Living in London has its disadvantages when you`re travelling. For instance, museums in London are free of charge, unless it`s a special exhibition. But everywhere else in Europe, you have to pay. And when you have 3-4 museums on your list, it can get a bit pricey. There are also some unspoken British rules that offer me a certain peace of mind. Like always staying on the right side of an escalator. As a foreigner, London was a bit chaotic at first, but now I consider it the greatest city in the world. (
yeah, the Prime Minister wants me out, but who minds her?) Or do I? After a short trip to Amsterdam, I`m shocked to say that I`m confused. Cause Netherlands is pretty amazing and if I could learn the bloody language, I`d move there in a second. ( pesky immigrant coming to steal jobs coming through)
I`m not going to lie, when I started telling people I`m off to Amsterdam I was met with a naughty grin. And while some might people go there for the lack of inhibitions (Red Ligh District), I was more fascinated by the old buildings and beautiful canals. I was mesmerised by the care-free attitude of its citizen. And the food played a big role, but more on that later.
Despite its infamous name, I`d say that the Red Light District should be the first destination on your itinerary. There you`ll find Oude Kerk, an 800-year-old church which is considered Amsterdam`s oldest building. Surrounded by beautiful canals, it`s the perfect location to enjoy some drinks and watch the bikers go by.
Red Light District is also the place to enjoy some street food. Around every corner, you`ll find shops that sell Vlaams Friteshuis. Which roughly translates to french fries with mayonnaise. And you need extra calories for walking, Amsterdam is full of sweet places.
While I believe one could spend days marvelling at the beauty of Amsterdam`s canals, a canal cruise might be more useful. The prices start from 10£ and all rides last for more than an hour (
obviously, t he more you pay, the better the trip). Various tours cover different areas, so pick wisely. We got a boat from the dock in front of Central Station and our tour included sightseeings of NEMO, The Opera and The Skinny Bridge, amongst others.
Some cruises offer dinner or lunch, which is a nice idea if you`re a couple. If you`re with a large group of friends like I was, then a hop on-hop off cruise might be the best for you.
Towards the evening I`d suggest you head up to Rembrandtplein, central Amsterdam. Filled with a variety of restaurants, you`ll find something that would satisfy even the pickiest eater. And if you want to burn some calories, there`s a nice selection of clubs as well.
If you have the chance and money, I`d advise you to visit all of Amsterdam`s Museums. I was quite tempted by Van Gogh Museum myself. But this was more of a budget trip, so I had to choose wisely. (
again, museums are free in London, grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr). But one museum you should not miss is the National Maritime Museum.
Close to it, you`ll find Nemo. Not the fish, the Science Museum. The view from the roof is absolutely spectacular, so I highly recommend it.
When we were on top of Nemo we noticed a windmill in the distance, so we decided to explore it. Little did we know that it will take us to a special restaurant. Magical is the word when you think about Langendijk. From the chilled atmosphere to the rustic decor, everything screams cosiness. And the food is pretty amazing also.
Truth be told, there were so many more places I would have loved to see! But we got the vibe of the city and it was enough to convince us that we want to go back.
P.S. I have a new Insta account, if you want to check it out: