Amsterdam

Less than 48 hours in Amsterdam!

If Amsterdam is a destination you want to visit, but it isn’t at the top of your list, you aren’t sure how much you actually want to go, you are not sure what there is to do here and how much there is to see?

Well why not be spontaneous and book a cheap flight during one of Ryanair’s seat sale and head away for the weekend? Or how about adding Amsterdam as a stopover as a break to your long haul flight? My visit to Amsterdam was short and sweet and I stayed here for 1 night and I had 1 full day exploring and then half the second day before leaving again, so in fact I didn’t have that much time here! But I fit a lot into my time!

Bikes, Tulips and Waffles? Isn’t this what you traditionally think of when Amsterdam comes to mind? Well lets delve in and I will tell you all about my short time in Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands’.

Accommodation;

I stayed in a hostel as I was travelling with a group during an Interrail trip, so we were looking for cheap accommodation. We stayed in the Generator Hostel. This is a chain hostel branch. These hostels are dotted all around Europe. It cost us just under €20 each for the night and the hostel was very nice. The location is good but it took us quite a while to find it by foot. The rooms were very clean with large windows looking out onto Amsterdam. There was also a restaurant onsite but it was very expensive.

Things To Do;

We arrived into Amsterdam by train so on arrival we headed straight to an information/tourist office to get information on tickets to attractions we wanted to visit. This office was primarily a ticket office for the ‘Lovers Canal Cruise’ but they also offered package tours for different attractions in Amsterdam. So we bought tickets here and then headed to our accommodation.

First up on our to do list was the Ice Bar. I had never been to one before so we got tickets to the Xtra Cold Ice Bar Amsterdam. We booked in for around the 10pm slot, all of which was done at the ticket office on arrival. When we got to the Ice Bar we got 3 tokens with our ticket; 2 tokens for two free drinks in the Ice bar and one for a free drink in the bar outside. We were kitted out with thermal jackets and gloves and we then made our way in. First impressions was that it is a lot smaller than what I expected it to be and obviously very very cold. There were ice sculptures around the bar and we were served our drinks in glasses of ice! Heineken, vodka and another short were the options to choose from. It was a very different experience that I have had and I am very happy I did it! Make sure you are appropriately dressed though, warm clothes will help you enjoy the experience more. Some of our group left after about 10 minutes as it was too cold but the rest tried to stay until we finished the two free drinks.

Once you leave the Ice Bar and enter the normal bar the change in temperature is drastic! It actually was painful going from one extreme to the next so suddenly! But we had a nice cocktail here while getting our body temperature back to normal.

From here, we headed to a few bars and then had a walk around the well known ‘Red Light District’. I’m sure you have all heard of this district in Amsterdam. It is an area that is light up in red neon lights and lets just say our decision to visit here quiet late in the night was not the best idea, moving on.

Madame Tussauds; This is a wax museum and there are many of these museums all around Europe. This is another thing I hadnever been to before so we bought these tickets and the Ice bar tickets together as a combo for a discounted price. There are many websites online where you can choose various combo tickets which works out cheaper then buying them separately! Here is an example of a combo ticket website.

Madame Tussauds was fantastic!! I spent a good 2 hours wandering around this museum where they had a huge array of figures. From musicians, to actors, to political leaders, each room offered something new. Watch how they make the figures, enter a virtual world and dress up like your favourite character from a movie. Definitely recommend visiting.

Anne Frank House. A house which is made into a museum to depict how a young girl lived during the War as a Jewish. Although I didn’t go into Anne Frank’s, we visited the outside. You definitely need to pre-book tickets for this to avoid long queues as it is hugely popular.

Dam Square. Stroll around this very big Square. There are various streets leading off of here where you can find small dutch cheese stores to taste the local produce, wander around retail shops and indulge in the local cuisine.

Watch the street performers attract crowds and portray their talents. Walk along the canals and see the various famous houseboats, floating markets and get lost in the culture here.

Shopping Centre; Magna Plaza is a shopping center which has about 3 floors, if I remember correctly, to allow you spend your money between clothes, shoes and enjoy a pamper treatment in the beauty shops.

Other Attractions; (That I did not go to but are recommended)

I am Amsterdam sign! This is very popular in Amsterdam.

Rent bikes and try your luck on how the natives get around from day to day.

Vondelpark is Amsterdam’s most popular park of 47 hectares.

A’Dam Lookout is a 20 story lookout with a bar, restaurant and a swing that extends over the edge of the building

Heineken Experience, tour the brewery, taste the drink and enjoy learning about how it is made.

River Cruise. Enjoy a romantic dinner cruise through Amsterdam’s canals.

Day trip to Zaanse Schans to see the old fashioned, still mechanical windmills or head to Utreacht for a typical town with 14th Century towers, cathedrals and medieval churches.

So you can make your trip here long or short, Amsterdam is a relaxed, chilled out destination to visit. I am happy with my time here and I might return some day. I am not in any hurry to do so as I feel I experienced a handful of things while visiting!

I hope you enjoyed this post on Amsterdam and as always if you have any questions be sure to ask!!

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