This blog post is majorly overdue but it’s here!
Starting 2019 as we mean to go on!
At the beginning of January we headed to Amsterdam for 4 days and were actual tourists for once. Usually when we do city breaks we don’t really do a lot because, honestly, were lazy. I’m going to share some of the highlights from our trip and recommendations for you guys to check out if you ever visit!
On the first morning that we woke up in the city we headed out for brunch at Bakers and Roasters. We initially thought it was a “hole in the wall” but after further research we realised it was part of branch! Regardless, BEST FRENCH TOAST EVER! The place is very popular so expect to wait, we never waited more than 10 minutes to be seated. I ordered the banana nut french toast from the menu and it was amazing! They sell a lot of eggs and also milkshakes but the french toast was my favourite. We loved this place so much that we went back on our last morning and I ordered the same thing! Definitely give this place a visit, the atmosphere is so laid back and feels like your small local cafe that you’d head to on a Sunday morning while living in the city!
The hostel we were staying at had bikes you could hire for 12 euros a day. It was really useful for us to have access to them at the hostel as it meant we didn’t need to drop them off anywhere before coming back in the evening. We only rented them from a day and I almost died multiple times. Cycling on the side wrong side of the road is actually a very complicated process. However, cycling is definitely the best way to get around in Amsterdam! It gives you so much freedom and you really get to experience it like you live there. One of my favourite moments was waking up on the first morning and cycling to brunch, it’s so simple but I felt at home!
As you probably know, Amsterdam is built on a swamp with canals running through the streets. Over the time we went an event called the Amsterdam light show was taking place and I was very motivated to see it. It’s a series of light art instalments placed around the city! Instead of cycling or walking around we decided to take a night boat tour. I began googling different companies and one popped out at me: Those Damn Boat Guys. The only reason I headed to their website was because of their name and once I was there I was not disappointed. They had so many little jokes on their webpage and came across so laid back. You were able to bring your own food and drink to have on the trip and you were allowed to smoke. The tours are usually only about 10 people so we booked tickets for only 25 euros each and headed to the meeting place the next day. The meeting place is a small cafe not far from the Anne Frank House. Its a really nice place with a relaxed atmosphere and friendly staff. We sat and drank hot chocolate before the tour. There ended up only being four of us on the tour which was really nice. We went this couple from Chicago. The driver was so laid back and engaging and took us on a detour of the red light district. He shared so much knowledge with us about the city it was so interesting but also really informal which just makes you feel at ease. As for the light instalments, they were amazing. My favourite ones were the ones that hung over the canals such as the hanging lanterns. Angel was a bit dubious about the tour and wasn’t sure how good it would be but ended up really enjoying it. So, if you’re going on a boat tour please check out Those Damn Boat Guys!
When in Amsterdam!!
We visited a few coffee shops while in the city and noticed that the type of atmosphere inside counts. One of the most famous coffee shops is the Bulldog with multiple shops in the city and even a hotel. Honestly, its loud and packed and not a nice environment to be in. It doesn’t make you want to spend time in there. However, we did visit a few that were, well, how they should feel: down to earth, relaxed and chilled. Our first favourite was Bas Jo a small coffee shop off one of the canals not far from the red light district. The first time visited we sat outside as it was too busy inside and a homeless man came up to us and started telling us jokes for money. The staff in the shop were really friendly and chatty and that immediately makes you feel at home.When we sat in it was a lot quieter making it feel more chilled out not intimidating at all.
Our second favourite place we found was called internet cafe. We went in one morning as we were walking past. It goes underground and again was far from the hustle and bustle of the Bull Dog. We went back to this one too and played pool for ages (because were both rubbish). The guys in there were so friendly too, even when I left my water bottle behind!
Our third favourite place was called Rookies. We went here to kill some time just before we headed to the airport for our flight home. Again, the atmosphere here was just right. Not too noisy or busy and just a nice environment to sit in.
It’s hard to really understand why we liked these coffeeshops the best, all I can say is the atmosphere and for me personally atmosphere is a big deal. If I don’t feel comfortable somewhere then it’s not a nice place to be. This can come from the staff or the noise or the temperature or even the other customers. Overall the above three were favourite so I would highly recommend checking them out and let me know what you like or don’t like about them!
I love Amsterdam and could definitely live there! Please let me know your favourite parts of the city below because I will definitely being going back and would love to check them out! If you’d like to see a few of the light art installations and other parts of our trip check out the video below!!
Peace out guys x