Amsterdam is a city that I see loads of people go to, fall in love with and then want to live there, yet I have never actually been myself and it never used to intrigue me
It only really intrigued me within the last year when I noticed blogger baes such as Leigh Travers and Queen Beady go a lot and adore it and their Amsterdam content made me want to go so badly. I ended up booking a last minute trip with my bae Connor the weekend before Christmas
I now completely understand the appeal for Amsterdam and, like a cliche, I fell in love with the place and can't wait to make a trip back
I got lucky in that my cousin's partner works in Amsterdam so has an apartment I can rent off of him! So I ended up staying on Rosengracht which is just round the corner from the Anne Frank Museum. An amazing central location for my first time there. What made it even better was the fact that their were rose shaped lights lighting up the street at night so we knew we were on the right one when stumbling home, however I am not sure if this is a permanent addition or just a Christmas light thing
Due to our amazing central location, we actually walked everywhere. We took no trams at all during our stay which I actually regret. I wish we had done now but I know I would have that terrible newbie anxiety of not knowing how to use them or what to do and where to get off
You always see people take photos of Amsterdam Canals, but I didn't realise just how many it had until I got there. Our apartment was surrounded by canals and everywhere you walked you were bound to cross another bridge for those never ending photo opportunities. I fell in love with the aesthetics and the fact the buildings were all tall but narrow. I could easily live in a place full of canals just because it made the place interesting and beautiful to look at. The buildings architecture was like nothing I had seen before too. There are even a few wonky as hell buildings that locals label as the "dancing houses" as they are all keeping each other upright. Without one the rest would fall over, and something about this scares me but I also find it quite beautiful
We ended up visiting places like the sex museum and the Anne Frank House. I have no photos of either and the sex museum I found it actually quite disappointing, I preferred the sex museum in Paris to this one. However for just a measly 4 euros it is still worth a visit for a bit of childish giggles with your travelling buddy
The Anne Frank House was very surreal to me. As in, I was walking in the actual house that they hid within. I was within the same rooms they occupied and had to be quieter than mice. I don't think you really get to truly appreciate that when you are walking around it with a whole load of other people who have booked tickets. It is also best to book tickets before your trip online! Tickets are only available on the door of the museum after 3.30pm and the queues end up around the block!
It took me a while to take it all in and process it and me and Connor were very serious for a few hours after our visit. Just fully computing what we had experienced and what it must have been like for them. The stairs alone are a killer as they are so narrow and so steep, I don't know how they survived with that staircase
I knew I wanted to do a canal boat tour. With this many canals going on in Amsterdam why not see it from canal level rather than just street level? Leigh had recommended me one but for the life of me I couldn't find the pick up point. I ended up finding another one instead when we had just entered the Red Light District so we hopped on for just 15 euros. Only downside is it didn't have unlimited drinks like the other company offered, but we can make do without that really. We were heading to a bar after the tour anyway!
The tour was perfect and it took us down less travelled canals so we got a true local experience of Amsterdam and the canals. We were given facts and history along our journey, and we were also lucky enough to experience some of the Amsterdam Light Festival that was happening during our stay. This festival happens yearly and means you get some amazing sights to see if you go on a tour when it is dark like we did
We passed under Amsterdams famous 'Skinny Bridge' and they claim that if you kiss underneath the bridge you will stay together forever. Well guess what, Connor turned to me and kissed me! Little things like that make me gooey
I would truly recommend a canal boat tour if you make a trip to Amsterdam. But also consider and look around for the smaller companies also rather than the major tourist ones. You get a true local experience of Amsterdam, as well as smaller groups on the tour boat which always makes things a little bit nicer and more intimate
The tour lasted an hour and when we got back to the pick up point we headed straight to a bar named Excalibur Cafe. THIS is my spirit bar for sure. A biker bar, heavy metal playing, 4 Heinekens for 10 euros, and right next to a red light house, what's not to love about it?
It has pool tables on the upper floor, and loads of trinkets and taxidermy and sculptures around the bar area. It truly has character and is genuinely occupied by biker groups/gangs. I loved the music, how cheap it was, the vibe, I could have stayed there all night and moved in
After a few drinks we walked around the red light district. Getting the come to bed finger and eyes from all the girls in the windows, yes even I was getting this treatment, we walked around and just soaked it all in as this is a whole new culture to us. Calls of "jiggy jiggy, licky licky, big dicks" to entice us to go in to see live sex shows. If "jiggy jiggy, licky licky" doesn't entice you in I don't know what will! I joke because it didn't entice me in at all, not even in a tipsy state. It looked the seediest of places. There was one I was considering but for 40 euros each we passed
You truly need to experience the red light district if you have never been. It is a sight to behold and there is something so interesting about it. I genuinely was surprised by how good looking the girls were! But also how much the red lights made them look like wax works and not real behind that window/door
I barely scratched the surface of Amsterdam. There is so much more I could have done and want to do. I wanted to do the Van Gogh museum but we lost the whole of our last day due to a hangover so barely made it out the apartment for food and our train to the airport
Just means I have a reason to go back at some point!
What would you recommend doing in Amsterdam?