This is one of my most delayed posts! For my Birthday (Last July) My Dad and Nicky bought myself and step sister flights to Amsterdam!
I love travelling. I haven’t done a lot of it, but when I have I’ve really enjoyed it. Although I’m a total home bug and would rather be snuggled up on the sofa with my boys there really is no better experience than seeing a new (or old) part of the world. This is something I really want to instill in my boys and probably the one thing that really sets me and Tom apart. I want to see and experience everything and hes the complete opposite.
Amsterdam has been on my list for as long as I can remember. We booked our flights and stay with Easy Jet. This made everything really easy for us. We booked for 2 nights at the Botel. This had to be one of the things we were most excited about!
We visited in the beginning of October and were SO lucky with the weather it was so much hotter than we anticipated and we didnt have a drop of rain.
When we first arrived in Amsterdam the airport and train station are all in the same place so we only had a short walk to the platform we needed and eventually figured out how to buy tickets to be able to get down on to the platform after about half an hour or so on the train we were dropped off in the central station which is also where the ferries were too.
There were 4 ferry ports available we only used 2 of them. One we used ALOT as it was the connector to our Botel. The ferries are free and are usually every 15 minutes. It is mad imagine 150 people getting off a boat and then 150 squashing on it all in a space of 2 minutes before the boat left. It can be a bit intense especially when literally every person owns a bike! Amsterdam wasn’t the easiest to navigate when inside city as it literally all looks like side streets with a river going through it but google maps was our saviour.
Our Botel was really cute, it was basic. We didn’t eat on the Botel purely down to our plans but from what I saw it wasn’t anything to write home about. The rooms were clean and comfy, we didn’t really spend masses of time here as we were out exploring a lot but it was a great base for us to stop back at. After booking in and dropping off our hand luggage we set out.
We had pre-booked the A’Dam Tower and swing. I total recommend it and booking in advance. Although it wasn’t manic it was busy and the swing booked up really quickly and it could of meant spending a lot of time waiting around. We also ate at the towers Madam panoramic restaurant and experienced our first ever ‘Bitterballen‘ I could not tell you what it was or what was in it but it was nice, an interesting flavor kind of like deep fried ball of gravy I’m not really selling it much but they were nice and from what we read if you go to Amsterdam you have to try them.
The entire thing was a great experience. When on the roof there is so much to see and read with lots of city information dotted across the roof. There are some amazing photo points too. We literally took so many photos up here it was mad. The swing is a once in a lifetime experience. You are literally swung out across the building and there is so much to see. It was slightly terrifying being that high up and then flung out over a building but its a memory I will carry with me forever and I would have been super gutted watching others do it and not just going for it.
After visiting the tower although exhausted from our early morning flight and traveling we did a little exploring of the city by foot. If you ever visit the dam BEWARE OF CYCLISTS. They have priority and they are not afraid to run you down! We went to see the IAmsterdam sign which was SO busy! This was based near the museum central and the buildings were INCREDIBLE. They also had a group of men doing a dance routine of some description that attracted a lot of attention. We walked a lot over this break and I wish I had my fit bit on! Our feet were aching and we were hungry and having spotted the best place for our dinner we headed back towards the Botel.
For dinner that night we went on a pancake cruise- Pannenkoekenboot. I’m not even joking. It was an old pirate style boat dedicated to 2 and a half hours serving unlimited pancakes whilst you sailed the Amsterdam waters. This was like a pancake lovers dream come true! The pancakes were delicious with so many different options of toppings and flavors. For those travelling with kids this boat is perfect the ‘hold’ has been converted in to a child’s play area which opens up once they stop serving food. Seeing the outer city from the boat was stunning especially during the sunset. It was so relaxed and calming it was exactly what we needed after our first busy day.
A good nights sleep and we went on Day 2’s adventure! And this time we were on bikes! Cycling around Amsterdam really is the easiest mode of transport. Every one has a bike, you can pick up a bike pretty much anywhere in the city. We got ours from the central station and paid very little for 24 hours hire. This worked out great for us as after our Starbucks brunch we rented the bikes meaning we didn’t have to return them until the following morning. We saw so much and had so much fun! A bike is the perfect way to get around and they are so easy to just park up and get off and explore. We saw a windmill, We cycled across the city saw markets, cute little houses, the Heineken museum, we stopped for a drink in the Vondelpark where the open air theatre was too and it was all so beautiful and well looked after. The one thing I always notice is how clean places are and Amsterdam was no exception.
We stopped for lunch at the Hard rock cafe and were lucky enough to spend a good part of the afternoon people watching by the water eating some INCREDIBLE food! That evening we had booked ahead for the Anne Frank Museum. Now this is a 100% must! book in advance! The museum itself is very modern looking from the outside as they have pretty much encased the house. It is such a humbling experience. We walked around in silence listening to the Audio piece you are given and it really is an intense experience. But one I would recommend to anyone visiting the ‘Dam.
That evening was an interesting one. We visited our first ever ‘cafe’. I wont go to much in to detail because ‘What happens in the ‘Dam stays in the ‘Dam’ but it was the best night ever! We also walked around the sex museum and laughed a lot whilst still riding our bikes. Possibly one of the best nights and to experience that with my little sister is something I will carry with me forever.
Our last day! Exhausted but still having the best time we went on a guided river tour. It wasnt cheap. In fact we did find Amsterdam prices to be on par if not marginally more expensive than London. The guided tour was great, providing headphones and allowing us to see the bits that we hadn’t already. including the wonky house. It was also really informative so the little bits of information that you would get being on your bike or just wondering around was all there and it was a nice way to rest. We then spent the afternoon shopping before heading back on the train too the airport to catch our flight home.
I had such an amazing time and loved every minute of it. I could not of asked for anyone better to travel with than my sister. I was so ready to get home and see my baby! Anyone looking for a weekend break Amsterdam definitely should be on the list. I would happily go back! Time and time again.
Mrs G xx