The only words I can find to describe Amsterdam are beautiful, boisterous and adventurous. It is the capital and most populous city of the Netherlands. My cousin and I were ecstatic to visit such an amazing this year and had such an incredible time there! We were lucky enough to have found such a good deal at the last minute as it was a holiday I won’t be forgetting anytime soon, let me tell you!
As soon as we arrived in Amsterdam we were out, familiarising ourselves with the area. We decided to head to Dam Square on the tram. We were unsure on how the system worked so we accidentally didn’t pay the first time because we didn’t have a clue what we were doing! I guess you learn for next time! As we wandered around Dam Square, we managed to stumble across the Red-light district which completely caught us off guard. It was so fascinating seeing such a different way of life. On that note, before we knew it, we found ourselves roaming around the prostitute museum whilst listening to a guided audio tour about the whole workings and history of the Red-light district. It was not only extremely thought provoking, but the lady on the audio guide was actually quite hilarious! The busy nights were always bustling in Amsterdam which was so exhilarating. Swerving and steering your way swiftly through the streets and seeing so many different people loving this wondrous city was just brilliant.
We made the most of our time there, actively waking up early to experience everything the day had to offer. I made full use of my crappy, crumpled-up map (due to it residing in my pocket for most of the trip) which I had made before the holiday. It highlighted all of the land marks we were just dying to see (which, I admit, was mostly vegan restaurants). We randomly managed to visit the sex museum the next day and let’s just say, some things cannot be unseen!
We admired the gorgeous canals and managed to find a rare moment of tranquillity watching the boats go by. I honestly don’t think the pictures do it any justice. Absolutely breath-taking! The life that the city has to offer is contagious, people are on bikes in every direction; both tourists and locals. Cycling is part of the city’s character. It was a task in itself to avoid being knocked down! It was manic!
The vibrancy and curiosity just flowing through the people made the city come alive. The locals spoke perfect English which was a plus for us as we don’t know a word of Dutch! In fact, many people there spoke various languages such as French, German and Italian. So, in that case, don’t worry if you are daunted by not knowing their language and want to visit, they probably speak better English than you! The style that people there embodied was inspiring. Cool, casual and comfortable, beautifully topped off with a hint of confidence. Very refreshing!
Cafe crawl by day, Pub crawl by night! You don’t need to tell us, we know we live life on the bloody edge!
We decided to visit the infamous Amsterdam sign a few days into our trip and while we were walking there we came across so many cute vintage shops along the way. This made window shopping a definite. You could find many a hidden treasure in there. We saw the Rijksmuseum on the way to the sign and that is when we found some brilliant buskers outside. A mammoth crowd gathered within seconds as the musicians poured out every ounce of passion into their instrument, yearning for that anticipated applause from the audience. We were totally blown away by their skill and talent.
We never hired a bike there but we liked the ‘dilly dallying’and coming across random places on our travels. I think this helped us get comfortably acquainted with the city but left room for us to still enjoy finding our feet in that crazy place. We always made time to stop and be appreciative of how outstanding it actually was. It was surreal seeing the Amsterdam sign as it was a lot bigger than I thought and I didn’t think I’d struggle so much to climb it! The young kids were showing me up by making it look so damn easy!
We were eager to look around the Van Gogh museum but the queue was mockingly huge and we didn’t want to waste our short time standing around when we could have been discovering new places. Wallowing in our disappointment, we walked through the dainty cobbled streets hoping to find something to fill our day. Then we hit the jackpot! A raw food cafe called “Zest for Life” was within our mist. How could Shannon and I say no to that? Even though we had just had food within the last hour… we were straight there like a shot. We ate granola and coconut yogurt which was absolutely divine! We also got some pancakes the next morning too. We just could not resist!
Whilst enjoying our food, the YouTube star Joey Graceffa walked in and took us by surprise. However, there was a YouTube convention taking place the next day so we actually did expect to see a few familiar faces on our trip.
The holiday soon was coming to an end. I know this is a cliché but it really did fly by because of how much fun we were having. I feel like whenever you travel somewhere, you take a part of that home and learn something new. Next time we go, we really want to go to the Anne Frank Museum as unfortunately you need to book in advance to secure a place there which we didn’t realise until arriving. A lesson learnt! So, this is definitely not the end of Amsterdam for us gals, in the words of Arnie… “We’ll be back”.