I’ve just got back from an incredible long-weekend in Amsterdam. My favourite city (so far..) since visiting for the first time near enough five years ago now.
Everything about Amsterdam fills my heart with so much love and joy, to the point where I would leap at the chance to live there. Ahhhhh, take me back already!
Here’s what happened during our four days. I travelled with my best friend Hannah; this was her first ‘city-break’ so I was super excited to show her the city. I forgot my camera, oops.. and only realising after checking in at the airport, oh well; I’m currently working on a video montage which I recorded throughout my four days, so watch this space!
Our first day started with a lovely 4:00 AM wake up call with my very loud and annoying alarm. I made myself look partially acceptable and threw on some clothes before travelling to Southampton Airport to catch a 7:00 AM flight. Super early and the sun had only just started to rise when we were boarding. I’m such a fan of the morning sun, but am always too lazy to watch it rise.. I’m working on it.
Landing in Schiphol Airport at 9:35, we went through the normal airport checks and jumped on the train, which took us about 15 minutes to get to Amsterdam Central Station, all for €5,20 – winner winner! When we arrived in the centre, our next task was to locate our hostel, with no google maps and no pre organised route. I had an idea on where the hostel was, so the rest was just good guessing.
We checked in at The Flying Pig Downtown Hostel, a bit skeptical as this was our first hostel, but as soon as we settle in, we met two girls; Jade and Sarah; who happened to be from the same hometown as us, which instantly made our trip off to a flying start!
Our room was one big multi-cultural dorm room. 1 Greek and 4 English girls and 1 Australian and 5 Argentinian guys!
First stop, showing Hannah around the Red Light District, after laughing at the fact that Hannah got spooked every time we walked past a window with someone in, we bumped into the two girls Jade and Sarah before they headed into the Museum of Prostitution (which had a €8 entry fee), we tagged along and it was so worth it..
Our second stop was a coffee shop, of course. Need I say anymore?
Straight afterwards, we thought it would be a good idea for a canal ride. The sun was shining, and the glass roof canal boats seemed like a dreamy place to sit and admire Amsterdam from the water. We all hopped on for €11 for an hour long ride. After visiting the coffee shop before, I almost fell asleep.. So relaxing…!
We woke ourselves up by exploring the streets, and coming across a fun fair which was located in Dam Square. We wandered through and snacked on Tornado Potato (which is basically a fancy name for a potato twisted onto a stick, covered on either paprika or salt. Went for paprika, obviously.)
The last coffee shop we visited was Prix d’Ami, which is in-fact the largest coffee shop in the world. With 5 large smoking rooms all giving off a atmospheric effect with the dreamy pink walls. The lounge benches are incredibly comfy, enough to make it difficult to leave!
We headed back around 2:30am, detouring through the Red Light District on our way. As soon as we got back to the hostel, I crashed out. 24 hours of travelling, exploring the dam and visiting the coffee shops, I was shattered.
Our first full day in Amsterdam started in a coffee shop, obviously. We set off on a mini adventure to find the I Amsterdam sign, another very touristy thing to do, but you have to do it once – right? We detoured in some high street shops along the way, wandering into a Swarovski store. They had an event on, some Dutch stylist was outside attracting a crowd and as we entered that store, we were offered a glass of champagne and was told to help ourselves to macaroons. So we did, and the combination was delicious. Keeping it classy, we downed our glasses and left, without really looking at anything, but hey, free champagne!
We made another detour through the famous Amsterdam flower market, because everyone needs a cute Instagram picture, don’t they?
We eventually made it to the sign and it was busyyyyyyyy. Full of tourists. We took a few snaps and only hung around for 20 minutes because exploring the area surroundings. We took the tram (my first ever tram!) back to Amsterdam centre and it cost €2,80 for not even a 10 minute journey.
A quick freshen up at the hostel and headed out for more exploring. Another thing I love about Amsterdam is that there are cheese shops on every corner, each one having a different cheese to sample. Heaven. Have you ever heard of beer cheese? Each bite actually tastes like a swig of beer, weird.
After filling ourselves up on cheese, we jumped in a massive clog and posed for possibly the most touristy photo I’ve ever done. I secretly loved it.
Saturday night was our night out. We had a pre-drink party in our room before heading to Club Prime, located in Rembrandtplein square. We danced, drank and partied the night away and headed back to the hostel around 5:00 AM, with a quick pit-stop for pizza, of course.
Easter Sunday cam around and it was our last full day – how did that happen so quickly ?! On our last day, we wanted to do something a little different.
We caught the free ferry from just outside Amsterdam Central Station across the water to Bulksloterweg.
The day we had will been one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Trying new things with a multicultural group combined with uncontrollable laughter was a day I will never forget.
Shout out to Hannah, Jade, Sarah, Rhett, German, JuanMa and Pablo!
Our last day in the city and even though we were sad to leave, we pushed the goodbyes to the back of our minds and cracked on with the day. We had until 6:30 to explore and get some last-minute bits before heading to the train station.
We started our day off at the sex museum, it only took half an hour and cost us €5 each. The museum is good on the first visit, but after that; I hate to say, it becomes boring but it’s something you should do at least once. We headed back to the hostel and had a quick visit to the smoking room before meeting our friends.
Myself, Hannah and Sarah headed half way across the centre to get a spontaneous Amsterdam tattoo only to realise that the minimum charge is €60; ummmmm no thanks. We wandered back to our hostel, stopping in a few shops along the way. Myself and Hannah repacked our suitcase while we waited for some other people to get back from Body Worlds.
We met another Australian who joined us on a visit to Dam Kring for our last coffee shop ‘experience’. In a moment of ‘we have an hour left, what shall we do?’ We all ended up at the funfair!
Leaving the hostel was sad, we felt so at home and the girls, Sarah and Jade made our trip incredible. They were super cute by walking us to the train station and as we hugged and said our goodbyes, I lugged the heavy suitcase onto the train, waving goodbye as we went.
Thank you to the Flying Pig Downtown for opening your doors and allowing us to have an unforgettable trip.
Till next time Amsterdam!