Tuesday, 19 January 2016

72 Hours In Amsterdam


I have far too many posts that I've half-written then moved on from, leaving them forgotten in my drafts, and I'm determined to let them see the light of day, as some of them already have hours of work put into them!  This one is about my little trip to Amsterdam in July last year - I had a blast so thought I'd finally publish it!


Amsterdam is one of my favourite places to visit (so far, anyway!) - I've been twice before and both times were different, but just as amazing; so when I found out that Helen and Leanne were going interrailing I joked around saying that I'd join them.  After some chats about it, I decided to make everything a reality and booked flights over for the first 3 days of their travelling trip!

As I've said before - my days of booking hotels are over; I'm fully converted to being an Airbnb user now. You can get a whole apartment to yourself for much less than a room at a mediocre hotel, and you save money in doing so, as you can buy food for the apartment, rather than eating out for every meal.  Our apartment was picked out by the lovely Jacquelina at Mooi En Lief, and was right near Museumplein, not far from the town centre.  The decor was super modern (as most are) with almost an 'alt' kind of feel - the bedside lamps were faux croc skulls and there was some gorgeous dark artwork on the walls, will definitely be taking some inspiration for my future home!  We had a gorgeous view of the street from the front balcony, and a generous balcony on the back, overlooking some shared gardens, was so lovely to just sit out in the sun!

If you're looking to travel with Airbnb this year, sign up here for £14 free credit!

  

I booked a flight that got in at the same time as Leanne's, so we met at the airport and travelled to the apartment together.  There was a bit of a walk involved, but the scenery in Amsterdam was so beautiful it wasn't an issue!  We met with the manager of the Airbnb who gave us a quick tour and left us to it.  After taking a ton of photos of the apartment, we put on a bit of make-up and changed into some cooler clothes (weather was gorge!), then Helen arrived not long after, so we were all set to explore!

We didn't have anything specific in mind, we just wandered the scenic streets, making a note of places we wanted to go back to for the rest of our time there, and eventually ended up in the centre of the city.  Even though I've experienced much of Amsterdam, I love stumbling upon places I've visited previously, brings back memories of times I've visited with my friends!  The streets are thin and, for me, hard to remember as they all look very similar, so it's easy to get lost - but when you're there as a tourist, that's a part of the fun!  One thing I've learned from short breaks away, is when you find something you want to do, do it there and then, don't wait until the next day, as chances are you'll find something else to do!

It was quite late when we got hungry, so we stopped at a small Italian restaurant just along from Centraal station for spaghetti and wine al-fresco.  After a couple of drinks we decided to pay the Red Light District a visit, still as much a culture shock as it was the first time I experienced it!


Day 2 had an excellent start, with pancakes!  On our way back to the apartment we stumbled across a gorgeous antique store, filled to the brim with beautiful furniture and trinkets.  It was so interesting wondering about the stories behind each piece, especially vintage clothing and photographs.  Unfortunately I didn't get an address for the place, so all I can say is that it's nearby Pancakes Amsterdam!

  

Our main mission for the day was visit the Matisse exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum, so we set off for that after freshening up.  It's pretty pricey at €20 if you're over 17, but I managed to convince them I was so got in for free (heh heh).  It was incredible to see the pieces in the flesh, and I loved seeing the journey of his different styles, Leanne is a huge fan so was certainly in her element!


Afterwards we popped into the local supermarket and had a picnic on the grass at Museumplein, admiring the huge statue in the middle of the fountain (don't know which artist created it, sorry!) with super fresh sushi and stroopwaffels.

 

The rest of the day was spent exploring the city, admiring the street art and dribbling at the various desserts available on each corner.  We also returned to the Red Light District and paid the Sexmuseum a visit - I've been before but it's always a good laugh, and where else can you get a photo with an 8-foot willy??

   

The next day was dedicated to SHOPPIIIIING!  I'd never really explored Amsterdam for shopping but it's a great shopping destination.  We popped into Brandy Melville, Forever 21 and a couple of others, I usually always visit Weekday whenever I'm in the city, love their stuff!

  

There are clog shops EVERYWHERE - and of course we had to get a photo in the supersized one.  Denim club represent!


We ended our day at Ramen-Ya - my all-time fave place for ramen, I don't think I'll ever be able to go to Amsterdam without eating there, so damn good!  Pretty budget-friendly too, and will warm you up if you go in the chillier months.  


Tummies full of ramen, we set out to further explore the city; we wanted to visit Anne Frank Huis but unfortunately it was booked up months in advance, make sure you plan that beforehand if you'd like to take a tour!  We still walked over and had a moment at the building - so full of history, and it's so pretty wandering the lit-up streets at night.

Sadly the next day meant the end of our break in Amsterdam so it was time to say goodbye, although I'm sure it won't be long 'til I'm back!


My advice for Amsterdam is definitely be spontaneous!  There are some lovely sights to see, but also part of the fun is stumbling across lesser-known places - it's a beautiful city with so much history and I'd wholeheartedly recommend a visit.

If you'd like to know more about Amsterdam and what else I've got up to in the past, read my guide to Amsterdam here, some fun touristy stuff in there, and I spent a while on it, so it's something I'm pretty proud of!

If you're looking to explore the globe this year, get £14 free credit on Airbnb if you sign up here!
AMY X

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9 comments:

  1. Great pics! Love Amsterdam!

    www.bstylevoyage.blogspot.com

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  2. Hi there! Love the pictures you've taken and it's awesome to see my city from a different perspective. (Well, I say 'my city', but I've only lived there for 7 months or so... oh well!)
    Have a great week, xx Sjoukje from www.lemontierres.com :-)

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  3. I would love to visit Amsterdam. It just seems so incredible! I totally agree with you that spontaneous trips are the best ones but I am gutted you didn't have the chance to go to the Anne Frank Huis.
    http://nxha.blogspot.com

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  4. These photos are amazing! It sounds like you had a great time, I'd love to visit! The Stedelijk Museum sounds really good :)

    Carolyn x
    Carolyn’s Simple Life

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  5. I adore Amsterdam and can't wait to get back soon! But I've never done it with Airbnb... I signed up with your link and next time I'm definitely going to try this out instead of a hotel or hostel.

    Claire // Technicolour Dreamer

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  6. the apartment looks amazing, I really need to try out airbnb, love your travel guides!

    http://emmaodonnell.blogspot.ie/

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  7. If I ever travel outside of the U.S. Amsterdam will be near the top of my list for places I'd like to visit. I'm loving all the info and photos from your visit there with your fab friends.

    http://www.full-brief-panties.blogspot.com/

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  8. These are lovely pictures, I'm hoping to visit Amsterdam this year! x

    http://emmaboughtwhat.blogspot.co.uk/

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