Yesterday I returned back home from a month-long trip around Europe, Jack and I had a 3 week interrailing pass but chose to start our journey by flying out to Amsterdam from Manchester Airport 3 days prior to the pass starting, in order to prolong the trip! Amsterdam, only been a short 45-50 min flight was a great way to start our trip, and it definitely sits in the top 3 of the 12 destinations we visited. It was both as picturesque as I’d imagined with narrow bicycle lined streets and barge filled canals, and also incredibly welcoming and vibrant, filled with people of all ages from all places. I had expected to encounter some seediness, particularly in the Red Light District, but much to my surprise I found it to be fun for everyone, with its cultural value matching up with its party-heavy reputation.
The best way to explore Amsterdam, is to simply get lost in its streets. Around every corner you stumble upon another beautiful bridge, a quaint bakery or even a kebab shop. Whatever takes your fancy! The area of Jordaan is particularly lovely to wander around, and on Saturday’s the Noodermarkt is a great place to rummage through records, clothes and artwork, there I picked up two beautiful rings.
There are countless museums in the city, ranging from the ever-popular Van Gogh Museum to the Anne Frank house. We decided to visit the Stedelijk Museum of Modern and Contemporary art, if you take your student card you get a good entry deal and there are countless works to take in, including the two pictured above.
Vondelpark is a public urban park located in the Amsterdam-Zuid area of the city, it’s the perfect place on a hot day for a picnic (which we opted to do) or for renting a bicycle in true Netherlands style but without the rush of the vehicle occupied roads.
There are heaps of good food joints in Amsterdam, the red light district in particular is littered with tons of good Thai restaurants, steakhouses and Cafes. Although, it’s not at all cheap, price wise it probably matches or exceeds an average English city with Mains coming in between €8-13. A few stand outs we tried were Piqniq for Lunch, and Jasmine Thai for an evening. We also had a great brunch in ‘The Breakfast Club’ which is situated in Bellamystraat. I indulged in the FLUFFIEST pancakes ever, while Jack opted for a rather tasty looking crayfish sandwich (The Breakfast Club is pictured below).
As a disclaimer, the outfits for these travel diaries/city guides are going to be pretty repetitive as for a whole month away I had very limited space for clothing! I had to resist my urge to pack leather skirts and metallic boots and instead opt for comfortable clothing, that was practical for walking miles in and for the heat.
Our 3 nights in Amsterdam were the perfect way to start our trip, and with flights as cheap as they currently are I will definitely be making a return sometime in the near future!
We stayed in the Ibis budget Amsterdam City south as it was the cheapest place we could find that looked both clean and practical. It was a little while out the centre but a tram stop was located just a 2min walk away, and we were thoroughly impressed with the regularity and ease of the tram network there. Our room was on the top floor with a great view and the room, despite being on the small side, was very modern and comfortable.
Thanks for reading, I can’t wait to share more of our trip, particularly some of the less talked about jewels of cities that we visitied!