Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Wanderlust: Left My Heart In Amsterdam

So this post has actually been on my lists of wanderlust posts since the blog started 2 years and 8 months ago, just haven't got round to it till now!

It was actually back in 2012 when me and Rich went to Amsterdam, we finally were able to afford to go on our first ever trip abroad so knowing Rich is very much in to his dance and trance stuff it made sence to go to Amsterdam on our first trip away. Its somewhere that we do hope to again return to in the not too distant future, we have our hearts set on going to Kings day one year!

We went in the autumn as I simply wanted to see the canals looking lovely with some pretty golden brown trees. As everyone who has ever been to Amsterdam knows, its a very instagrammable place and in Autumnal lighting for photo taking is even better - would absolutely recommend going at the same time we went which was early October.

We stayed for 5 days in total though travelled by Eurostar (about 4-5 hours from Ashford station in the UK) which obviously shaved alot of time off on the first day but we were just in awe of being out of the county we quite enjoyed it as we stopped in Paris and Brussels with time to take a peek at these cities too before arriving!

Where we stayed

Similar to our Paris holiday a couple of years after this trip, we went for a self catering option as I wanted to feel like a real Amsterdamer (if thats a word!) and so we hired a houseboat from the hilarious Eric who was a brilliant and helpful host.

I'm not sure if he is still hiring it out as he was doing alot of travelling round the world last I heard so keep your eyes on site such as Air Bnb for gems like this - I'd totally recommend going self catering and hiring a boat, you don't actually need to drive the boat if your staying on one as they stay moored to the side of the canal.

Things to do

I know most people go to Amsterdam go mainly for coffee shops but if your're not a fan of the green stuff there is still plenty to see and do! 

Nieuw Markt

Nieuw Markt is probably the first place you will stumble across if you are wondering around aimlessly like we usually do! If you check out a map of Amsterdam you will see that the city is kinda shape like a half spiders web so as long as you bear in mind that this is the centre of it you can't really get too lost! 

Nieuw Markt is not far from the city's main train station either if you also arrive via Eurostar you can easily end up here, Its the main square of the city from which you can catch Trams, visit shops and people watch as well as check out all the souvenir and clog shops - gotta be done! 

Madame Tussards

Madame Tussards is nearby the square as well and well worth a visit! we were lucky to get the place to ourselves (so so rare to get this in a Madame Tussards!) and there were obviously famous dutch wax works in there of Van Gogh as well as the usual sort of stuff like Lady Gaga and Michael Jackson that you get at the other Tussards. 

Visit one (or many!) of the museums

On all our trips we usually make an effort to go to a musuem of sorts, for this trip we went to 2!

We went to the Van Gogh museum (where I bought a beautiful bag which is still one of my faves!) 
and on another day we went to the Anne Frank House, For Anne Frank I'd definitely recommend buying your tickets online in advance as I read this tip before we went and it saved us alot of queing time as the que was going down the street to get in there. 

It's such a sad place to visit and will definitely leave you feeling all kinds of emotions afterwards so I would not leave this as your final trip destination and choose to do something after to lift your spirits! 

I've got no pictures of the inside if either museums unfortunately as taking photos in both these places is strictly forbidden. But then that gives you even more of an excuse to head over and go and see the must see features of Amsterdam yourself :) 


On the rainyest day of our trip we headed to the south of the city and had some yummy chips in mayo (delish!) and then once the rain had stopped, headed to VondelPark - the city's largest green area -  for a stroll and to get away from the city for abit. 

Just wondering the streets and canals.. 

As I said earlier, we felt that Amsterdam was pretty easy to navigate round! One of our fave things to do was to just head round the streets and explore on foot and just look at the lovely canals!


Another out of city-ish place is Amsterdam Zoo or Artis as its known. Its without a doubt one of my favourite zoos I've ever been to as it also contains an aquarium and a planetarium! Although its in the heart of the city its another good place to go for the day if you are fed up of wondering the streets! 

There was a good selection of animals to see as well including a cute pride of Lions which had its own Lion Kind thing going on with its own Simba and Mufasa! soo cutee! 

The Red Light District

Me and Rich felt pretty uneasy visiting the red light district, but felt that we should to experience it. Its not as dark n seedy as you think it may be so we felt pretty safe. But felt awful for the girls in the shop windows awaiting for a customer late at night. I just feel in this day and age a woman shouldn't have to be selling themselves to make money and it shouldn't be encouraged.  I can't possibly imagine how they do this as a job, I know I certainty couldn't,  

Unless there were any we missed we didn't see any male prostitutes so I assume its an all female thing but still sad none the less.  

The sex shops are a good giggle though we will hopefully go to the Sex Museum on our next visit there! 


Lastly, we went on a canal boat tour just after sunset. I'm a huge fan as you know of tours as you will get someone who knows the place you are who can teach you so much about the city and interesting facts you did not know!

For example the tour guide on our boat trip told us that to move homes, amsterdamers tend to move  home by boat and winch there possessions in to their new home using the hooks near the roofs of the narrow houses! They can't move items up the stairs as you will see in these photos the houses and stairs are very narrow!

I can't remember the tour place we booked this through unfortunately but there are many tours offered in the tourist points in the city!

Have you ever visited Amsterdam or planning to? Let me know in the comments what your thoughts were or let me know if there is somewhere in the Dam that's a good place to visit for my return trip! :)

Love, Sarah x


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