Four Days In Amsterdam

As I sit at my laptop, I reminisce about all of the little things that I miss. A noticeable lack of cars on the road, the tinkle of bicycle bells and the tall, slender buildings that guard the city skyline. Amsterdam is indeed a city I never planned to fall in love with but I certainly did. 

 The Dutch capital has so much more to offer than just it’s smoke filled cafes and seedy night life. Four days was not enough for me to discover all Amsterdam had to offer but I will share with you the little parts that I uncovered.

Where We Stayed
Urban Lodge Hotel was a short walk away from the train station and one train stop away from central Amsterdam. Overall, our stay was relaxing and we had a spacious double room complete with an en-suite bathroom which. The space was modern and light, making it inviting to return to after a long day of walking around the city. The only downside was the television had no English channels but did however have the YouTube app so I managed to keep up to date on my subscription box!

Places To Eat
Every street corner I came to in Amsterdam seemed to be adorned with yet another dessert shop! Selling waffles, pancakes and cakes, there is a lot of temptation. On our final morning, we opted for the famous Pancakes Amsterdam to enjoy our final breakfast. A stack of American pancakes with banana inside, served with ice cream and chocolate sauce was a great choice although I only managed to finish one of the three in the stack. You do have to pay on card here as cash isn’t accepted but it is totally worth it. 
Other Places To Eat: The Grasshopper does great cooked breakfasts and I had a top veggie burger from there.

The Anne Frank House
This was an absolutely harrowing, awakening encounter but one I feel people should experience as it allows you an in depth insight into a significant period in history told through the eyes of Anne. For around £10 pp we pre-booked online and were therefore exempt from having to wait in a lengthy queue to get in. If you aren’t familiar with her story, Anne was a young Jewish girl who moved from Frankfurt to Amsterdam along with her family to escape the rise of the Nazi movement in Germany. Sadly the Netherlands soon had the same rules imposed upon their nation regarding Jews as they had in Germany. The Frank family went into hiding along with several others to escape the horror of the concentration camps. Throughout her time in hiding, Anne kept a diary which gives an insight into how her and those in hiding with her lived during this period. The actual house was Otto Frank’s (Anne’s father) office and warehouse, which contained a second building connected via a walkway otherwise known as the Secret Annexe. 
I did shed tears during my time there, finding it overwhelming to think this was only one girl’s story and how many more people had similar experiences throughout this time? I took comfort in the fact that Anne wanted so desperately to have a book published after the war had ended and her story went on to become known throughout the world. At the end of the tour, I purchased a copy of the diary and am currently a few pages into it, it’s definitely a book worth reading.

House of Bols
This was something that was booked whilst in Amsterdam from an authorised ticket seller for around 13 euros and was much more fun than I had originally anticipated! Located on the Museumsplein in Amsterdam near to the Van Gogh museum, here you learn all about Bols cocktails and how Bols is made. On entry to the museum, you are given your own audio guide which you scan at each point throughout the museum to hear the facts about Bols. The experience in the sensory chamber and the mirror bar was so interactive and fun, followed by you creating your own Bols cocktail or ordering one from the touch screen menu. 

Amsterdam Ice Bar
Before travelling to Amsterdam, many people advised to go to the ice bar and although it was a fun experience it was definitely overrated. It cost somewhere in the region of 18 euros which included entry to the ice bar, two drinks in an ice glass and finally a drink after leaving the ice bar located in the normal bar. The drink options were few and far between and you had the option of Nutella vodka (which admittedly was a taste sensation!), Vanilla vodka or beer. Before entering the ice bar you have to wear a padded coat on top of your own coat along with a pair of gloves (I chose to wear my own gloves…because germs are a thing). I felt herded into the bar and the whole experience felt rushed, but overall I’m glad I did visit just to have my own opinion of the place.

I cannot wait to return to Amsterdam.

Thanks for reading!  

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