As you may have seen I was in Amsterdam a few weeks back for 3 nights. We did so much this is going to be a pretty long blog post but I will try and keep it snappy!
Here’s me messing for an outfit post as usual… still can’t take them seriously… lunge!
This was my second time to Amsterdam (both times for a concert) and I much preferred this visit. Amsterdam has swooped into my top three favorite European cities. I think I need to head back to Berlin to see which takes second place to Paris!
First off, for anyone who isn’t too sure of using Air Bnb I can vouch and say I have been happy with it every single time. Yes you need to do your research and spend time trawling through photo’s and locations but then you end up with something like this…
In all honesty when we booked this apartment the photos didn’t even look as good as mine! We were a bit shocked. The natural light and decor was amazing. What we didn’t realise until we got there was we were on red light district. To some people this might seem like a terrible problem, but to be honest it made no difference to our trip what so ever. It was actually quite entertaining! We stayed three nights for €384.
Eat & Drink
A great thing to do before you head off on a city break is reach out to food bloggers. I tweeted Joanne Cronin@dudara a week before we left and got a huge list of cool places to visit which she was sent from a blogger based in Amsterdam. Some we tried and others we found ourselves!
Coffee & Design
Two of favourite things combined… coffee & clothes. Just when you think there is nothing else to combine a cute coffee shop with, I stumble across this place. Yes to Coffee & Art, Coffee & Homewear but Coffee & Design takes the lead. This little place rents rails for new up and coming designers to display their creations. Loved it!
Bakers & Roasters – Brunch
When we saw the queue and were told about the 30 minute wait we knew it was worth it. DIY mimosas yes please. Eggs Benny… yes please!
Ivy & Bros – Brunch/Lunch
Another cute place we stumbled across on our last morning. This tiny cafe/shop was among all the smoke and Bulldog cafes and honestly the places I tend to avoid when in Amsterdam (no really I do!)
When you see lots of plants outside and a little easel holding the menu you know it’s a winner. The staff were so chilled it was like we weren’t even there. No fuss made over us but still we felt so welcome. All the decor was for sale which was deadly, if I had space in my suitcase.
Smoked salmon and avocado on sourdough with cream cheese and crispy fried shallots… NOMM.
Vyne – Wine Bar
28 wines on offer and all by the glass or bottle. If you’re into wine and are trying to learn more about it like me, it’s great to find wine bars where you can order tasting glasses. They’re usually only about €2-€5 each and you get to learn while drinking! Who knew!
Foodhallen – Everything plus great music!
Somebody call the owners of the CHQ building on George’s Dock and lets do this. We went Friday evening at about 8pm and the place was hopping! Lots of tables down the centre of this huge warehouse place with food stalls all along the perimeter. Sushi, Pizza ovens, Char grilled meat, Thai, Cheese, Lebanese, Gin & Tonic bar, specialty beer bar, DJ’s., people dancing, chatting, eating, drinking. It was like this huge after work party and everyone was invited! Great atmosphere and way of feeling like a local, which is my number 1 goal when visiting a city.
Hiding in Plain site – Cocktail bar
This place reminded me of The VCC except smaller with only 5 tables inside. I’m into my Gin’s lately but boy did I order wrong!! It was so strong it burnt my nose hairs with every sip. Cool place but a bit expensive at €17 a cocktail to be risking a second order… only because I can be bad at ordering cocktails. The menu was crazy good.
5&33 bar in art’otel
Now this bar I love! Last time I visited Amsterdam I stayed here and it is literally my favourite hotel (after the 5*s in Miami!!) It’s so modern and as you can guess by the name it’s surrounded with art with an exhibition downstairs. Right next to the central train station and worth dropping by for a drink.
Things to do
Van Gogh museum
I love art so visiting a museum or gallery is something I enjoy doing whenever I can. I was a little disappointed to find out Sunflowers was being restored, but what can you do! Audio guides are always a must when visiting a museum, you learn so much more. My favorite
painting was the Potato Eaters – I remembered this one from leaving cert.
Here’s us ready to go in (no photography allowed!) and outside enjoying some sunshine!
Red light District
We couldn’t have avoided seeing the red light district even if we had wanted to as we were staying on it, but even still I think it’s worth seeing. I have a pretty level headed opinion to the whole situation, yes I could go into a big debate here about prostitution and feminism but for now let’s just say if you’re looking for a 20 minute walk with a view you wouldn’t see on a normal day then take a stroll!
<Clearly no pics available >
A first for me and very disappointing! I think I should have lost my casino virginity in Vegas. I was expecting flashing lights and glamour. There was neither. Maybe everyone was experiencing a bit of bad luck but Gosh I left feeling concerned for how much they were all loosing!
Cycle to the Park
We stopped for a glass of wine… as you do!
Well worth the visit and you leave slightly tipsy with three pints included in your ticket for €16! A very interactive tour with a 4D ride, lot’s of games in the soccer and rugby rooms, horses (yes horses), photobooths, karaoke and even machines to practice pouring the perfect pint (yes I aced it!).
Go to a gig
The main reason for visiting Amsterdam was to see Rudimental in concert. The Heineken Arena is like the 3Arena for us so it was a pretty big gig. Rudimental are one of my favourite bands, I’ve seen them three times now. I have to say, nothing compares to an Irish audience. The gig was not as energetic as Rudimental were trying to make it, very tough crowd.
Side notes when travelling!
- Use Uber it’s much cheaper then hailing a taxi.
- Contact bloggers from the city you are visiting before travelling for recommendations.
- Explore and discover places off the beaten track.
Well that’s all from my trip to Amsterdam. If you’re planning a trip and need more information please leave a comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.