This month, we headed off to Amsterdam for the weekend (no, I didn’t attempt to get high)
I drove to the airport so we got an extra 45 minutes in bed which was awesome! Got on the plane as was told that due to high winds, we will have to wait 50 (maybe he said 15) minutes before we could take off. Shockingly, the flight was only 45 minutes! So I managed to get in maybe 20 minutes sleep and woke up with a stiff neck (yay me!)
We purchased the I Amsterdam Card which was a great idea! We saved money of travel and got into most attractions for free (or at least with a good discount). One thing I noticed instantly is how similar Amsterdam is to London (minus the trams and the abundance of bicycles, of course). Everyone spoke English and a lot of the shops were the same as back home. We stayed at the Crown Plaza Hotel right next to Amsterdam Central Station so everything was conveniently nearby.
The first place we went to was Vondelpark which was really pretty and I almost got run over by a cyclist (several times). We headed over to the Van Gogh museum from the park . I was hoping to see his Starry Nights masterpiece, but it’s somewhere at MoMa in New York. Nevertheless, this museum is awe inspiring. We also saw a bunch of Edvard Munch’s work as well because they were BFFs or something.
The other places we visited:
- Rijksmuseum – This is where the I amsterdam sign is (see what I did there?).
- Heineken Experience – Also pretty awesome. Got ‘free’ beer (had to pay to get in but got discount with our I Amsterdam card)
- Canal ride – I was dying to pee – Heineken experience hit me quite late – and had to tell the guy to let us off before I peed my pants (so I didn’t really admit the latter to the driver, but he was told I wasn’t feeling well).
- Sex Museum – Interesting experience. Some of the paintings in there were really good, though. You’d imagine it’s just a lot of phalluses but it’s really more vagina than penis.
- Dam Square/Royal Palace – This again was an interesting experience. I felt quite uncomfortable with a bunch of Zwarte Piet’s (Black Pete’s) gallivanting in the square (it was some kind of event day with music and festivities based around Black Pete). This guy is meant to be Santa’s companion so you’ll see him about around Christmas time. The reason I felt uncomfortable was because it was a bunch of Caucasian men and women in what is essentially blackface (skin painted black, red lips and short curly-haired wigs in his traditional attire). I won’t go too much into it here, but it’s been rather controversial in recent years amongst the Dutch and whoever is exposed to this (I had no idea about it until I got to ‘Dam and read about it in a magazine).
- Magda Shopping Centre – super festive inside with a lot of well-known brands. The Christmas tree was huge (and it was ‘floating’)
- NEMO Science Museum – So much fun and free with the I Amsterdam card!
- Amsterdam Ajax Arena – names after a Greek god, this was the only thing out of the way from where we were but it was really easy to get to. Learnt a lot about the stadium, but it wasn’t that great. Got to go in the dugout which was cool. New Camp in Barcelona is still the best stadium experience I’ve had – highly recommended!
After the arena we headed straight over to the airport and then back home.
What other places would you recommend going to?