Travel Itinerary: Amsterdam
Hallo! Admittedly I’ve been a little MIA on this site, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been thinking about and creating things to share on here...
Something that I’ve been quite keen to share are my holiday itineraries. Naturally being a compulsive list maker and a Planner right to the core, there’s a fair bit of research and planning that goes into my adventures abroad (Monica Gellar is my spirit animal) But it’s only because I want to be sure I can make the most of the places I visit!
My first international adventure of 2019 was to Amsterdam. I had been to Amsterdam before but I was only a bubba (side note: I fell flat on my face and had a sizeable bruise on the end of my nose for the remainder of that trip). I was really excited to be able to explore the country again and have more memories of it.
When it comes to planning, Pinterest is my go to platform. I search through lists and recommendations based on where I’m going, how long I’m going for, and what type of experiences I’m looking to have. I also like to try and strike a balance between visiting the main attractions and sights, and discovering hidden, local gems.
We were only in Amsterdam for two days, but that was still plenty of time to do a lot of what we wanted to. I have a tendency to over-cram my schedule, so with this itinerary I tried to leave a bit of breathing space and give us time to wander freely.
Our flight was nice and early, so we had the whole day ahead of us when we landed. First, we sorted out our travel cards. For €22.50 we got a 48hour travel pass that could be used on all buses, trams and the metro. Then we set off for brunch..
A chic little cafe and restaurant where you can enjoy tasty and filling dishes alongside a 360 view of the city. It was a little cloudy when we got there, but we still got a decent view. For food, we tried the Scrambled Eggs and Banana Bread. For the amount of food we got, the price was pretty good! And the staff were all lovely and friendly too.
This was a cosy little hotel just on the outskirts of central Amsterdam. The staff were incredibly cheery and helpful, and the quaint rooms were perfect for our short stay in the city. With just a 4 minute walk to Sloterdijk train station, and a 22 minute ride away from Centrum Amsterdam (+ only a 15 minute ride from Schipol Airport!), we thought the location was great. Of course this isn’t the closest you can stay to the centre, but for the price and quality, the ever-so-slightly longer commute was worth it.
(A little side note: we noticed that the hotel also had a cosy bar and restaurant area to relax in, and although we didn’t try the breakfast, whatever they were serving in the morning smelt divine!)
We spent much of the later afternoon walking through the centre of Amsterdam and strolling through the canals until it was time for our next stop…
There are so many canal cruise companies to choose from and I’m sure they’re all fairly similar, but for anybody looking for a bit of direction we chose Blue Boat Company (tickets were €21.50 per person). Whilst on-board we drank wine and listened to snippets from the audiotapes that were available, but to be honest we spent most of our time out on the deck gawking at the views.
We set off at 7pm, so being the middle of March, it was the perfect time to see the sun set over Amsterdam and watch the entire city and its canals light up for the night. It was absolutely stunning!
If you’re looking for a tastebud tingling, “nicer” restaurant to go to for the evening then you should head to Restaurant Black & Blue. With a realm of positive reviews online, plus beef carpaccio on the menu, who was I to say no?! Personally speaking, I preferred the starter/sharing plates than I did the mains, but that tends to be the case whenever I eat out!
Their cocktail menu was pretty inspired too, straying away from the classics to offer drinks and mixtures that were a little more adventurous. Dimly lit lights and cosy tables make this the perfect place for a date night or more of a casual evening with friends.
How do I describe how delicious this breakfast was to you? I wanted to shrink myself down, crawl onto this omelette, lay down in the middle of it, and wrap its succulent, tasty, eggy, cheesy, goodness around my body. But in all seriousness, this breakfast was the real deal. None of that “highly-Instagrammable-brunch” bullsh*t that tastes as superficial as it looks. Just bloody good omelettes and a decent glass of freshly squeezed OJ. A perfect start to the day.
At the age of 7 I decided that Van Gogh was my favourite artist because “he painted with a lot of yellow” and yellow was/is my favourite colour. But as I grew older and was exposed and could compare him to more artists, I really did decide that I loved his work. I find his paintings so interesting to look at, and his story so tragic and intriguing. Also... YELLOW.
Moving on (before this turns into a love letter to VVG), I was incredibly excited and moved by my visit to the Van Gogh museum. And it wasn’t just Van Gogh’s work that got my attention. The exhibition also features the work of David Hockney, which I’d never really truly appreciated until this exhibition. I particularly liked his digital works The Four Seasons and his iPad art.
We couldn’t possibly go to the Netherlands without having a bite of their most sought after dessert: Appeltaart - a deep-dish apple pie which looks like a cake, and is served with some whipped cream on the side. A quick Google search told us that Winkel 43 was the best place in Amsterdam to enjoy a slice. The hype was definitely not overrated, this pie was delicious! They don’t take reservations, and the place is quite cosy, so given that it was a chilly March day the outside seating was out of the question for me and my -34C body temperature (only a slight exaggeration). So we did have to wait half an hour before we could get a table but it was absolutely worth it.
We had an hour or so to kill before we needed to make our way back to the hotel and then towards Schiphol airport, so we just strolled through Amsterdam Centrum to explore the canals once more. The sights are so pretty, we really didn’t need much more!
I’d love to go back to Amsterdam for another 2 or 3 days to do some of the things that we missed out on, like the Rijksmuseum and the Anne Frank House, and to head back to Vondelpark when it’s a little sunnier. But I think we did pretty well with the 48 hours that we had.
If you’re headed to Amsterdam then hopefully my itinerary has inspired you or helped you to plan your trip in some way.
Vaarwel for now.