I’d always had an idea of what I’d expected Amsterdam to be like. A picturesque city full of vintage bicycles, Dutch barges lining the moorings of the canals and beautiful townhouses hoarding a history we couldn’t possibly prevail. Whilst that was the case, my naive mind hadn’t fully comprehended the Red Light District and all that the Dam has to offer in terms of ‘a good time’.
I assumed it would be in a much more concentrated vicinity and so at times, it was somewhat uncomfortable walking down a side street to a number of scantily clad women tapping at their windows. With all its seediness however, I fully embraced it and visited one of the many Erotic Museums because… when in Amsterdam right?
With a few things already booked and planned beforehand, I wanted to take you with me on our journey of Amsterdam with this photo diary.
We arrived on the Thursday evening and had already planned to visit the Anne Frank Haus on the Friday so it was pretty much a quick walk around the area where our hotel was located, a glass of Heineken because why the hell not and then off to sleep before our first day of exploring. Before the museum however, we did visit chain eatery Pancakes for breakfast and as it was St. Patricks Day – I opted for the very Irish themed option.
The Anne Frank Haus, whilst not a pleasant experience, certainly one I am glad to have done. I’d never read the book or had any real knowledge about it for that matter and it opened my eyes to what life was like for the family. I’d highly recommend purchasing a ticket to visit the museum. I left with a book of her writings so I can learn more about this phenomenal little girl.
Following that, a walk along the many streets of Amsterdam towards Centraal, passing many cheese shops and tulip museums. It only seemed right to pay a visit.
The remainder of our Friday was spent at one of the local cafes before moving onto one of the many erotic museums available before heading to Artis Zoo where I became a witness to a cock fight. Literally. Two peacocks bearing their beautiful feathers before the female in a bid to impress her and take the prize.
It had been a long days worth of exploring and a lot of fitbit steps were racked up and so it was decided to grab a bite to eat and hit the hay for yet another filled day on the Saturday.
On the to do list for the way was the Heineken Museum; my favourite part of the trip. This was followed by a canal cruise which took us to where the A’DAM Lookout Tower is situated. The Heineken Museum is an absolute must, if not for the history and educational value then certainly for the almost unlimited supply of free beer. If you go, I’d recommend going as early as possible to avoid the extremely long queues around lunchtimes.
The Canal Cruise was quite good too, our guide had a fair bit of knowledge and was telling us the best places to go if we wanted ‘a good time’ and some of the local delicacies we should try during our stay. Not to mention, drinking more Heineken on the journey towards A’DAM Tower. It takes around 45 minutes to get there by boat but the view is something else and the swing, although not something i’d write home about, i’m glad I went on it – it’s really not as scary as it sounds.
After a bit of food and a giant cocktail at Amsterdam’s Hard Rock Cafe, it was time to hit the streets on a Saturday night in the Dam and see what it’s really like when the sun goes down.
After a waffle and what seemed to be a lifetime of walking down streets full of scantily clad women tapping their windows, another drink was in order before we made our way back to the hotel for our final evening of rest before heading home the next day. We visited the Grasshopper, whilst this is very well known for it’s underground operation, the cocktails upstairs are pretty good too.
Our final day took us to the famous Nine Streets for a spot of shopping and to the beautiful building of the Rijks Museum to find the travelling I AMSTERDAM letters. Whilst you have to purchase tickets to enter the museum, you can visit the cafe which has some of the nicest coffee in Amsterdam and admire the architecture from within; not to mention getting a little bit lost on the exit and finding a group of buskers performing classical numbers on the violin. That moment was worth every penny spent to visit Amsterdam.
That concludes our whistle stop tour of Amsterdam. There are still so many stones left unturned, bridges left uncrossed, streets left unexplored. Until next time…