For the past few years, I have slowly been making a list of certain counties and cities I want to visit in Europe. And currently being in a placed in London for school for a year, I figured that would be the best opportunity for me to pop over to Europe for weekend excursions. First on my bucket list that I can finally say I’ve ticked off is the beautiful city of Amsterdam!
Amsterdam is known for its architecture, canals, university, practically legal marijuana, legal prostitution, museums, trendy boutiques and shopping, cultural and ethnic diversity.
I arrived on Thursday afternoon via KLM. A fantastic airline that flies direct from London Heathrow Airport to Schiphol Airport. I took the train into central Amsterdam and it was an incredibly easy process and everyone is so friendly (my experience with Amsterdam was anyway) and helpful! Also, anyone who is hesitant on traveling to Amsterdam because of the language barrier, let me ease your worries and say is it one of the most English friendly European cities I’ve ever visited! And for the most part everyone (natively) is incredibly kind and willing to chat and also help if you have any questions concerning directions (which happened to me a few times).
Airbnb was my first the last evening in Amsterdam, the rest of my time was in a nice hotel in between Amsterdam Centraal and Haarlem. Amsterdam is pretty small compared to other European cities, so staying anywhere within a few mile radius of Centraal is completely manageable.
The first evening a friend of mine and I went to visit Ann Frank House which I would highly recommend visiting, however I would book tickets way in advance. They sell out quite quickly. It is a very emotional journey to be completely honest. To see where and how families had to live in order to hide from such evil during WWII. And especially to see what had happened in a city like Amsterdam – it’s incredibly eye opening.
On Friday I had basically explored Centraal. Walking across canals and through the narrow streets. The architecture in Amsterdam is so beautiful. The buildings and structure of the city is very eclectic- a healthy diversity of slender homes squished together, juxtaposed to large and modern buildings and museums. Plus Amsterdam being such a bike friendly place, I probably could have spent days just cycling around and perusing around and looking at the city’s architecture.
During my weekend there I also went to the Body World Museum which was interesting. I know they have that type of museum in other cities, but I had never seen something like that before so it was definitely worth the ticket. Plus I genuinely did learn quite a lot about the body that I didn’t really know before. Plus it’s pretty crazy to see these real bodies that were donated for that exhibition.
I also visit the FOAM museum (https://www.foam.org/) which is fantastic! Lucas Foglia’s project Human Nature was on exhibition and that was probably one of my main highlights of visiting Amsterdam. I was completely fascinated with his work and his photos alone are excellent!
My last full day in Amsterdam I wanted to walk around Centraal and take photos with my Canon eos 5 film camera. I brought with one roll of black and white and one roll of color.
Two places I wanted to note on here food wise is a restaurant called The Avocado Show. It is the first all avocado restaurant. I will admit…it is the hub for media hungry girls and boys. You’ll see people taking more photos of their food for Instagram than people actually eating their meals. All that to sayyyy, I did take a photo of my avocado pancakes and Kombucha. 😀
I felt a little odd being the only one not pointing my phone up at my food like all the other frilly girls with their over priced berets and pooched lips taking selfies with their avocado goodies. The food itself however was awesome! I would recommend arriving right when they open, since they are more than none always full. I got lucky because I was dining for one. Shout out to all the solo travelers! I suppose that’s one of the many perks of being a solitary traveler.
Another place I would recommend checking out is actually a juice bar. It is called The Cold Pressed Juicery. Cold pressed, organic fresh juice with one of the best places I have ever gotten a pure ginger shot. From working in a juicery for over 4 years myself, I would incredibly impressed and will definitely go back the next time I visit Amsterdam.
I spent a total of 4 days in Amsterdam, though I could have definitely spent way more time there. But if your looking for a relatively affordable trip for just a weekend, I would say Amsterdam is your city! Don’t get me wrong, you could easily spend a lot of money there – with all of the shopping and food and…other things…
But since I am also a poor Uni student, Amsterdam is also very friendly to those who are on a budget. And especially if you don’t mind walking, it’s a fantastic town to for a long weekend.