Having visited Amsterdam four years ago as part of a big Europe boozy back packing trip I was keen to return to this beautiful city to discover what else it had to offer.
We arrived on Friday night and quickly found our way to the train station for the £4.50 train journey that took just 20 minutes into the main train station. As it was a nice evening we decided to walk to our hotel which was on the other side of town, it only took 35 minutes and it was great to see this lovely place all lit up at night. After arriving at Hotel Prinsenhof to our friendly host we headed to the nearest bar to sample some of the local brew.
The next morning we went straight to the flower market to see some colourful tulips before sampling some delicious cheese at De Kaaskelder cheese shop. The last time I was in Amsterdam I purchased some cheese whilst on a bike tour to a cheese and clog factory and I’ve yet to come across cheese as delicious as that so I was keen to get some more. This lovely little cheese shop provided enough free samples to get full on and I found my favourite smoked cheese to take home with me.
We continued to walk through this truly beautiful city, I love the canals and bridges and I think of how wonderful it must be to live in the amazing house boats dotted around the canals. After not being able to book online for the Anne Frank house we thought we would try and queue up and go in but the line was ridiculously long and I really didn’t want to spend hours of my weekend queueing so we gave it a miss, maybe next time I visit? It was on to the Rijksmuseum to see the famous ‘Iamsterdam’ sign and then onto lunch at Pompa where we ate mouth watering tapas and of course drank some Heinekens.
I did get some great slow shutter speed shots inside the walkway at the Rijksmuseum museum of cyclists powering their way through the crowds.
After lunch it was onto the Van Gogh Museum, I will write about this museum in a later post but I will share that I had high hopes for this iconic museum only to be slightly disappointed. Unfortunately there was way too many people let in at the same time and it was difficult to view the art in a calm and personal way.
As the evening went out we decided to head to a local bar to watch some football before having a meal, we walked all of 5 minutes from our hotel to Bar Moustache where we drank al fresco, watched football and made friends with the locals. We completely lost track of time (after a few too many drinks) and before we knew it it was 1am and time for bed.
My favourite thing about Amsterdam though is the flowers, they are everywhere! There are so many florist shops dotted around and I saw so many people carrying flowers with them. It sure brightens up the place and makes it even more beautiful. To me this place is so much more than a place where you can legally smoke weed, get a prostitute and see a sex show. That is the smallest part of this lovely place and I hope more people come here and get to see this side of the city.
Read about day 2 here: Amsterdam Weekend – Part 2
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