A whistlestop weekend in Amsterdam
How is it that Amsterdam is only an hour away from where I live in Manchester and yet it’s taken me 27 years to visit? Luckily in December 2018 I finally changed this by visiting city of tulips, canals and apple cake.
If you’re a regular reader you will know that I like to do little trips when I can and therefore I was only in the Dam for three nights and four days. Although my time was short, Amsterdam made a lasting impression on me and I’d love to share what I got up to with you.
Where I stayed
As I was went on the trip with three other people, we decided to stay in a two bedroom apartment (Airbnb) which was about 20 minutes walk away from the central shopping district.
I love Airbnbs for two reasons, 1) they have bags of character and 2) they are generally more spacious. However, we were not prepared for the stairs. Oh my lord, the stairs are so steep in Amsterdam! Were we climbing up a mountain or trying to get to go to bed? I think this is quite common for Amsterdam so be prepared if you struggle with steep with stairs or are scared of heights (or just planning on getting very intoxicated).
One of the main things I noticed about Amsterdam is how many people ride bikes – seriously watch out before you walk anywhere, before you may get hit by a rogue cyclist.The streets are really tall and narrow and there are lots of beautiful bridges and canals to stop and admire.Overall the atmosphere is very relaxed and bohemian, it would give the most hipster Manchester bar a run for its money.
What I did
Apart from going to watch the Prodigy play at the Ziggo Dome, we didn’t have concrete plans so it was nice to stroll into the city centre and take in the sights without sticking to a strict itinerary. If I’m honest, the main thing we did was eat food and drink beer, which as you can imagine was amazing. The weekend was like one long pub crawl which is a great way to see the city.
Van Gogh Museum
Saying that, we did dabble in a bit of art history by taking a trip to the Van Gogh museum. It was really interesting and showed how much Van Gogh’s style had changed throughout his life.
Pizza River cruise
We were lucky enough to visit Amsterdam during the festival of lights and had booked a cruise down the canal as a good way to see the lights of the city. It also included all your can drink alcohol and free pizza – what a bargain! The festival of lights featured neon light installations from artists all over the world, lighting the city up and reflecting in the water.
What I ate
I can honestly say that the food I ate in Amsterdam was incredible and I’d love to recommend some of the places we ate at:
Do you like eggs? Well Omelegg is the place for you! It’s a cafe that serves a million different kind of eggs in magical shapes and forms. I had a croissant with scrambled egg and salmon and I can confirm that it was heavenly.
This was the first food place we stumbled upon and it was delicious. From the outside it looked like your average normal pub, but inside it had all the charm of a hipster cafe in the Manchester’s Northern Quarter or London’s Soho. I had an open sandwich on sourdough with fresh mozzarella and pesto yum yum.
Little Collins is one of the pricier brunch options we visited but the quality was excellent. The menu has fewer dishes to choose from but everything has been carefully crafted to taste wonderful. I had savoury waffles with poached eggs, bacon and hollandaise.
This is one of the best places to go in a group because there are so many different options. The building used to be a tram depot, but it’s now used as a huge open food hall/market with multiple vendors for food and drink. I chose Mexican tacos and finished with a delicate little cake.
It was here that I ate the best Dutch apple cake I have ever tasted! So lovely and with fresh cream and coffee.
I hope you enjoyed my whistle stop tour of Amsterdam. I would definitely recommend it for a long weekend and can’t wait to return and explore so more. Have you been to Amsterdam before?