• Sian O'Dell

Amsterdam City break

City of Sin

As you may have seen from my Instagram feed back in March, I had a long weekend cityscape to Amsterdam, Netherlands.  Although I love the beach, bikini and a sun tan, I think I’m finally getting the jist of these city breaks, a few days away can be very hectic, busy and stressful, but at the same time I do believe in treating yourself to a break away.  Seeing new things, exploring new places, breathing a different air, it all helps relieve stress and give your mind a break from everyday stresses.  This doesn’t need to be in a different country, it could be exploring your area, going to a new cafe for lunch or a road trip to a City.

Museums, Bikes & Canals

So what did we do on our quick trip to Amsterdam?

Number 1 thing I’ve learnt from City trips is that anything you want to see or do there, book it in advance.  The museums were jammed packed with hundreds of people all wanting to visit, meaning they actually closed the museums to people wanting to pay on the door, this was the case with The Van Gogh Museum, The Anne Frank House and The Rijksmuseum.  The city itself is stunning, the architecture, streets and canals are all what make it so pretty.  Speaking of the streets – they all look very similar, so it’s very easy to get confused and lost so may keep Google maps on standby!

One day we were there we hired bikes because as you may already be aware cycling is a very popular mode of transport over there.  I must admit it surprised me how many bicycles were stacked up on the sides of every road, thousands of them, I’m not kidding.  With this in mind I thought if we were to leave them anywhere, that we’d either loose them or they’d get stolen, thankfully we found them and they didn’t get stolen! Due to the amount of bikes there are in Amsterdam it’s quite unlikely it would be stolen, many of the ones we saw weren’t locked up either.  Because of the popular nature of cycling there are lots of cycle lanes, many having priority over the cars and pedestrians.  It’s easy to get run over by bikes so if you ever find yourself in Amsterdam watch out! – And if you hire bikes remember to ride on the right…

Money, Boat trips & Cafes 

I found Amsterdam is rather expensive to eat out, especially in the city centre, souvenirs are more reasonably priced, but I did find it easy to spend there.

What else can we do in Amsterdam?

Canal trips, I love a guided tour of anything really but it great to see the city from a different perspective and learn about the culture.  The Red Light district we happened to stumbled across, all in all it’s a beautiful street in the day time, but all you may be aware of it’s nature and fame.  China Town is a street with lots of restaurants and a free information point/shop, it quite nice to see.  Amsterdam is famous for it’s cafes and coffee shops, and with so many and variety it’s kind of hard to miss them, most sell foods, drinks and more…

Speaking of food, there is some classic dishes to try whilst you’re there,

1. Raw herring – raw fish served with onions, pickles and a sauce

2. Stroopwafel – also found in Starbucks, a flat caramel waffle

3. Bitterballen –  a seasoned breaded ball of meat (I didn’t get to try this)

4. Lots of cheese!

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