I have never really done city breaks but the girls decided we should have a winter one. So we chose Amsterdam.
After spending just a short weekend there, I now want to move there. I want to bike round from A to B, chill out in the many cafes (not for smoking reasons) and live in the city centre with a balcony overlooking the pretty cobbled streets.
I had my own tour guide on the Friday night as I have a friend who recently moved out there for work, so she treated me to a night on the town. Oh how we laughed. We biked into the centre, in our winter gear and with a wine based coat on, then we quickly broke her bike (after having a backie – I am convinced I broke her bike) After our failed attempts of trying to fix it we popped on to the metro. This is one of the many reliable forms of public transport in Amsterdam, and made our way through the town to this tiny karaoke bar. The chap who ran it looked like Rod Stewart. We had a few tequilas, sang some abba, chatted to locals then swiftly left for chicken and bed.
Europe nights out are a lot more dressed down than here in the UK and as a girl originally from Essex it was a glorious change. I rocked my converse hard. This was such a fun night!
With my sore head I dragged myself to meet my friends in the centre ready for the sex museum. For 4 euros (bargin!) we got a free pen and cake, as they were celebrating 30 years. There were balloons and live musicians throughout the museum. If you don’t like stairs I would not recommend but it was a great laugh and really interesting. Definitely not suitable for anyone below age of 18 or if you are a real prude or don’t have a good sense of humour.
After some lunch and washing our minds a little bit we decided to book one of those team bike bars. This was hilarious. We shared this bike with 4 very high scotsmen with matching Amsterdam woolly hats. 25 euros each for ‘prosecco’ (it certainly wasn’t Prosecco) We had fizzy cheap rose and a crate of cans. Plenty of booze. We were on a budget so this worked for us, you could have gone for 50 euros down the road and probably had nicer booze but we chose otherwise. We were cycling/working out for an hour and half with a lovely geezer of a tour guide.
Language is not a barrier here as all Dutch speak fabulous English. I learnt how to say Thank You which surprised many shop keepers which would then prompt them to then speak fluently at me in Dutch!
We were recommended a pizza place, that I cannot for the life of me remember (I will find out!) for dinner. The pizza was good but the service not so much. They ran out of white wine and the red could have blinded me it was that strong. I felt for the waitress who had to manage everyone, she had clearly been left by herself but we had a nice evening nonetheless.
Sunday came around quickly and we were so keen to try out more food. As that really shaped our weekend. The Dutch are very famous for pancakes and waffles so we made our way to the top pancake place. They certainly didn’t disappoint.
After trekking through the city, trying out the tram (a whole one stop) to get to Velopark where we thought the Christmas markets were found out they were not. We saw some great sites walking around, seeing the famous flower market and supposedly the best toasties in the universe we found the market. Treated ourselves to Churros and had a few snaps with the locals.
I love the Dutch. friendly and relaxed, I could happily live there and they love hockey. I must go back for a hockey match or too when it gets warmer.
Well done Amsterdam, I have fallen in love with you.