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15.9.13

Visit Amsterdam

Not so long ago the mister and I decided to take a weekend break in Amsterdam.  I haven't been before and it's on my list of places to visit so we impulsively booked a mini break.
Finding an hotel was proving to be tricky.  It turns out there was a massive conference going on that weekend and most of the cheaper hotels were fully booked.  Then we discovered the Bicycle Hotel just out of the city centre.  The Bicycle Hotel was also a hostel.  Some rooms had private en-suites and some had shared bathrooms.  They only had rooms with shared bathrooms available and sharing a bathroom with strangers is my idea of hell.  I actually shuddered at the thought of it but when we arrived I was actually pleasantly surprised.  We only had to share our bathroom with one other room and the place was immaculate. We didn't have to queue for the bathroom once. Yay. 

Our lovely little hotel

 
 
The Bicycle Hotel funnily enough also rented out bicycles and if you're visiting Amsterdam believe me you'll see more of the city on bike than by foot.  Most Dutch people travel by bike.  In fact there are more bikes on the road than there are cars!  It's completely different to England, there are bike lanes everywhere and they even have their own set of traffic lights!



The misters got the hang of it!


I just about managed to stay on my bike!

 
There's a lot to do in Amsterdam and if you're travelling by bike you'll find even more things, as you tend to go off the beaten track, or in our case get lost.  Here's a couple of places we stumbled across.
 
 
Electric Ladyland Museum

The Electric Ladyland museum is not your typical museum. It's the first museum of fluorescent art together with a collection of common rocks that glow naturally under UV lighting.  This is a guided tour and the guy who runs it has spent decades building sculptures, collecting rocks and art work.  If it wasn't for this guy it would just be a room full of boring stuff but his passion and knowledge about every object in the room becomes contagious and at 5 Euros worth a visit.  Oh and he's a total hippy so it's worth it just to meet him and hear his crazy stories!


Once of the many displays




 
Felix Meritis Observatory
 
 
The Observatory is a building with so much history.  Built in the 18th Century it's original use was to promote the arts and science and give certain men upstanding within the community. Eventually as other museums and theatres opened in the city the Observatory lost it use but has now re-opened to the general public.  The cost of the tours was 6.50 Euros and the view from the top is breath taking.
 
 
I love the height of the buildings and the hidden gardens

 Of course there's all the other usual places to visit when in Amsterdam.   I'd recommend Anne Franks House, Van Gogh Museum, Rijks Museum, even the Red Light District.  If I'm honest the RLD is the strangest place I've been to, especially as some of the windows are nestled between bars, restaurants and shops.  It's weird that it seems so normal!

Bloemenmarkt

The floating flower market is quite a touristy area but worth a visit because the smell is amazing and great for souvenirs.  My sisters are now the proud owners of slippers in the shape of clogs and everyone else got a bonsai tree!




What To Eat

There's something for everyone in Amsterdam.  Even if you're the fussiest of eaters you'll find something but if you want to try something different I'd recommend The Pancake Bakery On the menu you'll find a sweet and savoury option, which is normal in Holland.  I went for the bacon and pineapple pancake which was actually pretty nice and the portions are huge.  You wont need to eat for the rest of the day after finishing one of these!

Something else to try is Febo. Heated food in a machine.  Just put your money in and remove your chosen item.  Great if you're on the run and need something quick.  Not so great if you're looking for a nutritious hearty meal!

You also need to try poffertjes.  These are like mini pancakes and so sweet and yummy.  I could eat these all day!



So there you have it.  Just some of the things you can do in Amsterdam.  Have you been away recently?  Have you got a favourite city or ever been to Amsterdam?  Let me know I'd love to hear all about it.

10 comments:

  1. Ooh makes me want to go back! Love a bit of "food from the wall"! Gorgeous photos.

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    1. Food from the walls is so random isn't it! I think you definitely need alcohol to consume that stuff!

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  2. Amsterdam is on my list too so I've bookmarked this post for when my time comes. Excellent post that will surely be helpful, I'm even intrigued about the bacon and pineapple pancake.. say whaaaat? Haha.

    ox Lucy

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    Replies
    1. You definitely need to go! Let me know when you've been. I wanna hear what you thought.

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  3. I've always wanted to go, for the christmas markets unlike most :) xx

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    1. Oh I bet it's beautiful at Christmas. x

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  4. Oh I long to go to Amsterdam - the tulips, the bicycles!!! Just not sure if we can brave it with 3 young kids just yet but one day!! X

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    Replies
    1. Ha probably not a good idea with 3 little ones but definitely one day! xx

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  5. I went to Amsterdam for the first time back in July but there were so many of us it took us ages to plan each destination and find places to eat and whatnot... Definitely looking to go again - maybe in April for the tulips, and rent a bike to explore to the max :)

    Isabel x
    Monochrome Magpie

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    Replies
    1. Argh it's so difficult to plan anything when there's a large group of you. You should definitely try and go again. I'd like to go again for the tulips but there's so many other places I want to visit.

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