Roll back to January I was walking the streets and canals of Amsterdam. Hands down one of my favourite places in the world. I went to Amsterdam a few years ago and fell in love. For years now I’d been meaning to go back, it was just finding the time and the right person to go with.
So for my 25th birthday me and my friend finally booked the trip! we got it for a total steal! we booked via Expedia. In total our trip cost us £180 for two nights, including our flights from Birmingham International. A serious bargain considering our hotel was beautiful! The flight was around 45 minutes from Birmingham, so a super short flight!
The hotel we stayed at was called PH Hotel Oosteinde it was however called PH hotel 1666 when we went! The room was stunning, it was a soft pink with a stunning view of the canals. The location of the hotel was also perfect it was right off the main shopping street in Amsterdam. So only a 10 minute walk from the Central train station. The service from the reception staff was always so welcoming and they was always happy to be on hand for us. The one thing we didn’t like was that there wasn’t enough tea and coffee in our room and we had to go down and get it as there was no phone in the room. Is it just us that found this weird that there was no phone in a hotel room?
Over all our stay the hotel was great!, location was a solid 9/10, it was located in what seemed like a little square as it had a number of bars and restaurants and great travel links. However I think because of the time of year it wasn’t full or busy. It was a risk booking this hotel, but think this is the best part of traveling, you get to explore the hidden gems.
Now for food! Over on my instagram the main questions I got asked were how I found so many nice food places! well it was all the power of instagram! Whenever I go anywhere, may it be in the uk or even just to my local city of Birmingham I always do a little insta-research and try to find cool ‘insta-worthy’ places to eat and visit. I mean if you ain’t doing it for the gram what you doing it for?
So how do I find places? Well here are a few helpful tips and tricks!
- I’ll always search the location I’m visiting. then tap on the “tags” this will then show all the posts which have been tagged with “Amsterdam” this is a great way to find everything, may it be a sight seeing spot, a food location, or even different businesses. From here you can kinda get in a black hole and go through accounts and posts as you discover new locations.
- Now if you’re after something more specific you wanna search for that. for example “amsterdamfood” As you can see from above this was a goldmine. I was then able to find restaurants, and food spots. other good subjects to search is “amsterdamfoodie” “foodamsterdam” just play about to find exactly what you’re after!
- Once you’ve explored the tagged posts, then explore the search page…by search for restaurants in a certain location it will then open then open the search up to other restaurants in the same location.
- I like to once I’ve found a restaurant then click on the arrow on the page this will then show you similar places and business to the business you are currently looking at. This is my main way of finding new business/restaurants.
Don’t be afraid to travel to explore food in a city, we ended up traveling a good 45 minutes just to get to the Mama Kelly restaurant for my birthday. It was a real treat and so worth the visit. However I wish we went in the day to see the venue in all it’s glory! Then some of the places we visited were only a 10-15 minute walk away. We did try to plant so if sight seeing and food was close by we would do them together, to save us going up and down, around the whole of Amsterdam. So when doing your research make sure to look into the locations of everywhere.
MY TOP FOOD PLACES IN AMSTERDAM ARE
Sight seeing – don’t be afraid to walk and just explore. Back in the day I would of been an anxiety mess and wouldn’t of dared go anywhere without google maps talking me through every step. Well don’t hold yourself back and just go and explore the city. There’s so many streets, and hidden art to explore in Amsterdam and that you shouldn’t just stick to the main streets but leadoff to explore. including the red light district!
Now I know this won’t be to everybody’s taste, but if you want a laugh or even just to know a little more about the history of the red light district. Then go and see it! Last time I went to Amsterdam I did a sex show, and explored the sights (well saw all the girls in the windows, I guess thats the sights of the red light district?) For me it was fascinating, to actually see it all, how real it is and that it’s actually how it works over there. I’ve always done Amsterdam with friends, so it’s always been a laugh and a fun way to end the day by exploring the red light district. This time around I went to the “Red Light Secrets Museum”
Even though I had walked past this last time I was there I never thought to go in. However it got recommended before we went this time, so we had to do it. You walk around the museum which is an actual old brothel! you get to see how it was set out, and you are told old tales and experiences that prostitute use to experience while working on the red light district! You even see some real items that have been left behind by previous customer who attended the brothel! (some interesting items!) I actually found this museum really interesting and I learned a lot about how the whole red doors works. It’s a lot less sleazy than you’d think…
So even if you think the red light district isn’t for you, I’d highly recommend still going to the “Red Light Secrets” just for the history. Sometimes it’s not about judging how a different country or city does things, but learning about their history and how it works for them.
But of course, it’s not all about the red light district…it’s also about sight seeing! We found ourselves having a day of nothing so we needed to fill it with something we both hadn’t done on our previous trip in Amsterdam! While having breakfast at Moak Pancakes (oh my god so amazing, you have to try their pancakes!) the girl who was serving us was super helpful and so friendly that she even got her iPad just to show us some of the sites! She then went on to recommend “A’DAM” look out! This wasn’t built the last time I was in dam, so I had to visit it!
To get to “A’DAM” Look out you had to catch a ferry from behind the train station! (this is completely free to hop on and off!) so we got off to the other side and made the short 3 minute walk to the “A’dam” Look out, once you go inside it’s like you’re going on a ride at a theme park! There was a number of options to choose form, you could either go up and eat at the restaurant, just go up and have a drink, or just go up and see the sights from above. We opted for the just going up to the top as we’d just eaten!
Once at the top, the sights were honestly beautiful! it was so nice to see the city from above..and even point out some of the buildings we knew! I’d highly recommend you do this when in Amsterdam!
However if you’re a little scared of heights here are a few other options for sight seeing – Anne Frank’s house, Van Gough Museum, Rijksmuseum, go to Dam Square and explore from there!
Another tip, is don’t worry about converting money! Amsterdam is now a very contactless city, most places don’t accept cash! So despite me getting my money exchanged, it turned out to be a little useless! So Don’t worry about the exchange rates! However do look at what your bank are offering as the exchange rate for the purchases! I used my credit card and debit and the rate was next to nothing for using my card!
So, that’s it for my tips and tricks of exploring Amsterdam! I love the city, and I think it will always be one of my favourite places. For now I won’t be back for a few years, as I want to explore so many other places! I’d highly recommend you visit the city if you’ve not been yet, or even re-visit the city like I did and fall in love all over again!