My good friend and I traveled to Europe for two weeks in March of 2018 and it is still one of my favorite trips ever. We started in London, then flew to Amsterdam and then took a train to Brussels and Bruges. We spent between 4-5 days in each city and tried to explore as much as possible while still being on a budget.
We spent our trip staying at hostels and stayed at Princess Hostel in Amsterdam. Thankfully we had our own room- we were not as lucky in London and I don’t think I could ever do that again. I can’t say that I enjoyed staying here but it worked out and we were super close to everything so I really can’t complain.
Amsterdam is such a BEAUTIFUL city. The canals and architecture are gorgeous, you could spend hours just walking around looking at everything. Not to mention the food was amazing. We’re talking all the cheese you could ever want.. ALL THE CHEESE!
We started off this trip by wandering through Vondelpark and visiting the Van Gogh museum. Even if you aren’t an art person, I highly recommend visiting the museum, you’ll be surprised by how breathtaking the artwork is. I bought a few of my favorite miniature paintings from the gift shop and hung them around my room when I got home, so pretty. The I Amsterdam sign travels throughout the city, luckily while we were there it was right down the street from the Van Gogh museum so we trekked it over there and got some really cute pictures.
Then we headed over to the Heineken Experience which was awesome. You walk through their story and the beer making experience and end the tour in a bar with all the Heineken you could ever want. Plan on spending a couple hours here especially if you want to hang out and drink afterwards.
At this point we were hungry so we went to the Albert Cuyp Market. It’s an outdoor market on a street that you just walk through and has alllllll the food. You do need cash to purchase everything here so make sure you’re prepared for that. We had THE BEST poffertjes ever here. Poffertjes are basically mini pancakes that they make fresh in these cool little griddles and you can top with basically anything your heart desires. I got some with nutella and strawberries and some with just powdered sugar and butter which is the traditional style they’re served. YOU MUST GET THESE!
Also, Amsterdam is known for their stroopwafels, you can also find many vendors at the Albert Cuyp Market selling them. It’s like a very thin waffle with a caramel type of sauce in the middle, hot off the griddle and you can dip them into all kinds of different sauces. Try them!!
I am also a huge soccer person and was lucky enough to attend an England vs Netherlands game while there. Seriously the best experience ever. People take their soccer so seriously in Europe it’s worth going alone just to see how into it everyone gets. The crowd is constantly chanting and everyone is having the best time. Our seats were pretty high up even and it was still a great experience although I might be a little biased given my love for the sport. It was definitely a highlight of the trip for me.
Another must do experience while in Amsterdam is visiting the Anne Frank house. It can be pretty difficult to get tickets for the tour so I highly recommend trying to get these in advance. Tickets were a lottery system when we went, we were so lucky to get a 9:00pm admission ticket an hour before and ran over. For the tour you are given headphones and walk through the house while listening to your headphones explain the different artifacts and occurrences in each room. Everyone is quiet listening to their headphones walking through the house at their own pace which makes for a really eerie experience. I learned so much and the experience of seeing how Anne Frank and her family lived was life changing. It was extremely sad and I even shed some tears but it’s a once in a lifetime experience.
Throughout our time in Amsterdam we stopped in so many cheese stores while we were walking throughout the city. They’re everywhere, it’s amazing if you’re a cheese lover like we are! I bought a few cheeses and a really cute cheese slicer from Old Amsterdam Cheese Store. They let you sample all the cheeses, they’re just sitting out throughout the store so you can find one that you really enjoy. Just stop in if you need a snack too! They were not pushy about sampling and purchasing at all, very knowledgeable and nice people.
Next time I go to Amsterdam, because I WILL be going back, I want to attempt riding bikes through the city and take a ride on a boat down the canals. Bikes are everywhere in the city but it seemed pretty crowded to me so I was too nervous to try riding myself, it’s been a while since I’ve been on a bike and these people were professionals! There are lots of canal ride options and dinner “cruises” but our days were so jam packed we didn’t have time to do this. I would also like to explore the Red Light District a little more. We walked over there and went into one bar but it was kind of creepy so we decided to leave. I think if I was with a bigger group of people or had scoped out the bar scene a little better we would have felt more comfortable.
Overall, Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful and friendly cities I’ve ever visited. The canals and architecture are so unique and there is so much history there. I would love to explore the outskirts of the city a little more too. I would love to see the part of Holland that Yolanda took the RHOBH cast to, I’m thinking more windmills and tulips and countryside next time!