Friday, 16 August 2013

I'm Sorry I Grumbled About You Amsterdam. You're Lovely.

I must admit, I didn't like Amsterdam very much at first. I have a tendency to dislike new places for no apparent reason, it is completely irrational & thankfully wears off pretty quickly! The city definitely grew on me... being able to walk everywhere, beautiful canals, interesting museums, good food - how could I have mumbled about not enjoying it for the first day & a half?! 

We rambled about the place & did a few touristy things (The Anne Frank House, Van Gough Museum) as well as spending time drinking in the sunshine along the canal, eating cheese, exploring markets, searching for delicious apple pie (which we definitely found!) missing out on eating pancakes (next time!) and frequenting good beer venues. I hope that we'll get a chance to go back to Amsterdam sometime soon so I can appreciate it without having the awful 'grumpy traveller' phase!

Of course
Much nicer than Regent's Canal!
Apple Pie at Winkel 43. Yum.
Managing to get a table outside next to the canal made our lazy Sunday afternoon totally blissful!

Some of my favourite places we visited in Amsterdam:

Koffie Salon - recommended by a friend & luckily just around the corner from our funny little hotel. Great coffee & a beautiful building - I can't believe I didn't take any photographs of this place! Must have been concentrating too intently on getting my morning coffee fix.

Winkel 43 - we stumbled upon this place late on a Sunday afternoon on the hunt for Apple Pie. I am so glad we did. Not only was the pie delicious (see above) & the setting lovely, we also had drinks accompanied by deep fried cheese sticks (don't judge us). We left feeling rather tipsy and full of goodly delicious Apple Pie. 

Noordermarkt - Strolling through this market in Jordaan was lovely (before the skies opened up & we had to run for cover in a nearby pub, what a shame!). I really enjoyed exploring Jordaan, interesting streets, cute shops, good food/drinks - a nice cruise-y way to spend some time in Amsterdam.

The Anne Frank House - Heavy going but excellently laid out - the museum was definitely worth a visit & the wait in line (we had failed to book online in advance, which I very much recommend doing!). The worst part of the day was being asked (while standing in the line, nay, having stood in the line in front of this person for 20 mins already) 'So, who was Anne Frank?' That was a frustratingly bizarre conversation. 

Van Gough Museum - It panned out that we only had time to visit one other museum on our trip & this was it. It was really well put together (as you would expect for a museum dedicated to one artist) and is worth a look even if you're not the biggest fan of his work. My advice to you is (as always) Go early! Obviously booking online ahead of time (for the more organised of you) is the best way to go but getting there early meant we managed to avoid the queue, which was massive when we left, and enjoy the museum without too many people about. 

There's a lot of Amsterdam left to explore & we are hoping to be back there in a month or so to do just that! If anyone has any favourite places let us know & we will put them on the to do list!