If you follow me on instagram, you’ll have seen I recently took a little trip to Amsterdam with my sister, Susan. And of course the blog post was coming. So here it is!
This was quite a spontaneous holiday. Booked a few weeks in advance, this was my first time flying and the location we picked was of course dependent on this. Super short, cheap flights? Where else than Amsterdam? It also helped that Amsterdam has been on our to go list for a very long time. I even had a dedicated pinterest board and a notes page in my phone full of places I wanted to visit, eat and explore. So here’s what we did.
Conscious Hotel, Westerpark
When it came to picking a place to stay we did the usual, checked airbnb and booking.com. Surprisingly there wasn’t much price difference in it, so of course we decided to be bougie and book a hotel. We picked the Conscious Hotel in Westerpark as our home for the next three days.
This had a super cool modern vibe to it, with an amazing interior. Those navy blue walls against the mustard curtains!
I also loved the super high ceilings and windows you had to climb up to for a peak of the outside world. Made even easier with the handy binoculars they provided for a spot of bird watching. Let’s not forget the huge bed with soft marshmallowy pillows and a big duvet. Ugh hotel life.
Although this pick was really cool, we did find we were quite far out from the centre. Something we couldn’t really tell from looking online. But this was no real issue except on a couple of days when we ended up the other side of town and had to use an uber home. Although there was always the option to hire bikes from the hotel.
The main thing we noticed when going to restaurants, was how accommodating they were for vegans. There was never an occasion where we were unable to eat at the same restaurant thank god. We were even able to order a vegan dominos one night in haha. The second thing we noticed, was how much better the food tastes in Amsterdam! I don’t know why or how, but we were ravenous constantly. I’ve never eaten as much as I did in those three days.
Apparently a dutch speciality, we came across a couple of chip bars with a vast selection of sauces to go with. But of course I went for mayo and ketchup whilst Susan had vegan (!) mayo. Peep that huge dollop in the pic. Mmm bring back cones of chips to England!
Another Amsterdam speciality seemed to be pancakes. And we ate them everyday. I think I’m addicted. I’m still constantly craving. And again we were able to get vegan and normal pancakes every time.
Food Hallen – a hall full of different food and drinks stalls, would definitely recommend The Butcher for the best burgers; Dignita – amazing brunches!
We travelled in many different ways whilst in Amsterdam, thanks to Citymapper. Mainly on foot, we walked all over the city and we soon became familiar with our surroundings. The most pleasant surprise transport we used was a hop on hop off canal tour boat. This was a gentle rocking canal boat which cruised around the city complete with an audio tour we struggled to concentrate on. What with the intense sleepiness the boat ensued. I’ve never felt more cosy and calm. The only way we didn’t travel whilst in Dam was by bike. The classic. But what with the super windy and occasionally wet weather, it just wasn’t appealing. Oh well!
The Anne Frank House was the top of our list and luckily we were able to purchase tickets online. It really is a must see experience. With the help of their free audio tour we were able to learn more about the lives of those who hid for two years in the secret annexe. Seeing the house and the artefacts left behind was a truly immersive experience. Sparking my desire to reread her diary as an adult as I previously read it about 10 years ago.
Another must see was the Van Gogh Museum. Full of his self portraits, landscapes, letters he wrote to his family and friends, and of course the sunflowers. Probably one of the most world famous artists, the gallery and audio tour tells the story of his life from his early work, to the ear incident, to his death. A very interesting, well put together gallery which unfortunately does not allow photographs ha. But it was amazing to see his work in the flesh. One of the pieces on display which was particularly interesting to me was his paint palette so look out for that!
Other places worth visiting
The Rijksmuseum – Amsterdam’s most well known museum and art gallery; Hortus Bontanicus – the botanical gardens.
When it came to shopping, we found it quite difficult to find shops we couldn’t get at home. We did come across a couple of boutiques with nice homewares and jewellery and of course weed ha. The only thing we really splashed out on were matching rings from the Bonbon Boutique. A little jewellery store which caught my eye, full of lots of dainty pieces – of course a lot of self control needed to stop me from buying the whole shop.
And that about wraps it up! My go to places in Amsterdam. I truly loved the city and would go back in a heartbeat.
But the real question is, where next?