Hallo! Lang niet gezien!
Amsterdam has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember – my darling sibling, Sophia and I had never been on holiday just the two of us before and Famsterdam marks our first holiday together in about 7-8 years!
Amsterdam has probably become one of my favourite places ever and I’m desperate to go back at some point. There was so much to see and do and I’d love to go back when we’re in less of a rush to get everything done!
Here is my handy guide to 48 hours in the land of tulips, cheese and canals.
Currency – Euro €
Time Zone – GMT/UTC +1
Language – Dutch
Soph is at uni in Colchester at the moment whilst I’m working in Birmingham. We found that it was cheapest and easiest for us to meet in the middle and fly from London Gatwick Airport. We flew from London Gatwick to Amsterdam return for only £60 each through EasyJet. The flight times are ridiculously short (around 40 mins) so by the time you’ve gotten yourself comfy on the plane, it’s time to get up again. Definitely not worth paying the extortionate prices to reserve seats!
Soph and I stopped at Hotel Not Hotel, a boutique arty hotel designed by Collaboration-O, a group of young designers that originated from the Eindhoven Design Academy. We booked a secret bookcase room which was absolutely gorgeous and just what we needed. It costed us €307 for 2 nights which equated to around £135 each. The hotel had its own restaurant and bar called Kevin Bacon. It had a really relaxed feel and all of the staff were super friendly.
Hotel Not Hotel
Piri Reisplein 34
1057 KH Amsterdam
The public transport links in Amsterdam are amazing and it is so easy to get around via tram, train, bus etc. Soph and I got ourselves an I Am Amsterdam City Card at Amsterdam Schipol Airport. We opted for the 48hr I Am Amsterdam City Card for €74. The city card entitles you to free transport on all trams, trains and buses, free entry to loads of museums and art galleries across Amsterdam as well as an array of offers and discounts. You can navigate easily around the city using the Citymapper app.
The Anne Frank House was an absolutely harrowing experience and a must see when visiting Amsterdam. Make sure to book your visit ahead of time as it quickly books up and you can only buy tickets online. Not only do you get to the see the Frank family’s hiding place and Anne’s diary, fully preserved, you really get to know more about the people involved. It truly is an experience not to be missed.
Anne Frank House
1016 DK Amsterdam
The Red Light District is absolutely mad and an absolute must when you visit The Netherlands. Amsterdam is well known for its tolerance when it comes to the sex industry and you can see this in all its glory if you head to the medieval city centre, De Wallen. Soph and I visited the Museum of Prostitution and the Sex Museum whilst we were here. The Museum of Prostitution is located in an old brothel where a prostitute was brutally murdered and provides real insight into the life of a sex worker in the Red Light District. Tickets cost €10.50 online and the price includes a souvenir booklet and an audio guide. The Sex Museum or Temple of Venus is another Amsterdam staple featuring a giant penis and all. Entry is just €5!
Museum of Prostitution
Oudezijds Achterburgwal 60
1012 DP Amsterdam
Sex Museum in Amsterdam
1015 LH Amsterdam
The Van Gogh Museum is another Amsterdam staple. An I Am Amsterdam City Card will gain you free entry into the museum. Normal adult entry price is €18. Make sure you book online in advance to reserve your time slot entry. The Van Gogh Museum was set up in 1973 and is dedicated to the life and works of Van Gogh. It was fascinating to learn more about the inner workings of his mind and the relationship between his brutal mental illness and his passion for painting. The Van Gogh Dreams exhibition is a brilliant sensory installation that narrates his experiences in the South of France. It is on until 13th January 2019 and is definitely worth a visit!
Van Gogh Museum
1071 DJ Amsterdam
The Moco Museum is the most aesthetically pleasing museum in all of Amsterdam featuring an array of modern and contemporary art from top artists that use irony and satire in abundance. General admission tickets cost €12 if you buy online. You can get tickets for €10 online if you have an I Am Amsterdam city card, a student card or if you visit before 11am/after 5pm. Banksy and Icy & Sot are exhibiting there until 15th January 2019. Their artwork was utterly thought provoking. Roy Liechtenstein also has a live installation there where he has recreated Van Gogh’s ‘Bedroom in Arles’ in his signature pop art style.
1071 DE Amsterdam
The Rijksmuseum is the iconic red brick national Dutch museum which showcases the Netherlands’ history and art. The museum is absolutely huge and is reminiscent of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. Entry is free with an I Am Amsterdam city card or €17.50 for a general admission adult ticket. The Rijksmuseum also has its own gardens which was brilliant with the perfect weather we had.
1071 XX Amsterdam
The Amsterdam Xtra Cold ice bar was definitely a highlight from our trip. Tickets are €19.50 online and that includes 3 drinks as part of your entry fee. Everything inside the bar is made entirely of ice, including the glasses you drink from! You don a warm coat and gloves on entry and then you have 20 minutes to drink, dance and take as many photos as you’d like!
Amsterdam Ice Bar Xtra Cold
1017 AG Amsterdam
The Stedelijk Museum is an international museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art of the 20th and 21st century featuring artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Liechtenstein, Vincent Van Goghm Keith Haring and Henry Matisse. Entry is free for I Am Amsterdam cardholders, €9 for students and €17.50 for adults. I really loved this museum and enjoyed the variety of art they had on display. It was probably my favourite thing to do whilst in Amsterdam and would thoroughly recommend a visit!
1071 DJ Amsterdam
Soph and I sought out the ultimate Instagram hotspot located down the road from Museum Square towards the de Pijp area of Amsterdam. We befriended the loveliest cat who went on to feature in all our photos with us. It was surprisingly quiet with very few people around so we were able to relax and take photos without waiting in a queue!
Frans Halsstraat 64
1072 BT Amsterdam
The I Am Amsterdam city card entitles you to a free canal cruise ride with a selection of companies along different ports of the canals of Amsterdam. Soph and I opted for the Lovers 1hr Canal Cruise from Leidsekade near the Hotel American. Everyone listens to the tour guidance via earphones so it was nice being able to switch off and enjoy the cruise whilst listening without it being led by a guide.
The Corner Bakery is utterly Instagrammable and comes with a never ending supply of calories. Any diets or healthy eating plans go out the window once you set foot in the door. Soph and I had an absolutely glorious brunch here on our final day. I opted for the Avocado Smash Salmon and Strawberry Cotton Candy Shake whilst Soph went for the Brioche French Toast and Strawberry Freak Shake. No regrets.
Corner Bakery Amsterdam Oud West
Jan Pieter Heijestraat 131
1054 ME Amsterdam
As ever there are always things you can’t get round to doing in the time. I have come up with a list of things I would like to get round to doing next time I visit – at least I have an excuse to go back!
Heineken Experience – The Heineken Experience is an interactive tour located in Heineken’s first built brewery in Amsterdam’s city centre.
Mama Kelly – The true Instagram hotspot of Amsterdam, Mama Kelly is the ultimate pretty in pink restaurant.
Vondelpark – Vondelpark is the most famous park in The Netherlands measuring up to 120 acres with a playground, ponds and even an open air theatre.
Foodhallen – Foodhallen was recommended to us by the staff at Hotel Not Hotel but we didn’t get a chance to go this time round! Foodhallen is an indoor food market serving up a range of street food for all the foodies out there.
Bloemenmarkt – Bloemenmarkt is the world’s only floating flower market, next time I’d love the opportunity to properly explore all the flower stalls in their majesty.
Have you been to Amsterdam before? What are your recommendations?