Amsterdam, 2016

Much like my Budapest post, this is well overdue…

My trip to Amsterdam was back in late October, a few days after Budapest and just two days before ChicagoI was originally there with work for a conference, but decided to stay for the weekend to get to wander around the city. The last time I was in Amsterdam was back in 2010, when I was a poor student and doing Amsterdam on a budget. Which, for any of you who have been to Amsterdam will know, it’s tricky to do it on a budget.

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We flew into Amsterdam on the Wednesday evening and the conference was over the Thursday and Friday. It was a beautiful setting for the conference, a giant space with lots of character. They stole my heart when for lunch, they made pasta in a cheese wheel. Hold. Me. Back.

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On the Thursday night, we headed to Tales and Spirits after dinner. I would definitely recommend going here for a drink if you’re in Amsterdam. It’s a great spot, with great cocktails, and a lot of fun! It’s about 15e per drink, so pretty standard, but they’re worth it! As we had the conference the next day too, we called it a night after a few drinks.

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On the Friday night, there was a bigger group of us, so we decided to go out for dinner and drinks. We went to Sea Palace, which is the floating Chinese restaurant in the middle of Amsterdam, which can only be described as… an experience! The food is really tasty, the decor is wild, but again, it’s expensive. So only go if you’re willing to spend a bit of money on your meal.

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We ended up wandering around, going to a few different bars. It’s tricky with a group, on a Friday night, to find somewhere with room for all of us! We headed to the SkyLounge Amsterdam to go to a rooftop bar for a drink. It was a gorgeous space, but I really wish I had gone back during the day to fully appreciate it. Check out the trippy bathroom below!

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On the Saturday, I wanted to head to a gallery or two. One top tip I would recommend is booking online for the Van Gogh museum. The queues can be up to two hours long. When you book online, you can skip the queues and walk right inside. The Van Gogh museum is gorgeous. You can spend hours wandering around, taking in the history, incredible art and surroundings.

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If you’re hoping to go to the Anne Frank house, you will need to book way in advance. It books out so quickly. I wasn’t able to go, so it’s still on my bucket list. I also went to the Banksy exhibit. I loved it! It was so interesting, humorous and had lots of different works that I hadn’t seen before. It’s not a permanent exhibit, so make sure to look it up before you go.

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One of the best things I did in Amsterdam, was sit back, and relax with a glass of wine in Conservatorium. It is a stunning hotel lobby where you can relax, listen to a string quartet play live classical music, read, unwind after walking along the canals for hours. The decor is stunning, such a beautiful venue. I ended up going on the Saturday and Sunday. If it ain’t broke…

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One place I really wanted to try was the Pancake Bakery. They’re supposed to make the most incredible pancakes. Unfortunately you need to be there crazy early, so by the time I arrived, the queue was pretty intense! I ended up in Dr. Blend instead where I had a lovely açai bowl with coffee and a shot of ginger. Essential after all the waffles I had been eating!

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Also like my Budapest post, my Amsterdam footage was sadly on my memory card that I’ve lost. So no video of my trip. Of the canals. Of the museums. The food. Nothing. Can you tell I’m still in mourning?

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I would definitely recommend that you take a trip to Amsterdam. There’s so much culture, history, great bars, museums. It really is a wonderful city.

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