Amsterdam is a city I have always wanted to visit and if you’re anything like me and fill any spare time you have with travel; then you book a flight last minute and head for a beautiful city to explore. A direct 45 minute flight from London to Amsterdam makes it even more tempting!
Once arriving in Amsterdam it’s super easy to get to the centre. I was staying about 20 minutes via train out from the city centre - there wasn’t many hotels or Airbnb’s left as I only booked the trip about 2 weeks prior to leaving. I was staying at the Jaz Hotel (https://www.jaz-hotel.com/en/hotels/jaz-amsterdam). I cannot speak highly enough about this hotel, although a little out of town, it's definitely worth the extra travel time. The bedrooms are amazing, with HUGE beds. They have a great restaurant on site with a DJ booth and events that happen most evenings. I think the hotel is pretty new so everything is super current and clean. They have great places to get some laptop work done and the breakfast is one of the best hotel breakfasts I've ever had.
The first day, we grabbed some bikes that we rented from our hotel and headed straight for an explore around Amsterdam. I always love exploring as much as possible on the first few days of the trip so you get an idea of the area and things to do and see. The first stop was this bar situated right on the canal called Amstelhaven - a great little place to hang and watch people on the canal.
One thing I did notice very early on, there was a LOT of museums (and by museums I mean shops that they call museums). You could find any kind of 'museums' you wanted from Cheese to Tulips and Cows to Rubber Ducks. The Cheese Museum was great with a lot of free tasters - my favourite was the multicoloured pesto.
Needless to say, I spent a lot of time on this trip finding the foodie and drink places! Cafe Tebac is a great little place to have some cocktails and watch the world go by, especially if it's good weather! Placed right on the corner of one of the canals is a raised section on top part of the building. Cushions are placed on top so it's super comfy to lounge on for a few hours!
This area is also a beautiful places to grab some shots of the canals and some portraits of whoever you are with! The next day we grabbed a train to Amsterdam Central - the station itself is beautiful and well worth a visit to see.
We headed straight for the Fluorescent Museum that I had read a lot about online. It was one of the weirder things we did this trip - all about art made with Fluorescent paint. The actual museum was downstairs underneath the shop and at only 5 Euros its worth a visit! They owner comes down and talks all things paint, and then turns the light off and the whole places comes alive!
Next stop was a wander around the canals. I didn't realise just quite how many canals there were! Getting around by bike or moped is definitely the easiest way!
Nieuwmarkt is somewhere to go and check out. On Saturdays and Sundays, there's a big market of food and clothes and if the weather is nice, its great to have a walk around. Right near this market is The Red Light District, the famous streets by the canal where legalised prostitution takes place. It's definitely worth seeing and having a look around.
We rented a moped the next day - the best way to get around. We managed to see a lot by going from place to place. It's so easy because mopeds are allowed in the bike lanes - so you skip all the traffic and it's very easy to follow set routes. We hired ours near Amsterdam Central Station for 40 Euros for the day. Our bikes were 30 Euros for the day for two, there's not a lot in it and to be honest you see more via bike as you can race around a lot faster!
There's a lot of places in Amsterdam that's great for food. I am a real lover of street food and one of the best places to go for this is Foodhallen - there's loads of different places to eat from falafel buns (one of my favourites) to big fish platters, salads bowls and burgers!
A nice place for sweet treats is Le Petit Deli - situated in the city, it serves big portions and has outside seating.
I also love Japanese food, so we checked out Fou fow ramen - I had such an amazing vegetable Ramen and would definitely recommend going!
A perfect place for coffee and a healthy lunch is Ivy + Bros - African coffee + delicious meal!
A drink + hang place i'd recommend seeing is The Sky Lounge - perfect for photos and if you hit the weather right, it's such a great place to hang out and have a few cocktails and drinks! I think they do food as well and they have an inside part if the weather isn't on your side.
The last part of the trip was spent on the canals - you can't go to Amsterdam and not get on a boat! There's lots of tours around so it's totally dependent on what you're after. I did the 15 Euros for an hour tour and unlimited drinks (the drinks included both alcoholic + non alcoholic).
I absolutely loved Amsterdam and would definitely love to go back again! I would recommend hiring a moped or motorbike for a few days of your trip just so you can wizz around and see all the things you want to see as a lot of stuff can be quite spread out so will take a while on push bikes! I'll be visiting again for sure.
Returning to London I managed to get a flight into London City - an airport i’ve always wanted to fly in to and it didn’t disappoint! The views were amazing. It wasn’t the clearest day but you literally fly directly over the centre of London - so well worth it if you have the option!
Hope you enjoyed reading! L x