Before you scroll down and read Part Two, check out the first part of my trip to Amsterdam here.
On our first full day in Amsterdam, we expected it to be packed doing loads of touristy things. However, it didn’t quite turn out that way in the end. We met back up with our friend Priscilla and headed to the Anne Frank House. We couldn’t go to Amsterdam without visiting the museum, it’s such an important part of history. I already read that the queues can be crazy but at about 11 in the morning, I thought it wouldn’t be too bad. Oh how wrong was I!
After about two hours queueing, we finally entered the house. It was quite an experience and very moving, I don’t know how they lived in such conditions. The only downside is you literally queue when you’re in there too, I guess it’s because it’s so small. You’re constantly waiting behind someone to get a look at something or to move on to the next part of the house, it’s a bit frustrating but still worth a visit. Although, if you’re not too keen on steep stairs, I’d give it a miss. God those stairs were something else. Also, if you have an iAmsterdam card, entry to the Anne Frank House is not included. However it’s reasonable only costing €9.
When we were finished at the Anne Frank House, we started to get a bit hungry and Priscilla suggested we get chips from a stall, there are many around Amsterdam and it seems to be quite a popular thing. We walked around while eating our chips taking in more sights and we ended up inside Amsterdam Centraal station before we decided to take a tram down to Museumplein.
Museumplein is home to The Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum & the famous iAmsterdam letters. We were too late to go into the museums so we decided to take pictures by the iAmsterdam letters, it was absolutely packed so we were unable to get any pictures with just us in it which is a bit of a bummer but it’s got to be expected at a tourist attraction.
That night, we decided to head to the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner. It was absolutely delicious with some of the best customer service I’ve ever experienced, such lovely staff! I had a lovely juicy burger with my favourite cocktail, a Strawberry Daiquiri! After we finished up here, it was time to say goodbye to our amazing friend and guide, Priscilla and head back to our hotel for the night.
The next day, Saturday, was our day to be proper tourists and cram everything in as it was our last proper day. Although we weren’t leaving until the evening on Sunday, our iAmsterdam cards would be invalid from about 1pm onwards and we would not be able to access any of our free entries, travel, discounts or canal cruise so Saturday was going to be a busy ol’ day. We were pretty tired by the end of it, that’s for sure.
We started the day off at another pancake house, this time the Pancake Corner. I went for the Bacon pancake which was just simply four bacon strips cooked within a pancake. It was absolutely delicious. After our breakfast, we headed back to Museumplein and walked to the Rijksmuseum. We knew we wouldn’t get in with our iAmsterdam cards so we wanted to see how much a ticket would be. As this was a trip with a strict budget, €17 was a bit too much so we went to the Van Gogh museum instead as this is included.
If you’re a huge lover of art than the Van Gogh museum is a must visit. It’s home to the largest collection of Van Gogh’s work and also home to the work of his contemporaries. The museum gives a great insight into his life and as well as galleries filled with his amazing art there are sections dedicated to letters he wrote to his family. Even if you’re not much of an art person, I think you’d like this.
After a quick drink in the cafe, we headed back out the iAmsterdam letters and the pond that is located in front of it. It’s such a pretty little area and due to the Amsterdam Tulip festival going on there were several beds of tulips on the water. A great photo opportunity!
We finished up there and decided to take our free canal cruise thanks to our iAmsterdam cards. You can use any of the boat companies located around the city, we chose Canal Cruises as they had a stop located just behind the Rijksmuseum. If you do the whole canal cruise, it’s about 1 hour 40 minutes however you can get off at any of the stops along the way if you wish. It was a great experience although it was absolutely freezing! The Canals are a big part of Amsterdam so I definitely recommend you do a canal cruise or hire a boat to explore them a bit more.
It was then time to take a walk to the Red Light District, certainly an eye opening experience even though it was day time, I can’t imagine what it would be like at night and I’m kind of glad I didn’t go there in the evening. I’m pretty open minded but it was still a bit of a shock to see these girls scantily clad standing in windows. If you’re not narrow minded, it’s worth taking a walk through and stopping off at one of the many bars in the area. Or a coffee shop, you know if that’s your kinda thing.
Later on, we headed to the Amsterdam Ice Bar. With our iAmsterdam cards, we managed to get a discount so it was much cheaper then the normal entry price of €19. This gets you entry and 3 drinks (1 in the bar, 2 in the Ice bar itself) which is pretty damn good. Before we went in, we got a cocktail each in the small bar outside then when it was time, we headed into the Ice Bar. The temperature was -9C and although that is ruddy freezing, I didn’t find it too bad at all. Strange. It’s very small in the Ice Bar with very few sculptures, it’s a lot different to the pictures you see on Google. I’m not sure what that’s all about?! However it was a good experience, especially drinking beer out of a glass made of ice! We finished up at the Ice Bar and headed back to our hotel as we needed to be up early to check out the next day.
Our last day in Amsterdam was our shopping day so to speak, we walked for ages past Dam Square down the main shopping street in Amsterdam and past it back to Leidseplein. I picked up a few gifts and souvenirs as well as some clothes in Zara. It was an absolutely beautiful day so we stopped off at a bar and had a pint and some food before we had to get back to the hotel to pick up our bags and head off on the tram and metro back to Duivendrecht station to catch our coach back to London. Another long journey ahead of us and then to make matters worse we were delayed making us 3 hours late into London missing our connecting trains home. Boo.
But what a fabulous trip it was! It was so worth the long coach journeys there and back. If you’re travelling on a budget and don’t mind spending 11 hours on a coach, it’s the perfect way to go to places such as Amsterdam, Brussels or even Paris for that matter as it’s so cheap. I would definitely recommend it although next time, I think I’ll catch a flight! haha.
Have you ever been to Amsterdam?