A city of craziness: Amsterdam

Why Amsterdam:

So me and my best friend Shauna had been planning weekends away to Amsterdam for years and kept having to reschedule because of work, money, other trips etc. Last November I turned twenty one and she decided to surprise me with the amazing present of flights to Amsterdam! I was over the moon and could not wait for the two of us to finally get to visit this place. The flights were booked for the 2nd of April this year for two nights to get a taste of what Amsterdam had to offer. We flew over with Aer Lingus and the best part was the flight is only about an hour and a half which is great for a weekend visit.

Where we stayed:

Now bear in mind that me and my friend are very laid back and relaxed about these sort of things so left it VERY late to look for accommodation (oops!). We didn’t care about going anywhere fancy as we were only there for 2 nights and had a long list of things to do so we knew we wouldn’t be in our room much. It turns out accommodation is ridiculously expensive in Amsterdam pretty much all year round, since it’s become so popular. We decided that we would have to go for a hostel as most hotels were booked out and were also 200 euro or more per night for a 2 star hotel. We didn’t mind staying in a hostel once it was a private room anyway so that didn’t bother us. Eventually we luckily came across a hostel that was really central, looked clean, had okay reviews and had a private room for an okay price! We went with it straight away as we were very lucky to even find any accommodation this late so I would definitely recommend booking your accommodation as soon as possible. We ended up staying in Hotel Marnix which couldn’t have had a better location, just around the corner from Leidseplein square. Now this is a very basic place to stay which didn’t bother us for a short stay but the one thing I would have changed is that we had a shared bathroom which isn’t ideal for needing the toilet during the night haha! Other than that the staff were very friendly, the room was very clean and it was everything you need for a weekend stay for the more relaxed type! I wouldn’t recommend a hostel if you are staying there for a longer period or you’re on a couples holiday as it isn’t the most romantic setting ha ha but perfect for a short stay with your friends 🙂

Spending money:

Amsterdam would be kind of on par with Dublin currency wise, the food, drink and taxis would be around the same price as at home. A lot of central places over charge for food and drinks etc but then you can find better deals in areas in Lediseplein square so I suppose it’s like most places money wise really. The great thing about Amsterdam is that all museums, tourist attractions are so cheap so your money balances out because of this. I couldn’t get over how cheap these were compared to other cities.

Amsterdam Itself:

We arrived late in the evening on our first day so we went straight out to Lediseplein square and hit the coffee shops and irish bars. Everyone was really friendly and we had an absolutely great night. It was amazing to see how relaxed everything is over there. Amsterdam really is a crazy different place! We were so amazed by the lifestyle over there, you never see anyone rushing, everyone cycles to work in their suits or cycles as a family and you even see loads of people having a morning joint in a café in their work outfits before their shift, it’s like a different world. There is loads of bars and clubs to head to at night and everyone is very casual so no need to pack any dresses or heels which I loved! You could be as loud as you wanted when you got back to the hostel and the staff were even friendly enough to order us pizza ha ha. The next day we dragged ourselves from the bed to do as much as we could so we ran around the city all day sightseeing, going to tourist attractions, getting bikes all around the place and then went out for drinks that evening. We were flying home at 3pm the next day so we knew we had to do everything we could fit in in the next 2 days and we definitely did a lot! 🙂

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Tourist Attractions:

There is literally an endless amount of places to visit here and we would have gone to them all if we were here for longer! There is The Heineken Experience, The Sex Museum, The Erotic Museum, Red Light Secrets, The Red Light District, coffee shops, The Ice Bar, canal cruises, Anne Frank’s house, markets, The Van Gogh Museum, Madame Tussands and loads more! It’s definitely the best place I’ve been to for tourist attractions so far!

For our first day we walked around to get our barings and everything was so close to each other, it was great. We decided to fit in as many things as we could including:

The sex museum:

The sex museum was basically a 3 story museum filled with sexual drawings, weird videos, posters and wooden ‘parts’. It was only around 4 euro to enter. I wouldn’t put it on your list of major things to do but it was funny and interesting to see so for 4 euro I suppose you may aswell check it out for the laugh but we expected better. Our extreme hangover probably didn’t help though!

Red Light District:

No matter how many times we walked through this place it never seemed to shock me any less! I knew exactly what to expect but it was insane to see in real life. It’s a lot creepier in the day time than night but I think this is a must see for everyone! It’s probably not for anyone remotely sensitive but I would go back everytime.

Coffee Shops:

There are atleast 4 coffee shops on every small street. There are lively ones like ‘The Bulldog‘ which is so famous and is more like a nightclub playing house music all the time. I absolutely loved it! We went to see a few others which are all pretty different, some have no music, some are underground with very relaxed music and others are full blown nightclubs! I think everyone needs to visit some while here 🙂

Red Light Secrets:

This was a museum about The Red Light District which basically shows you the way the prostitutes from The Red Light District live and what their daily routine set up is. This was really interesting and also very sad to see. It really makes you feel like you’re inside a window the entire time and also shows videos about the workers which is all so interesting. I would definitely recommend visiting here.

 

Last but definetly not least was a visit to the Anne Frank House. This was a must see for me and my friend as we always wanted to visit! It was so interesting to see the house in real life and they had so many pieces still there for show which was so impressive. You really do feel like you’re there years ago at some parts. There is videos to watch which taught us so many things we never knew so it was great to learn new information as we expected to know it all. They also showed us the ‘bookcase’ which was the fake bookcase to which was really a doorway to where they were hiding the family upstairs. They are very strict about no photos or phones so I was only able to capture one photo inside. You can also write a message on a tablet about your visit if you choose. I loved this visit but be warned there is never no queue! We queued for 2 and a half hours in the rain but it was worth it to see it first hand 🙂

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Overall Review:

So that’s pretty much everything we got up to on our short but sweet visit. I think everyone needs to visit Amsterdam atleast once, even if your not into what Amsterdam is all about it’s still one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited. The architecture is out of this world and the canal dinner cruises etc all look amazing. I’d say I will be back to finish off the rest of what I want to see! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Jodie xo

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