Tuesday, 31 May 2016

// This is a highly pictured post // 
There's a reason as to why I haven't written a blog post in a while and that's because I was away in Amsterdam for a few days. It was quite a spontaneous trip as we booked this time away only a few weeks before we went. My boyfriend and I have both wanted to go to Amsterdam for such a long time, we both had a week off of work at the same time so we thought that we might as well just book a little trip to the city and we had the most amazing time.

We stayed in a hotel called NH Amsterdam Noord which I really recommend to anyone if this is your first trip to Amsterdam or even if you've already been! The hotel was beautiful and all the staff were absolutely lovely and just overall very kind and helpful. The main reason as to why we chose this specific hotel was because they did a shuttle service which took us from our hotel straight into the Amsterdam City Center all for free which we found really helpful and managed to save us a lot of euros. It was a 5-10 minute journey and the shuttle buses came every 15 minutes. The shuttle dropped us off outside a collection point in the center therefore all we had to do is go back to this collection point once we were done with the day to get picked up and taken straight back to the hotel, it was great!

As it was our first time in Amsterdam we had no idea where we were going but the staff at our hotel were kind enough to give us this huge in depth map which showed us the whole of Amsterdam's city center. After a day or two my boyfriend seemed to figure out his way around the place so I just followed him as I am extremely bad when it comes to directions. We arrived on a Sunday at around 1pm therefore we still had most of the day left to walk around and check out Amsterdam. The plane journey went by smoothly and I was so surprised at how short the flight actually was. I'm not a big fan of aeroplanes but we were only in the air for what seemed like 40 minutes and then we were preparing to land so it was incredibly short.

When we got to Amsterdam we both spent a lot of time walking around the canals and the cute little shops that they have. I think there must be a huge nutella craze out there as there was so many shops that did massive jars of nutella. It was like heaven. We ended up walking over to Dam Square and we saw they had a Madame Tussards near by so we went in and checked it out. I obviously had to get a picture of Ryan Gosling because he's just incredible.

We went for breakfast the next day and I had the most amazing banana and chocolate pancakes. Can I just point out that the food out there is delicious! There was many things that we wanted to do whilst in this city and one of those was to visit and do the Heineken Experience. Rather than buying our tickets at the door, we ended up just purchasing them from a Tours and Tickets place that was selling them for 18.50 euros which meant we could just skip the queue. We learned all about the history of the beer and saw how it was made. We got given two tokens which meant we could have 2 free beers in the bar at the end of the tour. The Heineken Brewery was about a 35 minute walk from Amsterdam center, you could easily get a tram straight to it however we just decided to walk so we could explore more of the city. Afterwards, we went to a little place called Village Bagels that of course sold a bunch of unique bagels. I had a cream cheese and salmon one whereas Alex had a salami and mozzarella bagel.

On our way back to the city center we visited the Anne Frank House. The queue to get in was about an hour wait but we didn't mind as it was something we really wanted to do whilst out in Amsterdam. I wasn't allowed to take any pictures whilst in the museum due to security purposes. It was such an interesting experience though. I found it very emotional walking through all the old rooms that Anne Frank and her family lived in. I have read her book way back when I was in school but I would love to read it again sometime, I just found it so interesting. At the end of the tour we have the most amazing hot chocolates with whipped cream whilst sitting in the Anne Frank House Cafe. 

Now, the one thing I wanted to do the most whilst out in Amsterdam was to visit The Fault In our Stars bench. I am a massive fan of the book and the movie that as soon as I knew that I was going off to Amsterdam, visiting the bench was the top thing on my bucket list. Alex managed to find out the location of this bench and with a bit of walking we finally found it. It was incredible seeing all the quotes that people have written all over it and all the love locks that were locked onto the sides. My boyfriend and I decided to put a love lock on there for ourselves as we thought it would be a cute little thing. We sat on the bench and just looked around at how beautiful the place was.

Of course we visited the red light district a few times just to see what it was all about. We visited a few coffee shops and bars for a few drinks. We also ended up going to the red lights secrets museum of prostitution which gave us a more in depth insight of how the whole prostitution thing works out there. I never realised how big the red light district actually was until I was right there, I found out that they had over 290 windows in the district. 

We went to a breakfast place called Omelegg which sold the most incredible omelettes I've ever had. We then walked around some more and went in some cute little souvenir shops. On our very last day we decided to go on a canal cruise, there was so many cruises to choose from but we decided to go for the 100 places to see cruise which lasted around nearly 2 hours and it taught us a lot about the history of the city. Overall my trip to Amsterdam was amazing and I would most definitely go back there and do it all over again.

Have you been to Amsterdam? 
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