It was chilly. It was peaceful. It was naughty. Amsterdam, quite frankly, is one of the most bizarre places I have ever travelled to in my life. A city of sins. Coffee shops, and I’m not talking about Starbucks, down every alley. Bakeries with gluttonous treats on every street. Women dressed in nothing but the smallest knickers you can imagine on each street corner. Amsterdam opened my eyes.
We stayed in Central Amsterdam at INK Amsterdam, a former newspaper office now transformed into a quirky boutique hotel. Around the corner from Dam Square and within fifteen minutes of all the main attractions (central station, Red Light District, Anne Franks). The hotel was beautifully furnished and had a sense of comedy throughout. We even had a cartoon map drawn on the wall of our room to show where you could “peek at the prostitutes” and “get high”.
Day one began by finding our bearings… This proved to be difficult when every street corner and bridge looked the same, it’s safe to say we walked around in circles for a good couple of hours. Google Maps and CityMapper became essential for getting around the city. We managed to see Central Station, Anne Franks Huis, Dam Square and multiple canals before heading back to the hotel to get ready for some tea and an early night.
We had dinner at Black and Blue steakhouse, just around the corner from Anne Frank’s, and were completely blown away by their food. We both had steak and chips, cooked to however you like and finished off with a dessert they liked to call, ‘Death by Chocolate’ and boy, we were done for after that! We finished the night off with drinks in the hotel bar. This is where we started to realise how expensive Amsterdam was going to be…
Our last day in Amsterdam consisted of eating. And more canals. And a very, very interesting exhibition called Body Worlds. Not for the faint hearted, but if you’re into science and you don’t mind gore – it is really, really good. The exhibition consists of over 200 human bodies stripped back to their bones, muscles and blood vessels. Like I said, not for the faint hearted but 100% recommend if you are that way inclined. To finish off Amsterdam, we visited the Pancake Bakery. It is a must. An essential. A prescription. It’s easy to get to and just down the road from Anne Frank’s Huis. The selling point? The majority of their toppings you can get soaked in alcohol. Yes, alcohol. It’s just absolutely wonderful.
Do you have a favourite European city break? Leave me a comment below.