”I am in Amsterdam ” – I thought to myself as I landed. There were loads of British kids , male of course, at the airport just excited as me, but I believe for a different set of reasons. I ordered an uber and we drove to our Hotel in the city centre. I could see little glimpses of canals in Amsterdam from the car, but was really waiting for the full on effect as I exit it.
Somewhere around the centre uber dropped us of in front of Albus Hotel where I booked my stay for the next two days. As this is quite a short trip I wanted to be somewhere close to all the fun but somewhere where it is also nice. Very rarely do hotels in any city centre really look good. Most of the hotels are just generic, as they get guests that come on city breaks and rarely spend time in the room. Well, I like hotels so I like when they look nice or interesting , if nothing then at least I get great photos to post.
We arrived and were warmly welcomed by the staff , they took our luggage and we decided to Venture out to the city. It was raining, luckily for me 🙂 It’s funny how every time I try to escape rain in London , it rains somewhere else and London is all of a sudden — sunny. We took a stroll from the hotel , maybe 10 minutes and found ourselves in the middle of all that is quintessentially Amsterdam.
I said to Charles it is like a fusion between Copenhagen, Prague and Barcelona . Really Interesting. All the buildings are leaning forwards and makes you feel like you are on a Tim Burton Movie.
Get a great place to stay and make sure it is close to everything
I had an extreme honour of staying in The Albus hotel which is located slap in the centre. I was literally 5 minutes away from all the glory that is Amsterdam. Albus is a design hotel featuring small but cozy rooms with really sleek and modern furniture. The whole hotel is really beautiful. When you enter the lobby you will notice just how cool this place is. I actually liked it so much I dedicated a special post just to the hotel, so go check it out.
What to do the second you arrive?
Easy. I was so excited to be in Amsterdam I just wanted to explore and see the city, and to be honest it is the best thing you can do when you first get here. It helped me orientate myself and get to know the area a bit better. I didn’t really want to stress myself with finding something to do because it would stress me out. Exploring without plan and getting lost is good.
Find some Dutch Beer and eat some croquettes
We stumbled upon a Dutch Pub along the way and decided to have some beer and share a couple of croquettes which are very traditional Dutch food and they were really good too. You can be picky where you decide to go, for me it was simple as I was just randomly stumbling down the streets. That is the best fun.
Avoid coffee shops on the first day
If you want to have a good day in Amsterdam avoid coffee shops. Seriously. Getting high will ruin your day as you will be sleepy and weird. I walked in to a place called Bulldog and everyone was smoking. Obviously I waited to see it with my own eyes. It was full of smoke and it smelled a lot. At the bar I ordered a coke and was offered a muffin. ”Is it strong?”-I asked the waiter-”No, you would need two just to feel anything at all,” — said the waiter-” this is only really for the tourists, it is really just a muffin but people get placebo and act funny”. I thanked him and I left with Charles-”Oh what a lovely guy” I thought to myself. Instead of lying he actually admitted it does nothing. I enjoyed my muffin , and really it tasted like any other. I thought I’d give the other one to my friend….But then… oh my god. I never felt so stupid. Take my advice and do not take the muffin. It is a very evil ”paranoid” muffin. I was ”muffined” for hours and really it just feels as you are missing 75% of your intelligence.
Don’t bring fancy clothes or high heels
Yes, I brought them and I never took them out of the suitcase. Amsterdam is in cobbles. You know those little irritating square shaped cubes? Yes, those. They are everywhere. Forget your cute little stilettos and say hi to your comfy sneakers. Even in sneakers you will be in pain if you like exploring. Charles and me, walked around 50 kilometres in 48 hours of being in Amsterdam. And you know what? Those cobbles look really amazing in the photos. I also need to mention that Netherlands are famous for windmills, so you can imagine whats next? Yes, guys…November it is freaky windy! And in November it tends to rain. Not a lot but enough to irritate you. Fear not, cause Amsterdam is beautiful even when gloomy.
Service is slow, but so it the atmosphere
If you expect speedy service, you will not get it, Amsterdam has really slow waiting staff. At least where I have been. It seems in Amsterdam people are just so relaxed. You can’t blame them, why would you be in a hurry anyway? They know your feet are swollen and that you will be sitting for ages, so yeah, they take their time. If you don’t like it go back home 🙂
Take a canal boat ride to get some epic photos and learn more about this awesome city
It will cost you from €10 to €16 , depends on which one you go. It is really worth every penny and you learn really cool stuff. For example. In Amsterdam you will notice that houses are leaning on a side. I wondered why that is, well apparently they were built on wooden blocks on the sand, and as the wood rots, the houses sink. The more it rots, the crazier the houses dance. But there are much better fun facts about this beautiful city, and you get to learn them all while riding in the boat.
Nutella and Cheese galore
There is a cheese shop or a Nutella shop on almost every corner in the centre of the city. Nutella frozen yoghurts you can top anything on, Nutella waffles? Nutella sandwiches? Nutella toasties? Nutella pancakes? How about Nutella macaroons? No? Then just take a 10 kg bucket of Nutella and do with it what you want. If you prefer to be cheesy, try some of the free samples in the cheese shops. Get involved!
Be afraid of the cyclist
Ever thought of dying by bicycle stampede? Me neither, until I came to Amsterdam. Cyclists are insane. Ding!Ding!Ding! Everywhere, people screaming, running around, its like resident evil over there! Move out of the way at all times because they will cycle into you, and over you, and maybe even reverse to run you over one more time. Speaking of bikes, why not join the team and rent one? It is your single chance to run over people without being punished.
Ah yes… the infamous Red Light District
First of all… it is a touristic attraction. Guys go there and pretend they want something, but honest truth is, they have no guts to walk in to any of the windows. Taking photos of the window ladies is prohibited and you may be peed on if you try to do it. Have some respect, they are tax paying citizens. Red light district is a vibrant place of Amsterdam, but it is not the best place there. It is noisy, crowded and full of British guys yelling and drinking beer. It is the most popular amongst married older gentleman who are hiding from their wives. It is an interesting place to visit, but there is nothing to do there unless you are actually planning o doing something.
Now just relax and take a look at some of my photos 🙂