After many requests on my social media about starting to write more about my travels, I have decided to start putting together blog posts after each holiday giving you all the lowdown on my trip, where I went and what I done. So my most recent trip was a few weeks ago to Amsterdam. I have been getting loads of people telling me that they booked Amsterdam and wanted to know about my trip.
The view from the plane on take off out of Dublin.
Getting into central Amsterdam is so easy. You get a train that goes directly to Amsterdam Central station which is smack bang in the middle of the city. The train cost us only €7 each so it’s quite cheap.
Then when we came out of the station our hotel was directly across the canal as you can see above. It was really handy. We stayed in the 5* NH Collection Barbizon Palace hotel. It cost us €523 for three nights. We got a top floor room that overlooked the city. I would highly recommend trying to get a top floor room if you stay here as it’s just beautiful. Everything about this hotel was stunning and I was very impressed. The only thing was the room was quite small but for the amount of time you spend in it, it’s fine. I was there to sightsee not lounge in our room 😀 Service was amazing and they really couldn’t have done enough to help you.
First thing first…..You NEED to rent bikes. I wish we had of done it on the first day. You can rent them from Yellow Bikes Amsterdam. You can do tours with them however we chose to explore on our own which is a much better idea. I think you find more hidden gems that way 😉 Be warned that drink and cycling is extremely dangerous. There are SO MANY other bikes in Amsterdam and don’t even start me on the cars, buses etc. I nearly died at least twice.
Places I recommend
- Mook – this place does the most INCREDIBLE pancakes I have ever eaten. I have never tasted better. They are divine.
- Red Light District – you just have to go to see it. I was absolutely amazed. Like I needed to see it to believe it. Be wary at night as it can become really packed and apparently there are loads of pick pockets.
- Heineken Brewery – I really enjoyed this. It’s a tour of the brewery and you see how Heineken is made from start to finish. I now have a new love of the beer and I wasn’t keen on it before. You can even make your own bottle with your name on it which is pretty cool. Entry costs €16 online and when you book online you get to skip the queue. No need to print tickets, you can use your smartphone to scan.
- Italia Oggi – THE BEST ITALIAN EVER!!! This was delicious and that nice we went on two of the three nights. Andrew and I love Italian food and it’s rare to find it cooked the ‘Italian’ way so it’s a must if you love Italian food. It was so reasonable and didn’t cost a fortune either. We paid €55 each night for the two of us.
Lots of you asked about the Afternoon Tea we had. I have a massive obsession with High Tea and every new place we go to visit, I like to try out their afternoon tea. Amsterdam was no different and we went to try it out at De L’Europe Hotel Amsterdam. The hotel was overlooking the canals and had the most gorgeous views. Now be prepared to pay for the Afternoon Tea as it can cost from €40 upwards per person.
You have to go visit the I-Amsterdam sign. I think it’s like a typical tourist thing to do. As you can imagine, a summer’s day in August it was PACKED!! So no chance of getting a photo with the whole sign in.
I had mixed reviews from people when I told them I was going to Ann Frank’s house. I decided to book it anyway even though lots of people said it’s not worth it. So what did I think in the end? NAH! I wouldn’t recommend it. I mean it was extremely interesting and I am fascinated by her story etc but I just felt it was not worth it at all. It’s a self guided tour so there is no interaction and I personally think if it was guided, it would be a really great experience.
As I mentioned above, getting a bike is necessary. I had not been on a bike since I was about 10 and I swear it was great. We cycled from one end of the city to the other & it was so much fun. One thing we didn’t go on was a boat on the canals as Andrew gets see sick in the shower so he couldn’t do that.
Overall, I really enjoyed it and couldn’t get over how pretty it was. Everyone needs to go visit and I am so excited we did. I already can’t wait to visit another European city. So where to next??? London it is. One of my all time favourite cities!
Here are some more photos from my trip. The first one below is my favourite.
Love Aoibhe xxx
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