The city of bikes, canals, great food and delicious sights. A perfect cocktail of culture, fun and beautiful scenery. Oh and did I mention the tongue twisting long words? Dutch is such a fascinating language but not one that my mouth had the dexterity to adapt to. Ah well maybe next time!
When we arrived it was crazy o’ clock in the morning. It always hurts to get a super early flight, but the bonus is you get to maximise your exploration time. We stayed in a hip student dig called The Student Hotel. I would highly recommend staying here. It has that boho Shoreditch/Hackney/Hoxton feel for student prices.
The hotel is right next to the train station and tram stop; and if you fancy being in the peddaling seat (ha see what I did there?) you can rent a bike right from the hotel.
Speaking of trams – beware of them. They come from all directions. The amount of close shaves I had over the weekend – navigating the streets trying to avoid being crushed by a tram was something else I tell you!
I had a mega list to get thru so got started right away. Anyways – I’ll let the photos do the talking…
Arriving a la easyjet. It was only a 45 min flight from London. Super quick! Just enough time to have a drink, stick some gum in your mouth and reapply your lippy.
Downton Amsterdam. Bikes and canals galore!
The famous Amsterdam Centraal station.
The buildings were mostly all traditional. Enchanted with shutters and interesting roofs. Some of them although having stood the test of time have succumbed over the years. So they were slightly wonky or leaning forward precariously but this just added to the charm of the city.
Transportation is a big thing in Amsterdam. Anything with wheels has a lane on the road. There were the cutest most dinky little cars weaving in amongst the trams, bikes, and taxis . Some of them only seating one person with their dog squished on the drivers lap. So quaint.
The mall! Magna Plaza. When we stumbled across it we were so happy and thought all our shopping dreams were going to come true… The shops were disappointing though.
Saturday was the whole reason behind the trip. Attending Vestival Global. It’s an urban festival in Den Haag, Rotterdam. So after a lazy breakfast we got all festival ready and headed out.
I went for a 70’s esque look as that’s the look of the season and mixed in a few compulsory festival tattoos.
Hearing this station stop pronounced resulted in an eruption of giggles…
Double decker trains just like America!
Some of the place names were similar to America too! In fact, there seems to be a heavy american influence in Amsterdam. The roads all work on a grid system just like NYC.
Entering the festival reminded me of midsummer nights dream. We had to walk through this lovely row of trees to enter the grounds. We partied all day right on into the early hours. And on the way back we discovered what I can only dub as the fastest fast food ever…
Burger vending machines!!! The burgers tasted like some kind of lump of meatloaf you’d see in The Simpsons *gag* but the novelty was pretty cool.
After a walk around we eventually found the most famous house in Amsterdam – Anne Frank’s house. We tried in vain to book online but it was sold out until September! Gutting. When we arrived the queue was over 3 hours long and we didn’t have the time to spare. So this is the only momento of her house. But that’s an excellent reason to return – so it’s been added to the ‘Return to Dam’ list.
Then it was off to the Tulip Museum. Spotted a Flat Iron style building on the way.
Then we went off to find the famous flea market near Waterlooplein. Kind of a stupid idea on a Sunday (we didn’t think!) – obviously when we arrived it was like a ghost town. But we stumbled across a very dapper vintage shop called Kilo – where you pay by the kilo. Obvs.
We left and went back across town to the tulip market. This area is flooded with seagulls… One of whom (prob cousin to the one in the pic below) decided to grace me with the contents of its tummy and poo splat right on my arm. I almost died from the shock. And… why has no one ever said that bird poo falling from a height hurts?!! I thought someone slapped my arm!! It really hurt!!! Needless to say lots of people were getting pooed on so we vacated the area asap and headed over to the Heineken factory.
Beautiful stained glass in the brewing room.
Free food on the Heineken canal boat!!
Next stop Museum Square. The Rijksmuseum is the backdrop to the square. Just infront of it sits the famous ‘Iamsterdam’ letters. (Climbing those is just another story it itself. I commandeered an innocent gentlemen to help me on and off one of the letters. The process was so unglamourous but the photo was worth it.)
There’s so much more to add but this post would get inordinately long! Needless to say we did as much as we physically could in a weekend while in Amsterdam – and of course we did all the traditional stuff like canal boat rides, bike rides (well it was a rikshaw – our feet were so tired from all the walking), eating crepes and pancakes, buying and eating crazy amounts of cheese, checking out delftware, walking thru the red light district …the list goes on. Amsterdam courted me well. But there’s still an extensive list left so Amsterdam will be back on the cards soon…
…Tot straks Amsterdam. Toedeledoki!