some lunch where we had smoothie bowls and great drinks. They also had a really cute shop where we both made some purchase.
After two super early starts, we were tired so we walked back to our apartment and had a few hours rest. Later in the day, we headed back to the main centre to continue exploring and try and find the Red Light District. If you can't tell already, we sucked at map reading and were constantly getting lost but at least we got to see a lot of Amsterdam! We walked through part of the Red Light District and all we could think was "Was that it!?" If you're not looking for it, you won't even realise where you are. We then headed back to the apartment after another long walk. The blisters were coming on strong at this point.
It was our last full day in Amsterdam and we wanted to make the most of it. We first went to the Van Gogh museum that currently has an exhibit surrounding his mental illness. As an aspiring psychologist, this was really interesting. There was a big park outside the museum and across was where the famous "Iamsterdam" sign is. It was really nice to see this place so busy. Due to the hot weather, kids were swimming in the fountain and,unlike in England where you'd be told to get out, the firemen turned up and turned on the hose to give them even more cool water. I think that's when I knew I love this city.
One thing we really wanted to do was get a canal cruise and we found one that allowed us to get on and off at certain points around Amsterdam. Sadly, we didn't' get to spend as much time as we would have liked on the cruise but we still managed to see a lot of the city. One of the stops we made was to a new attraction called ADAM Lookout which Kirsty described perfectly as the "Blackpool Tower of Amsterdam"; it allows you to go up and see the cityscape of Amsterdam. My pictures didn't turn out as well as expected but we managed to get tickets for just 6 Euros each.
We then hopped back on the canal cruise and headed back to the Red Light District area where we found somewhere close by to have tea before heading back through and back to the apartment; again, not seeing as much as what you think you would. We made a detour on the way home to hunt for The Fault In Our Stars bench. While the original was stolen, it was still really cool to sit on it and take some photos. As we sat there, a group of American girls walked past and said, "Is this THE bench?" Kirsty and I both then spent the next 20 minutes talking to these girls which included saying random words for the to hear how we say them as well as cockney rhyming slang. After parting ways, we headed back to the apartment as it was now really late. A great end to the trip!
We'd planned to enjoy every last second of our trip and pack up early and head to the park we were at the previous day but after a late night and waking up really late we instead headed to the markets again to pick up some souvenirs and some flowers for our great host. We then finished packing and, a tram and train ride later, we were back at the airport where we head hours to spare. After a little panic that we'd missed our flight to just find they forgot to call our entire flight to board, we headed home and had touched down within an hour.
I feel I have so much more to say about this city. There was anything really that I didn't enjoy, that I didn't like. The atmosphere, the friendly people, and the beautiful cityscapes I want to go back tomorrow. I'm planning on doing a few more posts surrounding this trip but if there's anything, in particular, you'd like to know let me know.
Again, I loved this trip and can't wait to go back again either later in the year or next year.
Have you been to Amsterdam? Where have you been or off to this summer?
Hope you're doing great,