Travel Diary || Winter Trip to Amsterdam

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

I used to love sharing my favourite photos from travels on the blog a few year ago and it is a nice way of looking back and remembering a trip. Even though some of the trips I am going to put up here are from last year it's great to catalogue them. This is the first in my Travel Diary series and hopefully I will make it a regular thing. These posts could include short weekend excursions to full week breaks (if only they could happen more often). 

Back in November myself and the other half (Anthony) went on a week long trip to Amsterdam. Neither of us had been there before and it seemed like a great place to spend a few days before Christmas set in. Amsterdam itself can be rather expensive but we grabbed cheap flights with Aerlingus and rented an amazing apartment in the city through Airbnb so this left a bit of extra spending money for all the amazing food we planned to consume!

We did all the typical tourist things like the Anne Frank House, the Van Gough Museum and visited the red light district (the best crepes and waffles I swear!) but we also got to visit some great antique shops, beautiful design shops like Droog and Hay and some smaller galleries along the way. One of the best things about staying in our Airbnb apartment was that we were out of the tourist trap. The woman who rented us the apartment gave us a detailed guide of her favourite places off the beat and track taking us to areas we would not have even thought of. One of the best places recommended to us was Café Brecht, aa tiny but busy little café specialising in German beers and tapas style food. I swear it had the best pickles I have ever tasted!

Overall I loved Amsterdam, it's a really different way of life than in Ireland, and for a city it’s just beautiful. As a trip I think a long weekend would have been enough though as by the fifth day we were ready to go home but I would definitely come back again! 

Quick Tips: 
  • Bring extra spending money – The place isn’t cheap and unlike Ireland there is a pretty hefty charge to go to any of the museums or large galleries. 
  • Get a travel card – The easiest way to get around Amsterdam is by tram so get yourself a ChipCard and top it up for the week. 
  • Go on a canal boat trip -  but keep an eye out for the smaller companies as you will get it cheaper and have a better atmosphere. Here is one we went on: Friendshipamsterdam Canal Cruises
  • Go to a Koffee shop – even if you aren’t interested in that part of the culture it’s just interesting to see it so out in the open, you are in Amsterdam after all.
Have you had a chance to visit Amsterdam? I would love to hear your recommendations for things I missed in the comments below! 

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