Inside My Amsterdam Trip
I went on a girl's trip to Amsterdam for three days and here's everything we got up to in the three days we were there. Enjoy a little photo diary from my time there!
Amsterdam is one of those places that has been on my list for years. I have even booked tickets to go before but the night before our flight, my housemate (and then best friend) and I got into our first fight. Cue me waiting at home, wondering when she would be ready, only to discover that she had left without me and I would now miss the flight because she was already at the airport. But that’s a story for another day…
I have always loved a girl’s trip. Sometimes traveling can be one of the things people put on hold until they are coupled up but whilst I was single, I saw it very much as the opposite. When you are single, you are not tied down to anyone else. You do not need to inform anyone of your plans and especially if you have no dependents, I relished the freedom of being able to pick up and go whenever and wherever you like. I don’t see reason as to why that should change in a relationship and so I didn’t let it. I told my friends about my failed attempt at Amsterdam and we made a plan to go.
We left late on Thursday landing us in Amsterdam around 10 pm and trying to find our way to the AirBnB. Five flights of staggering stairs later and we made it. (Word of warning: this would be the first of many many narrow staircases! We found out why the next day).
Apart from the stairs, the place was lovely and spacious. I’ve linked the exact one we stayed in, in case you are also going in a group of 3 (or four) and the hosts were really helpful so I would recommend it.
We then woke up late on Friday. This is another benefit of going away with the girls since the boy can’t sleep in to save his life and if this was a couple’s holiday, I would be forced out the door by 7 am. In his words ‘it’s not a holiday if you don’t come back exhausted’. Madness, frankly. At 11 am, we took a leisurely stroll to a breakfast place. Check out my huevos rancheros… I know, not very Dutch but the pancakes were yet to come!
Unfortunately, we couldn’t get tickets to Anne Frank House, which obviously, being Jewish, I was gutted about. Next time, I would book the Anne Frank walking tour, even if you can’t go inside the museum. Instead, we started with the Cheese museum followed by the Tulip museum and then quickly realised that even if you have one small room at the back of your shop, you can call it a museum.
Then, in case we hadn’t had enough cheese, we went on a canal boat ride with wine and cheese. This is where we learned that buildings used to be taxed on the size of the stairs and the size of the window panes where each divider counted as a separate window. This explained the huge windows that were one pane of glass and the narrow steps. Also, this is how I discovered mustard and cheese is a great combination as this is how it was served on the canal.
Then it was off to the Sex Museum. This is the only PG photo I can show you and if I’m being honest, I was underwhelmed. Maybe I was being too naive to actually think we would leave learning something… I thought we could learn about the history of sex or how what was seen as ‘sexy’ has evolved over time. Nope. We were glad we didn’t have to queue for it. And then we ended the day with burgers simply to get out of the rain. Again, not very Dutch but I’m still thinking about the “Divine Alpine” at Ellis. There is no picture because it was consumed so quickly but just picture a hashbrown, raclette cheese, and bacon all within a burger.
Day two and we were off to a windmill farm called Zaanse Schans where we learned all about how they make clogs. I was so impressed by these ones that were made for a bride by her groom to wear on her wedding day. Apparently, it’s traditional and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the Dutch men who weren’t good at handicrafts. I’d be awful!
Across the road, there is a cheese factory where they take you through the process of how cheese is made and then they open the doors to the shop and you walk around with a toothpick trying all the different types. I picked up some honey and thyme sheep’s cheese, truffled cow’s cheese, and some really mature goat’s cheese. Oh and some beer cheese for the boyfriend because how could I not? We then ventured out to the windmills and were told one of them sold the best hot chocolate in Amsterdam. I beg to differ but it was perfect for the moment because I stupidly packed thinking 14 degrees is warm, only to be taken off guard by how windy it was. In all seriousness, if Hong Kong was that windy, it would have been classed as Typhoon number 3 at least.
If I could do Day 2 again, I would have booked a slightly different tour that spends a little less time at Zaanse Schans and instead takes you to three or four different places including Edam.
The rest of the day was spent trying to shield ourselves from the rain but thankfully we took shelter in a pancake place literally called Pancakes Amsterdam. Hands down one of the best pancakes I have had in my life. We got both a crepe and some potterjes and I have not stopped thinking about them since. They are the fluffiest, spongiest clouds of dough slathered in butter and icing sugar… yes, please!
Then it was out for dinner to tick off a must-do on the list: trying Bitterballen! We tried both veal ones and cheese ones and whilst they seem similar to meatballs, I found they were a combination of mashed potatoes and meatballs in deep-fried goodness!
The third day was our Museum day. We started at the Rijksmuseum which had a great self-guided audio tour that takes about 90 minutes and shows you the highlights. This is perfect for someone like me… someone who doesn’t love a museum. Then we stopped for a spot of lunch at a place called The Seafood bar which ironically has a place in London. If I could go back, I would book restaurants ahead of time because this trip did end up being a ‘walk into anywhere you can find’ trip since everywhere was quite busy, and I would have loved to have much more Dutch food while there!
Then it was off to the Van Gogh museum. Again, take this advice with a pinch of salt because I am not a museum girly but I loved this museum. We got the audio tour again and it was my favourite one because, no shocker here, but there was actually an element of storytelling following his and his family’s life. I loved that they connected the artwork to coincide with his life story and it was a perfect way to end the trip. One thing missing was I really wanted to go to Moco Museum but unfortunately, that was us out of time!
And just as our trip was coming to a close, I started feeling sad so I booked tickets to Bilbao. Whoops!
Lots of love,
Have you been to Amsterdam? What did you love most? And not to be ‘onto the next one’ too quickly but who knows any top tips about Bilbao?
Oh, and a massive thank you to everyone in my chat who gave me suggestions on what to do - it came in so handy! And if you have no clue what I am talking about, make sure to pop into my group chat - it’s very friendly there!