Monday, 20 August 2018

84 HOURS IN AMSTERDAM

With a considerably more full camera roll and lots of new memories, I thought I'd put together a post including all of the places we chose to eat, sightsee and stay in Amsterdam. We travelled on a relatively low budget so all of the locations are on the more affordable side of things, perfect for planning your own short city break.




HOTEL

We booked our trip through Expedia and so didn't do a huge amount of research into the hotel we chose, the West Cord Fashion Hotel, just looked through a few photos and decided it didn't look ~too~ far from the centre, but was clearly far enough out to knock down the price. We therefore had a very pleasant surprise to find out the hotel was in fact four stars, and our room was beautiful and pretty huge. At around a 15/20 minute tram ride to Central Station, I couldn't recommend the place more !! 








EATING

Whilst I'd heard that Amsterdam has a number of veggie/vegan restaurants, I didn't anticipate how easy it would be to find places. To be honest, there were probably ~too many~ options and we struggled to decide most days. Recommended by my lovely pal Charlotte, we headed to the 'Meatless District' for our first meal, and we were not disappointed. The menu was 100% vegan and it's always wonderful to have more choices than just a veggie burger. We also ate at Pluk and REE7, two of the most Instagram-worthy/aesthetically-pleasing cafes I've ever seen. The Mermaid and Unicorn Bowls at the former are ADORABLE and entirely worth the 10 euros, even if just for the photos. I also couldn't put together a post without mentioning Stroopwaffels, possibly the most delicious and indulgent dessert snack I've ever tasted. If I can offer any advice, just don't buy a large. I was eating it for two days. When they say large, they mean ~large~. 





TRANSPORT

Amsterdam is basically IDEAL to navigate, with the cheapest transportation systems I've ever come across.  Rather than paying for individual trips, you pay for a length of time in which you can take an unlimited number of journeys on any of the GVB network, including buses, trams and ferries across to the other side of the water. At 3 euros for one hour and 7 euros 50 for 24 hours, we were more than happy to save our feet from an excess of walking, and hop on and off trams whenever we pleased.






SIGHTS

There seem to be a thousand and one different museums in Amsterdam, with around 99% of them requiring prebooking in advance online. We disappointedly missed out on the Van Gogh museum and only just got tickets to Anne Frank's House on the day, so it's one hundred precent worth taking the time to book for anything you desperately want to see. The Banksy Exhibit is super affordable and Very Cool, and the Amsterdam Lookout Tower is absolutely amazing for panoramic views of the city (albeit ridiculously windy). 

As always, the Citysightseeing Bus (and boat) tours are an absolute must to make sure you don't miss any major attractions off your checklist. I don't really know how to articulate an opinion of Anne Frank's House. It certainly doesn't feel like something you 'recommend'. It will stay with me forever, and is incredibly devastating, poignant and difficult, possibly something I found almost too overwhelming. Tickets become available around 2 months in advance, so bear that in mind when planning your trip. 

On the whole, Amsterdam became one of my favourite cities from the moment we arrived. It's incredibly photogenic, quirky, although virtually impossible to navigate without almost getting hit by a cyclist at least forty-seven times. An 11/10 recommend, and I look forward to my inevitable return. 






SHOP THE LOOKS 



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