11 September 2017

Amsterdam: My Top Things to Do

Amsterdam is one of those cities you feel like you have to visit, at least once in your life. And after seeing picture upon picturesque shot on Instagram I was super excited to go and explore. We went this past weekend for a long weekend to celebrate our one year wedding anniversary (side note - how did THAT happen) and so I wanted to share with you my top things to do while you're there.

FYI, this post is definitely more suited to those going for a cosy weekend away as opposed to a piss up...

Anyone who knows me will know, I'm a fan of a zoo. And Amsterdam's was about ten minutes walk from our hotel - perfect. Not going to lie, it was raining all day (thanks for my cold Amsterdam), but it was still a great day out. I was actually more impressed than I thought I would be, it was a great zoo with some awesome animals. I would also say I felt like I could be closer to them than some others - whilst still being safe of course. I fell in love with Fennec Foxes, an animal I haven't seen before at a zoo (may have bought a cuddly version home, not going to lie), and there were baby giraffes, monkeys and elephants. They were very into breeding and conservation as well so you know it's a good zoo. There was also an aquarium as well, which wasn't the best, but it was nice to have that included. We had a great day out here, even with the rain, and I'd highly recommend it if you get the chance.

I did a little bit of research before we went about where to eat Brunch, because I have my priorities right of course. And I came across a few reviews for The Breakfast Club, all good and the photos were enough to make me want to drool. So we decided to try it out on the morning of our anniversary. Again, it was only a ten minute walk from where we were so easy to get to, and we got seated quickly. It was a busy, and a little crowded, but we didn't mind too much, and the service was super quick. But let's talk about the food - drool. I went for the New York City breakfast, which included buttermilk pancakes, an assortment of berries and honeycomb butter. Yes, honeycomb butter. It was quite possibly one of my favourite breakfasts of all time. Husband went for the full English, but I have to say there's so much I would have eaten on the menu. There's a real variety, from big brunches, to small granola breakfasts, sandwiches and also loads of vegetarian options as well. I was really impressed, and would have gone back again and again if we were there for longer. If you eat anywhere, go there.

I was adamant that I wanted to see a Windmill when we were there. I just felt like it was a must - the husband wasn't so keen, but when I found one really close to our hotel that had a bar next to it he was quite happy to join me. We didn't go in the windmill, it wasn't open as far as I could tell, but it was actually just super nice and peaceful sat in a bar underneath it, next to the canal. We spent a good couple of hours there with some wine, predicting all the characters endings in GoT and just having really nice quality time together, chilling out. There is a brewery with the windmill, but we sat in the bar next to it, Bar Langendijk, as when we got there the brewery wasn't open. But also, it had a nicer view of the windmill, and they had loads of food options as well if we decided we were no longer full from The Breakfast Club. I have to say, people near us got the burgers and they looked incredible. This was a perfect moment from our weekend for me, the weather was perfect, company perfect, and the setting was beautiful.

This was probably the priciest thing we did while we were there, and we booked in advance. But we decided to go on a dinner cruise for our actually anniversary dinner. We weren't 100% sure what to expect, but we both actually loved it. The atmosphere was great, intimate yet cosy and fun, and the food... We had four courses, all of this were incredible - usually there would be one I was a bit meh about, but nope, all super tasty. And unlimited wine, just saying. It took two hours, and we went around Amsterdam's canals in our boat, eating our incredible dinner. It was a great way to celebrate for us. It cost around 78 euros each as we booked in advance, on the day I believe it's more, but it was well worth it for us. It was something different, that was completely suited to Amsterdam, and helped us celebrate our one year mark perfectly. Definitely take a look if you fancy it.
We obviously did more than just these things, but for me these were things that stand out to me from the weekend, and gave me memories that will last a lifetime. If anyone was to ask me what to do, these would be it. Just a couple of other things I would say as well:
  • Check out the Red Light District, even if you're just curious - like us. We went to the Red Light Secrets Museum, which was actually super interesting, and then wondered around. Go after dark though, otherwise there's nothing to actually see. It's just worth seeing - you're in Amsterdam after all
  • If you're near Oosterpark then head to a little pizza place down one of the side streets called Oost Pizza Pasta. It's this tiny little pizza place, does great good, nothing too pricey and really friendly.
  • Oosterpark is great for people watching, our hotel was here and there were so many characters hanging out there whenever we walked through. I loved it. It was super close to most of the above as well.
  • If you're outside of the centre of town, like we were, take the Tram places - walking was great, but my feet are now ruined and I have a cold for my troubles. Just a little tip... It's about 2 euros for one hour, or 7 euros for 24 hours.
I can't wait to plan or next city break somewhere - I'd love to know where you think I should go next, so send me your suggestions!
Much love, Lisa May xx

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