What’s cooking blog readers? For the eagle-eyed among you, you may remember that I promised you a blog post on mine and my boyfriend’s trip to Amsterdam, and here it is!
As we flew to Amsterdam from the UK, the outward flight was consequently my first ever trip on a plane. I was a bit nervous in the run-up to the actual flight and during it, but I loved discovering the hidden world that is the airport shops (free for you to explore once you’ve checked in and gone through security and the like), and the flight itself was less scary than I was anticipating it might be. I found the take-off to be pretty powerful, but I didn’t even read any of the novel I’d bought especially for my first plane trip as I spent most of the time looking out of the window! It was so surreal to be so high up!
I didn’t find the whole thing about your ears popping on a flight to be too bad, though the movement of the plane when it (presumably) turned felt a bit worrying at first, though it was clearly completely normal. All in all, though, I was a lot less nervous for the return flight after that first plane trip.
We stayed in a lovely hotel about 15 minutes away from Amsterdam city centre via metro (Amsterdam is great for public transport, and to get around, I highly recommend buying a travel chip card from GVB, the public transport company, which gives you travel on the metro, tram system and possibly bus system for different lengths of time. We bought ours in the metro station by our hotel, and the price we both paid for our 72-hour cards offered good value for money). The breakfast choice where we were staying was incredible! You could make your own sweet waffles, something which I took advantage of each morning!
Attractions we visited/took part in on the trip that I would highly recommend you experience in Amsterdam were:
- The Anne Frank House – Located close to the city centre, visitors can see the place in which Anne Frank, her family and others hid during World War Two, faced with persecution from the Nazis for being Jewish. Visiting the place known as the Secret Annexe is a very moving experience. If you haven’t bought a ticket in advance, you can queue to buy a ticket after 5.30pm, but when we were in Amsterdam, there were long queues, so you might want to book before your visit. Tickets were booked for the whole of August around the time we visited, so it might be best to book well in advance.
- Joods Historisch Museum – This museum gives a fascinating insight into Judaism and the history of the Jewish community in Amsterdam.
- National Holocaust Museum – This museum holds stories about people impacted by the Holocaust in World War Two.
- Canal boat trip – We took a canal boat trip the day we arrived in Amsterdam and spent 75 minutes cruising around waterways in the city centre, finding out about different parts of the city.
- Vondelpark – The Vondelpark is a public park in Amsterdam where you can relax away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. There are lots of food outlets there, as well as a busy city centre.
- de Bijenkorf – If you’re from the UK, think House of Fraser but even more upmarket! This department store in the centre of the city has labels including Gucci, Louis Vuitton and others, with great bag and shoe departments! Of course, we didn’t buy anything there, but it’s a great place to visit and marvel at the wonders inside! The restaurant area on the top floor looked great too.
Other places of interest we visited included:
- Amsterdam Cheese Museum – A place which offers you a look into the history of cheese, complete with lots of free samples! Admission is free too.
- Rijksmuseum – This museum holds multitudes of artefacts including a painting by Rembrandt and works by Van Gogh.
- Strand Blijburg – A beach easily accessible to those in Amsterdam, the area surrounding this place is a bit off the beaten track from the main tourist areas of Amsterdam, but I could see it developing more in the future.
I’d highly recommend you visit Amsterdam. It’s a diverse city which is great for young people and my boyfriend and I had a lovely time there.