So, my Birthday (woo) was a last weekend and I decided not to fly home to Ireland like I normally would but book a trip to Amsterdam with himself. I’m so glad I did because it was just so beautiful. It was my first time going there and I can promise you it won’t be the last.
It was only a short weekend break but it was so chilled and really relaxing. It was bitterly cold everyday and especially in the evenings so if you decide to visit in January, layers people, layers!
On Friday when we arrived quite early so we dropped our bags at our hostel and went out for a walk to gather our bearings. Word of warning to all, BE CAREFUL OF THE CYCLISTS!! Everyone seems to cycle, I didn’t jump on that band wagon however, as most days I nearly fall over my own feet walking, I don’t need to add more dangers in my life!
We strolled around for the morning and into the afternoon eyeing up all the delicious cakes in shop windows and stopping off every now and then for some delicious hot chocolate and visiting the coffee shops. I had been previously advised that I would never have hot chocolate as good as I would in Amsterdam, it didn’t disappoint, it was as the youths would say “on point” lol! I must have drank at least 3 each day.
What I loved about being here was nobody seemed to be in a rush, you weren’t pushed and shoved along the streets which meant you could enjoy being a tourist and stopping to look at everything.
We decided Friday night we would get up early Saturday and go to the Anne Frank House. We had be warned that this gets busy and we thought, it’s best to get there early and then we would have the rest of the day to laze about, chilling out. WELL, this would have all gone perfectly if we had stuck to the map we had to find it, we didn’t. So we walked and walked a little more and then some more, thinking we were on the right track, we weren’t. Eventually, 11 miles later and a few pounds heavier from the nutella treats I insisted on having, we decided we would just start fresh looking for it on Sunday and continued on our lazy Saturday way browsing a few of the High street stores and stopping in some coffee shops.
Saturday night we had booked our tickets for the Heineken Experience. (We didn’t book the tickets online, we did it through the hostel but it was the same price so it made no difference.) Determined not to get lost, we brought the map this time. Did it help? Mmmm well lets just say, we took the scenic route! Once we (finally) got there, we were fortunate that we didn’t have to queue in the cold.
It was interesting to see the process and the history behind Heineken but as you can imagine I was eager to find the tasting room and have a sample of some fresh tasting beer.
We made our way through to the tasting room and I was handed a beautiful glass of Heineken, delicious! We left there with a little spring in our step and off to fill ourselves with food and have a tour of the city at night.
When you’re in Amsterdam, you have to go to the red light district and just see it for yourself, right? It’s strange… walking down the street and seeing it, it’s strange. Each person to their own, but I wouldn’t be able to do it.
Sunday morning rolled around fast and with it being our last day we wanted to get to the Anne Frank House first thing so we wouldn’t be in a panic throughout the day. Off we went (with the map) and got there in about 15mins. Yes that’s how close we were… anyway, we got there and had about a 1 hour wait. Once we got inside and started to feel our fingers again from the cold. We made our way around. This is a must see while in Amsterdam. I had always heard the story and wanted to understand more and honestly, it’s something you need to see to fully understand.
Once we had left there, we took a stroll around the city to take in everything before we left. We even contemplated staying an extra night so we didn’t have to leave so soon. The city is so comfortable and you instantly feel at home when you’re there. Bad weather or not, you can’t help but enjoy your surroundings.
In the evening we made our way back to the hostel to collect our luggage and make our way to the airport. We were staying only a 10 minute walk from the Central Train Station and it only takes about 20 minutes from there on the train to the airport. Everything there just seems so easily accessible, it’s fantastic. I really didn’t want to leave.
Goodbye beautiful Amsterdam, until next time.