I only realized the other day that I had completely forgotten to upload all my pictures to Facebook from my trip to Amsterdam with the girls! So, what a better way to upload the pics alongside a blog post about the amazing weekend we had.
How we got there
We flew out from East Midlands airport on the Friday afternoon, after having a bit of lunch and a jug of cocktails between us at the Frankie and Benny’s inside the terminal. The flights were around £70 return (Flybe) which wasn’t bad for a long weekend away; although the prices are bound to be cheaper at larger airports with more regular flights.
We arrived in Amsterdam early evening and had to get the train from the airport to the city centre. This didn’t cost much and was hassle free as the train is direct with no stops in-between (there might have been one… I can’t remember!).
Where we stayed
We opted to stay in a hostel in Amsterdam, as we did this in Barcelona last year and had no issues with it at all. Cheap and cheerful! Find out more about my trip to Barcelona.
When we got to the central station we located the exit and starting following directions to the hostel. Be careful around the central station; there are tram lines everywhere, and I almost got run over by one as soon as we exited the building!
The Flying Pig Downtown Hostel is so close to the station that it took us next to no time to find it. We paid around £150 each for the hostel, for three nights. It definitely gave vibes of a traveller’s hostel, with a lively bar open until 3am, a pool table and even a smoke room. It was basic, but it offered a 4 bed private en suite room with breakfast included for a reasonable rate. It was so central after all that we couldn’t complain.
What we did
There are hundreds of things to do and see in Amsterdam, so whittling it down to just a few things in a weekend was really hard. We were going to purchase the IAmsterdam card, until we realised that a few of the key attractions we wanted to see weren’t included in the price. Instead, we booked our tickets for things separately.
1. Heineken Brewery
We took a little tram ride to the Heineken Brewery on the Saturday and thoroughly enjoyed our visit. We were introduced to the brewing process and even got fully involved! The Heineken experience also showed us a variety of different aspects about the brand including its history, its marketing and even its taste. There was a wide range of things to see and do, and the free pint at the end was definitely worth it.
2. Anne Frank Museum
The Anne Frank Museum was amazing. I didn’t know much at all about this story and I was really taken aback by it all being in the exact house it all happened in. The house isn’t furnished nowadays and you can’t go into the attic (like in the Fault in Our Stars), but pages and snippets of the diary have been strategically placed around the house to give you a sense of what it felt like for the family.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of the house as you aren’t allowed to take photos on the inside, and I completely forgot to take a photo from the outside!
Tickets for the Anne Frank museum almost always have to be bought in advance and these cost 9 euros online.
3. Boat Tour
If you really want to SEE Amsterdam then you have to do a boat tour. There are loads of different types of boat tours to choose from, and depending on your budget you could do a pancake cruise, pizza cruise, burger cruise, or a cocktail cruise. We ended up doing the bog standard boat cruise; as we had just eaten a full English!
We spent about an hour cruising the canals of Amsterdam and got to see some amazing sights along the way.
4. Sex Museum
This was probably THE weirdest place I have ever visited in my life. I mean, I’d heard things and seen some pictures, but being there in the flesh was quite interesting. Three floors of sex related stuff. Pictures, statues, and wax work models, showing you the history of sex. It was quite alarming and definitely not for the faint hearted.
Entry to the Sex Museum is only 4 euros and it is located on Damrak, 2 minutes from the central station.
For those who can’t get enough of the Sex Museum, you could also visit the Erotic Museum located in the Red Light District.
We did a lot of exploring whilst in Amsterdam and came across some nice shops, cafes and a fantastic market. It was near the Heineken Brewery and featured lots of fresh juice, street food and clothing stalls, all the way down the street. Whilst we were exploring the market we also came across a hidden gem of a restaurant called Bazar.
It’s a Turkish restaurant serving amazing middle eastern food, with quirky décor throughout the restaurant. We ordered a few bits to share, and were surprised at the size of it!
Would I go back?
Definitely! There was so much else to see and do, and going back to Amsterdam is definitely on my to do list!