So Me and Brad went to the Netherlands in June 2019 to meet up with some of our closest friends Mel and Stan! Stan actually lives in the Netherlands too, so it was a pleasure to be hosted by him in his home country! We also met out friend Kaat from Belgium, she came across and stayed a few days with us.
We had an awesome few days and did some amazing things together. These photos below don’t actually do it any justice and it was so hard to find my favourites! We did a boat tour, went to the beach in Zandvoort, the A-dam look out and Swing, so many coffee shop and also a night out on the town! So these are only a quarter of my favourite shots I took in the Netherlands because If I had a choice I would have chosen all of them.
Enjoy and let me know which ones your favourite & if you’ve been to these places below!
Heading to the Netherlands a second time around was a little more authentic as we had Stan to show us some of the country we had never seen before, but most importantly, he also had new food places to take us!
Our first stop shortly after we landed was to get some dinner! SO we headed to a restaurant called Hippie Fish which is right on the Beach in Zandvoort. It was SUCH a beautiful restaurant with the most beautiful aesthetic Ive ever seen. Its an instagramers wet dream. Not only that but we chose the most beautiful night to go and the sun was blazing through the windows and a beautiful sunset across the beach the later on in the evening it got!
For dinner I got a king Prawn Linguini and it was so tasty and so worth the money, beautiful presentation as well. We also had a couple of Dutch beers and for dessert they bring it to you on a tray and you pick what you want and they add it to your bill! It was really beautiful and I’d love to go back. Once we had eaten we could even go onto the beach for a walk and the sunset was beautiful.
An experience I will never forget as I never thought I’d go to the beach in the Netherlands!
Melly’s Stroopwaffles can be found in the centre of Amsterdam!
It does the most beautiful Stroopwaffles, you get to choose all your toppings and flavours and they even come out WARM. They were so tasty and so with the short wait whilst they got them prepared. Defintely not expensive either! So tasty, a proper sweet treat.
I ordered a Stroopwaffle with vanilla and chocolate swirl shaving with half dipped in white chocolate and man was it heavenly!
I believe HEMA is actually a dutch supermarket/variety store but they do the NICEST hot dogs in buns! They’re so tasty and a proper quick snack if you’re spending your day touring around Amsterdam!
THE BEST INVENTION I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE. Its a HOT FOOD VENDING MACHINE. You can get burgers, chips, Frikadel sausages, a beef or vegetarian croquette, if you go to the counter you can also get milkshakes and fizzy drinks! They even do FRIED CHICKEN. Everything is in the price range of €1.60 – €2.20 so all reasonably priced as well!
My all time favourite, Bamistrife which is Fried Noodles and onions in batter. The ULTIMATE snack when you’re trekking around Amsterdam central and don’t want to stop for lunch or a sit down meal!
Lost in Amsterdam & Bulldog Cafes
We had been to Amsterdam before but we wanted to try some new coffee shops, one of these places was Lost In Amsterdam. This coffee shop had a proper bedouin feel to it and was the first smoke lounge in Amsterdam! They also have BOMB Milkshakes like no other, they serve alcoholic drinks and other soft drinks as well.
They do offer DJs and Cocktail nights as well as shish pipes! They eve have a house cat! but we didn’t get the pleasure of seeing him/her on our journey!
We also visited another Bulldog cafe, we had been to all the ones in in the centre and decided to visit the Bulldog Rockshop Coffee shop. Definitely the smallest of all the Bulldog coffee shops but really really cosy. we even managed to get a seat by the window!
We headed to Burger Bar for dinner one night and DAMN if you want a good burger this is where to go (they also sell grape Fanta, it didn’t take much to sell it to me).
They boast that they do the best burgers in Europe and thats a pretty big statement. I Definitely enjoyed my meal and they have 4 locations across Amsterdam Central, it also has vegetarian options as well! Best part about the experience, naturally, is that you get to build your burger yourself or you can choose straight from the menu a set meal!
Its really reasonably priced and good quick service! Definitely recommend here for some good food!
This was the most beautiful meal of the trip, something Mel and Stan were desperate to take us too as we are also steak lovers and this place was just phenomenal.
Located just outside the main Amsterdam Central Station in a beautiful white building on the water, you walk down the steps and into a smart casual white and dutch blue aesthetic restaurant. All the staff are welcoming and we were seated to our table!
We were sat with a view overlooking the water and it was just so lovely, the service was quick and the FOOD OMG, the food. The steaks were done to perfection, the dreamiest of all meals. I had the Loetje Tenderloin Steak with the Loetje Gravy and my lord was it just so tender and perfectly cooked to how I wanted it. I even has room for the lightest and dreamiest cheesecake afterwards.
Although the meal itself wasn’t cheap cheap it was TOTALLY worth it, its not that much more expensive but if you’re wanting a nice meal for your trip this is definitely the place to go. They also have more than one location as well around the Netherlands.
If you do go to any of these places or have already been, let me know what you think!
Have you ever been Canal Boating in Amsterdam? How was your experience?
This is something that I have always wanted to do and Brad and I have visited Amsterdam before but never had the chance or opportunity to do it, so when we met Mel and Stan in Amsterdam with Kaat we decided why the hell not? I don’t think Mel, Stan & Kaat had done one before either so it was a great experience!
So we headed to Amsterdam Central. A lot of the boat tours are down by Amsterdam Central Station, we paid €18 per person for a seat on the boat which I felt was really well priced all things considered! The prices of the tour can vary from €14 to €25. They last 90 minutes and you also receive a headset to hear about the history of the things you’re passing so they didn’t have a tour operator.
Our boat had all glass windows and ceiling, the windows slid open as well so you could see out of them easier. The water was calm as you make your way around the Amsterdam canals seeing all the historical points, buildings and bridges!
We saw the Skinny Bridge which has been round since 1934 and is also made of white painted wood and has pretty lights all along the sides. Not only that but you also pass a fair few popular museums and the red light district, the Opera House and also the Munttoren tower and so many more exciting sites, architecture and scenery!
Once you’re done in the canals you head out onto the main open water area between Amsterdam North and Amsterdam Central, past the A-Dam lookout and central station. Its really a great experience and totally worth the money, its a lot of fun and gives you a chance to see a lot of Amsterdam that you might not see whilst walking around!
I would absolutely recommend one of these tours, you can also get them from other locations in the city including nearby the Rjiksmuseum if you are far away from Amsterdam Central Station.
I am choosing to write about some of my Amsterdam trip but not all of it as we have visited Amsterdam, Netherlands, before!
Mainly the bits which I haven’t covered before I want to cover this time! So the ‘Over the Edge‘ experience, Hippie Fish, Loetje steak restaurant, Amsterdam River boat cruises and getting the ferry to A-dam Nord all to come in future blog posts! All new things experienced on my second trip to Amsterdam with Brad, but this time with Mel, Stan and Kaat as well! My best friends and university housemates.
We had the absolute pleasure of staying in Stan’s families flat in the centre of Amsterdam. Stan himself is Dutch and from Haarlem! Perks of having friends in other countries hey?!
Big up Stanimal.
I’ll be honest, the ‘Over the Edge‘ experience was not something I had ever heard of before until Mel mentioned it, then we just had to go! So we headed on the tube to the main Amsterdam station and got on the ferry to cross over to Amsterdam Nord! You can see the building, the A’DAM Lookout, from the ferry area, and even further as it is so very tall!
We jumped off the ferry once we had crossed the water and we also found the iAmsterdam sign! I thought this was something they had gotten rid of! So it was a nice treat and lovely photo opportunity, especially as Brad and I had the same photo on our first trip to Amsterdam about 4 years prior but in a different spot.
We headed into the A’DAM lookout and as we were queuing saw the Gibson Throne made out of Guitars! Would have been rude not to take a seat (Its funny because I didn’t). We then all had pictures in front of a green screen of us sat high up over a city on a metal building structure and a picture of us falling backwards. All part of the fun!
Then it was into the totally psychedelic lift which had a light show the entire way up the lift shaft as you reached the top! It was beautiful to watch and definitely unexpected, I didn’t realise until Mel told me to look up as we started our climb up!
We came out on the floor below the terrace. This consisted of a bar, restaurant and floor to ceiling windows, also an entire aerial view map of Amsterdam Centre. The view was absolutely beautiful, overlooking the water and the Amsterdam station and centre. Plus it was also a beautiful day and the skies were blue, we couldn’t have picked a better one if we tried.
After doing a lap of the inside viewpoint we headed upstairs to the terrace where the wind was blowing and the sky was beautiful and blue and we could see all across Amsterdam! We walked around to the ‘Over the Edge‘ Swings excited for our turn!
They’re huge red swings that as they are swinging backwards and forwards it takes you over the edge of the building! You are of course firmly strapped in with a metal harness across the belt and it really is an exciting feeling. They take photos of you both on the swings (but I definitely let Mel take some of our pictures because she’s the real pro) You definitely have the urge to swing your legs as you would on a normal swing and it is very hard not too!
I found that my heart was in my throat and I loved every second of it. Mel and Stan also did it and once we had all had our turn we headed to the outdoor bar they had for beer and tea, enjoy the pictures below of our experience!
Highly recommended and for only 5 Euros per person for the swing, but for the 360 degrees look out also it is around 10-13.50 Euros! Well and truly worth the pricing.
I didn’t realise how far out of the centre our flat was until we jumped on Bus 22 and sat for 9 stops/20 minutes with our suitcases trying to figure out where we were going, this was after getting from the airport to the centre, getting all the tickets we needed and more.
Getting the train from the airport is really simple, after getting through baggage, security and all that we headed to the help desk and they sent us to the very obvious desk that said Train Tickets.note to self, actually open your eyes and look around as you are capable as a human being to do things the first go without help.
Single Train tickets to Amsterdam centre from Schipol are €4.20, so nothing to strenuous at all and it takes you, obviously, right to the centre stress free.
Getting to the centre we wanted to find somewhere where we could get a tram pass. After speaking to a helpful woman she sent us in the right direction towards a white GVB building to the left of the station (it might even be the GBV buildings, its easy to spot regardless of which way the letters are).
In here we asked for a tram pass and another helpful lady gave us a 4 day tram and bus pass for only €22.00, Easily the cheapest deal we’d ever seen & not expected. It gave us access to any bus or tram in Amsterdam, all we had to do was scan the pass as we got on and off every time, no extra charge!!!
We saved so much money, if we’d have bought tickets for every journey we took we would not have been able to spend the money we did. With a Tram and Bus stop right outside out flat and a train station down the road if we needed it, it was so convenient.
The trams, trains and buses are immaculate. They’re so clean and so brilliantly on time, the buses aren’t so accurate on time but none the less, it was better than any shitting english public transport services. The trams were the best, my personal fave cause there were always on time and they’re just brilliant things to have.
The Other things:
My step-mum told me the wisest words I’d ever heard before we left for Amsterdam;
“Download Citymapper onto your iPhone”
So the first thing I did before I left was exactly that. And we depended on that App to travel around Amsterdam like it was a travel bible (Soshout out to my step-mum). You can use this App for most cities globally to help you get around, just type in which city you’re in and you’re away!
The pros of this app were that it was a massive help as we were in the city, the cons are that if you are not anywhere near the centre the app is deemed pretty much useless (I tried using it for London, and because I wasn’t in London at the time it didn’t work out).
We used this app from the moment we got to the centre & from then on we were dependant on it when it came to getting back to the flat and getting to restaurants that were outside of the really busy areas of amsterdam. It gave us the Tram and Bus services that we need to get on from where we were, and if we needed to walk to any of the tram or bus stops it gave us the directions to walk to the stop! It used the GPS on my phone to show it knew which direction we were stood in too, It was SUCH a handy app to have.
SO helpful, 10/10 would totally use it again and I highly recommend it too.
Another method of transport which wasn’t used by us, and to be honest we didn’t even think to use it to get around because we had more chance of dying than getting to our final destination, was the BIKES. The people of Amsterdam do not mess around with their bikes. They have specific red bike lanes as there are so many people who find it easier to use bikes rather than drive, and with those windy small roads I don’t blame them.
If you stepped out into a bike lane without looking you’d have a lot of angry people speaking dutch, as if the language does sound angry enough when they speak generally, shaking their fists and heads. Make sure you cross somewhere you won’t get mowed down.
I’d almost definitely crash my car if I drove there, I’ve already bumped it twice in England, maybe Im just shit at driving.
I’ll Start off with where we ate, but if you’re more interested in the coffee shops, scroll down!
Out for food!;
Wheres good for grub? Okay, Although we didn’t really go mad with where we went for food & we tried not to go with standard chain restaurants, that did fail a few times but the food was lovely none the less, as was the experience in the small restaurants to fit the small Amsterdam streets.
Vapianos – There was nothing small about this place, it was 3 floors. I’d been to a Vapianos two years before when I went to Vienna and I hadn’t been back since, And I love Italian food. I love it even more when its cooked and made in front of you and then handed to you to go chill and eat, they have a pasta section and a pizza section, its pretty awesome. Good prices and banging food. Its not far out of the centre either and there are two.
Amsterdam Steakhouse & Pizzeria – We didn’t know where to go for food and we didn’t know what we fancied either so this was perfect as it did everything, Good price but super small, luckily we managed to get a seat and some more good food.
Teddy’s Corner – I highly recommend this place for breakfast. I had an EnglishBreakfast and Brad an American Breakfast and it was glorious! It located literally just of the centre so an easy walk and really good prices, plenty of food to choose from too!
The Pancake Bakery – We came here for lunch, I had a pancake with chocolate, whipped cream and banana’s and it was AMAZING. Brad on the other hand ordered a savoury pancake and he didn’t like it, but then savoury pancakes with cheese and meat on aren’t for everyone! He ended getting a sweet one, luckily they didn’t charge us for the other pancake! It was difficult to find this place and its also quite expensive but really pretty inside.
A Burger Place (unsure of the name unfortunately) – We came here on the first night and the burgers were so nice, something easy after our flight and checking in malarky. Good prices, and the burgers were lovely too, nothing incredibly special though.
So wheres good? Unfortunately I don’t have any photos due to the fact they’re not fan’s of people taking photographs in there, which is perfectly understandable. Coffee houses are great to just chill out after a busy day, whether its for a drink, some food or a smoke. Here are the places we visited:
The Bulldog Cafe & Energy Coffee Shop – This had been recommended by some of Brads friends so we had to check this place out, It’s also really popular in Amsterdam and one of the well known coffee shops. Its pretty small inside but its okay if you don’t get a seat, there are two more bulldog coffee shops literally 100 metres between each of them down the road!
Green House Cafe – This was near the Bulldog, just the other side of the river and a bit further down. I can now say I have chilled in the same cafe as Snoop Dog, Rihanna, Will Ferrell and a whole photograph wall full of other famous people that have been to this cafe. It’s a really funky place, a little more expensive, but thats understandable when you realise all the famous heads that have been there.
Original Dampkring – This one was my favourite because the cat they had in this coffee shop was 100% stoned. At one point she came and sat down on all of our things on the bar, she didn’t give a shit.
1eHulp Cafe – You cant’t sit in here unless you’re over 21 so we couldn’t stick around, It was mad how busy it was because you can purchase the best weed in Amsterdam at the moment here, so it was a really busy place. Located kinda on the outskirts, but if you’re heading to the IAmsterdam sign its pretty close to that.
Abraxas – A good place to chill, A good atmosphere too, but SO hard to find with all the building work going on around it. Its down a small alleyway so ideally you’d need to have some sort of app to tell you where you’re going, or a map, Or just a really good sense of direction.
Smokey Coffee Shop – This was a great place, everyone’s friendly, it was busy an the music was really good, we came here after dinner at Vapianos and stayed here basically most of the night.
Red Light Coffee Shop – As you can tell, this one was in the red light district, Although it was very big it was a busy and easy to chill. We decided to have a break from the rain and accidentally walking down ‘Big Momma Alley’, I’ll leave that to you to think about.
Feel Good Coffee Shop – This was our last coffee shop of the holiday, we didn’t stay for long but it was big and had a nice atmosphere, and it wasn’t as busy as some so it was nice to get a seat!
The Coffee Shops are really great and you get talking to a lot of people, everyone is really nice and friendly there, just know your limits and be safe!
Obviously when in Amsterdam you must do the essentials, we did a fair few things but there was also a lot of things to go back and do as we ran out of time. For example we had no time to do any of the museums which was a shame. But either way, heres what we managed to get done over the course of 3 days!
The streets of Amsterdam are really beautiful, I know its nothing special or anything specific, but its great because its free and everywhere is really different and nice. All the canals and little bridges, its a really photogenic place and the buildings are beautiful too, Just walking through the streets would have been enough to amuse me for a day. So if you do go to Amsterdam make sure you take in the scenery because its really unique and so pretty.
The Anne Frank museum was a really moving experience. To be able to go around the house she and her family were basically trapped in for years and read extracts from her diary as you went, hearing about the journey and the story of it all. It was really eye opening. They had video’s of people who had helped the Frank family at that desperate time giving their account of the story. In the end its sad to think that Anne Frank and her sister died only 6 months before the concentration camps were liberated. Their father was the only one to survive, some of the video interviews of him talking about reading Anne’s diary are heartbreaking. It took us 45 minutes to get around and it was 45 minutes well spent. Its not too far away from the central station and it only €19.00 entry for two people, so €9.50 each, but its well worth the visit.
The Red Light District was really funky, something completely different to anything I’ve ever seen before. Men queuing up outside windows to go inside with a prostitute, and all the girls in the windows, the sex shows and plenty of flashing lights and snazzy neon signs. It was surreal, we wandered down both sides of the canal. There were multiple sex shops and shows like the Banana Bar, A peep show, strip clubs and Moulin Rouge, It was really fascinating and we had a good giggle at some of the the places along the strip because they were so different to what we were used too, its a completely different environment but really good fun. We also set up camp for an hour or so in the Red Light Coffee Shop along the canal in the district so if you wanna take a break from the lights and basically naked ladies you can.
We made the mistake of walking to the IAmsterdam, its a bloody long way from the central station so if you can get a tram to it, do. Although the walk is lovely it was long, and you can potentially go via the 1eHulp cafe on your way as well! Its located behind the Rijks Museum, a place I need to go back and visit as the museum building itself is beautiful. You walk under it too, through the arches in the middle to get to the road across the other side, Its really gorgeous so to go back and see the inside, the artwork and the famous “Night watch” portrait hung on the 18 foot wall on its own would be wonderful.
Anyway, Its your standard huge big I AM IN AMSTERDAM sign, its free of course as it sits outside and its pretty cool. Theres tourists everywhere and even an ice skating ring behind it. Im not sure if the ice skating ring is there all year round but it was early Jan so will probably stick around during the christmas and NY period if it isn’t there all the time. Its the perfect place to be your typical tourist and stand and pose in front of it, which was exactly what we did!
Overall the trip was wonderful, I can’t wait to go again and do everything I didn’t do and more!
For more on my trip to Amsterdam click this wonderful link HERE!
Although there are Hostels and Hotels galore in Amsterdam, We tried something a little different. We tried this magical thing called AirBnB. Its something that seems to be getting bigger and more popular as time goes on, and for a student who can’t afford the world, it’s prices were also perfect, so why not? I didn’t want to look on Airbnb until the last minute, it wasn’t something that tickled my fancy and I wanted to try and see if I could find something else, it was really a last resort. But in future reference it will no longer be a last resort at all. It exceeded my expectations by a mile.
I came across this ad on AirBnB with a room very well priced per night for the two of us that was close to the centre of dam but not too close and where there was plenty of transport, a place with wifi and a private bathroom/shower too. It was a brilliant overall price for 3 nights once I’d booked it, it was just hoping it lived up to my expectations.
I don’t have a proper photograph of the room to show, I have a few of the window, really helpful right? Sorry! It was a perfect room located just outside the centre in Molukkenstraat, a 20 minute bus or tram ride and a Lidl directly over the road for all our munchie needs, Although there was one downside;
We kept in contact with our host before we arrived and during. We were told her friend would be able to check us in at half past 3 as she was occupied and we were given her name and number. This was great, and super exciting, until it hit quarter past 4 and we’d been stood in the rain for 45 minutes with an unavailable phone number that didn’t work and no idea who to contact as we couldn’t reach our host online either. EVENTUALLY, the hosts friend showed up to let us in and give us our keys, the room wasn’t ready but It didn’t take them long to do the finishing touches so we didn’t mind.
It was a standard room with a double bed, a dresser & wardrobe, chair and a big-ass window which I enjoyed hanging my head out of a lot of the time. We had a bathroom down the hall which had everything we needed. It wasn’t immaculate but as my boyfriend and I are both students, it was cleaner than our bathrooms at uni and that was enough for us! The bed was beyond comfortable, and as I have trouble sleeping it was perfect.
Another benefit to this room is that the bus and tram stations are right outside the flat. This made travelling to and from the centre so easy, we could come and go as we pleased and not have to run to the station at any point, but thats another story (you can find it here: Amsterdam – Travel & Other things to help you get around).
A nice little perk was that one morning when we woke up it was snowing, and as the bed is next to the radiator and the window up against the wall it was nice to be able to sit on the bed with the window open, smoke and be cosy and warm whilst watching the snow outside, the perfect morning start to a busy day!
Overall, our AirBnB experience was great. It was something totally different and I say don’t be afraid to try it, It may be something out of your comfort zone but its totally worth it. The host was great, the room was great and the location, it wasn’t stupidly expensive if anything the perfect price and I had a wonderful trip to go along side it.
Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone can help you to discover new ways to travel!