Monday, 9 July 2018

My Amsterdam Guide


This blog post is way overdue, but it's finally here! My Amsterdam City Guide! Amsterdam may have been one of my favourite cities that I've ever visited, which says a lot. There was just so much to love and I've already started talking my boyfriend into taking a visit there next year (but during tulip season which we sadly missed this time!). If you're thinking of visiting this incredible place, hopefully some of my recommendations will help you out! 

I've also decided to start talking about how much I paid for certain things in my travel posts as I feel like it really helps to give a rough idea of how much trip cost. I'm always looking to do trips for as cheaply as possible so I can go to as many places as I can, so hopefully this will help you guys too! For some reference, our trip was booked in February and we visited in May for two nights (3 days).

Flights 

Our flights to Amsterdam cost only £58 each and we booked through my favourite website for European flights: Sky Scanner. It's also a super short flight, only around 1 hour there and only 50 minutes coming back! Perfect for if you're a nervous flier and looking for something quick. 


Getting to the Centre

Amsterdam is an incredibly easy city to navigate and getting from the airport to the centre couldn't be more simple! There is one train from Amsterdam Schipol that goes straight into Amsterdam Central station. Tickets cost €4,50 each way, per person, but make sure you don't get a return because it will only be valid if you return the same day. The train takes about 20 minutes. 

Getting Around

Everything in Amsterdam is relatively close which is super handy if you're looking to save money on public transport (which is also incredibly easy to to navigate via the tram system or bicycles if you prefer!). We were very kindly gifted an I Amsterdam City Card for our trip and as our hotel was based just outside of the centre we found this very handy. It gives free public transport as well as free entry to the majority of the main museums (but not the Anne Frank House). It costs €59 for 24 hours and can be purchased online before your visit. 

To Stay

We stayed at the Bilderberg Garden Hotel which is located just on the outskirts of the city centre. If you decided to walk it would take about 45 minutes to get into the main Canal Basin but we opted for the tram with our City Card. Although our first choice was to look for an Air BNB there was hardly anything available for our time of stay so we had a browse of Last Minute and went for one of their 'Secret Hotels' which is where you book a room but aren't told which hotel it is, just basic details. If you book one of these they give you a discount which is always fab! A handy tip is that you can actually figure out what the hotel is just from the details they give and the blurry photo, so you're never truly in the dark. Two nights in the hotel cost £323.39 (£162 each). 

The hotel itself was perfect for what we needed - clean, fairly central and a good price. It wasn't anything special but we weren't bothered as we spent most of our time in the city anyway! 

To Eat





Johannes Vermeerstraat 40


Ohhhh man, was this place amazing! We visited here for breakfast on our first day after arriving at our hotel and it's the go-to place for freak-shakes and delicious brekkie options. We went for a banana  freakshake (which was pretty much the most delicious thing ever) and some French toast which we shared between us. Everything was fab and the cafe itself is very Instagrammable too! The bill came to €20, which also included a coffee too.




Olympisch Stadion 35


I don't really have to say too much on this place as I've already done a whole separate blog post on it which you can read here, but I thought I'd give it a mention here just in case you missed it! Definitely head over and hear all my thoughts on the pinkest place ever! Our bill here came to around €50 for two main courses and drinks.



Polaberry

Cue the most instagrammable strawberries in the world, and they're also pretty darn delicious too! You can order these beautiful boxes of handmade fruits in Amsterdam and I have to say they're worth it just for the photo opp! We were kindly gifted this box by Polaberry and I was absolutely gutted when I fell over during our trip and they went all over the floor! Luckily, I managed to get a snap of them beforehand so you can witness them in all their glory!



Kalverstraat 190


Stroopwafels are an Amsterdam tradition and you have to try one if you visit! The best of them live at Van Wonderen, where they serve them up hot and fresh with a variety of toppings. They come in multiple sizes, but we decided to get two big ones which cost €15. If you're not getting them for the photos though I'd recommend going for the smaller size because they're very sweet and filling! 

To Visit



Museumstraat 1


If you only have the time to visit one museum in Amsterdam, make it the Rijksmuseum. Not only is the outside building absolutely stunning but the artefacts inside are just something else. My favourite part was definitely the library, however, which is a must-visit. We got in for free using our City Card but entry normally costs €17,50 per person. 

The Canals

I mean, you can't really visit Amsterdam without seeing the canals, mainly because they are everywhere! The canals work their way in rings towards the centre of the city and there are so many for you to explore. Although all very similar looking, you can find some really special spots and it's wonderful to walk along them in the evenings.




Singel


Bloemenmarkt is the world's only floating flower market and is a must visit for souvenirs and flowers! Be careful though! You can get some good deals here but you can also get seriously scammed because so many tourists flock to this area. My favourite part, however, had to be the Christmas shop which is along here. I buy an ornament from every city I visit and I picked a beautiful one up here for €15.



Damrak De Utrecht

This is the spot that you may recognise from all the Instagram posts! I absolutely love this spot, mainly because the houses on the canal look just like pretty biscuits. It's free to stop by and a good place to snap a photo on the edge of the water without a lot of people in. 

Rough Total Cost Spent Per Person (including other things that I bought but wouldn't recommend): £321

I really hope that you liked my guide to Amsterdam and that getting a feel for the price of the trip helped you out! Honestly, I would 100% recommend visiting if you get the chance. It was definitely worth it and I can imagine visiting in the Winter would be magical too! 

I'd also love to hear if you have any more recc's for places that people should visit, if so leave them in the comments below! x


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