Last Saturday, myself and two of my friends (Chelsea and Becca) woke up at 2am to make the journey down to Stansted for our 7am flight to Amsterdam! I’ve never been away with pals before, so of course I was super excited, and naturally double checked my suitcase 3948349 times to ensure I had everything I needed (honestly, I rewrite lists of what to pack about 5 times just to be sure).
We arrived and made our way from Schiphol airport to Amsterdam Central Station – what I LOVED was that our hotel was literally across the road and down a small but very busy road. We stayed at the Luxor Hotel, and I’m not obliged to mention them at all, in fact none of the places I’ll speak about have asked me to write anything, but the service was fab. We arrived 3 hours early (the flight was 35 minutes… ITS SO CLOSE GUYS) so they took our suitcases and we made our way around the city to get our bearings.
Dam Sq was literally a 2 minute walk down the road and consequently, this obviously meant that everything else was just a stone throw away from where we were staying. As it was raining (boo), we took a couple of photos in a giant clog (lol), and had a little peruse!
When we went back to our room to freshen up and have a quick nap, the hotel staff popped our suitcases and bits in the room – what babes! So we chilled out for a bit and went back out to have crepes and waffles down a small road near Jammin (a sweet shop) and the Sex Museum (I don’t need to explain this, do I?). Honestly, hands down the most amazing dessert we’ve ever had, my crepe was swimming in Nutella and white chocolate sauce and I wouldn’t have had it any other way!
We then had a peruse of the Sex Museum (like, you’re in Amsterdam guys ofc you need to go have a look) – and yes it’s as odd as people make it out to be haha, but very interesting! We then continued to have a little look round and ended up in a small burger restaurant a couple of doors down from our hotel called Burger Fabriek – you could make up your own, as well as hot dogs or order a ready made one and we chose to make our own. I think there was a mix up or a miscommunication and we ended up with the complete wrong order, which is always a bit annoying, but the food was incredible, so we didn’t really mind that much.
Afterwards, Becca and I had a peruse of the nightlife around the area. Honestly, there were a lot more bars and pubs around where we were staying, as well as the Red Light District literally two streets behind our hotel – that was very interesting, but honestly the women were really so beautiful! On Becca’s recommendation, the Leidseplein Sq area is a lot more lively at night if you’re looking to go out.
Beautiful bracelets from a shop called Anna Nina – if you’re looking for gorgeous interior inspiration or bits for your home – go here!
On the Sunday, we decided to go shopping and have a full on walk about the city. It was Chelsea’s birthday as well, so we went and had a peruse of Bershka, Zara, HEMA and Forever 21. The prices are a tiny bit cheaper than here in the UK and I may or not have spent a bit more than I should have…. Haha.
We also decided to go on the hop on and hop off bus tour around the city to see all the major landmarks and for €19 for 24 hours, it was totally worth it. We did the same on the Monday before flying back and went to Anne Frank’s house, which I thoroughly recommend as well at only €9. Honestly, it was a surreal experience and it will leave you speechless, but so so worth the 1 hour queue.
We also went to the I AMSTERDAM sign, took a couple of photos over there in the sun and Chelsea had the most amazing milkshake (WORTH A MENTION!!) and I had the creamiest ice cream ever, I can’t remember the name of the place but it a little van right outside the sign.
On the Sunday night, we went to CAU – Again literally around the corner from our hotel. Slightly pricier than your usual restaurant but since it was Chels’ birthday we decided to splash out a little bit. We had a table waiting for us, and the food was incredible. It was Argentinian food, so we ordered BBQ burgers and Becca got an amazing panini sandwich (as well as cocktails obvs). The service was fab, and our waitress was so lovely and ensured we were OK throughout our time there. I know of a CAU in Cambridge too, so if you get the chance to go, I’d totally recommend it!
On Monday, as I said, we had more of a peruse around the city. Before our journey back home we went to Pasta Pasta, a… pasta haha, restaurant literally 4 or so doors away from Luxor. You’re able to pick every single part of your meal, from the sauce, to the type of pasta and any extras you want to add (AND THEY HAVE PARMESAN ON THE TABLES – YUM), and they also do pizzas, nom nom. Our food was on our table literally 5 minutes after ordering, and I’m going to go on a whim here and say this was hands down the best meal we had (we like pasta, ok) and it was so cheap too.
We decided to get a little waffle treat just before grabbing our suitcases again, because we couldn’t leave before trying it again!
Honestly, I loved Amsterdam, and I’m totally planning on going back again. The Dutch are so friendly, (bar a member of staff in Forever21, but they’re notorious for that) and the city is just so beautiful and filled with history, that the geek in me bladdy loved haha.
Three tips I’d give you would be:
-Wear super comfortable shoes, you’ll be walking a LOT.
-Don’t ignore the touristy parts of the city, it’s not just about getting high over there.
-Go in the Spring/Summer, it’s incredibly beautiful when it’s sunny!
I hope this was helpful, and I know it was more of a text filled post but I hope you find it helpful if you’re looking for a nice weekend away. Flights are very cheap (EasyJet are babes for this) and the hotels, even in the centre, are not extortionate either. (: