As many of you will know by now, I recently went away to Amsterdam! So apologises for the extremely photo-heavy post but I haven't been away in what feels like forever. I've never been one for laying on a beach, burning and doing nothing as that honestly seems so well, boring to me. I would much prefer to get out and explore so a city break is perfect.
My boyfriend and I have been wanting to go away again for ages and I've always wanted to visit Amsterdam as I think it's a beautiful place with so much history and culture. I had actually suggested it to some of my family earlier in the year so there was four of us that went away, it's really nice to travel as a group.
We had this trip booked since around September so it's been a long time coming and we'd all been discussing places we'd like to go and see. The main activities we had planned were visiting the Anne Frank House, the Red Light District and also the Heineken Museum.
We stayed in the Westcord Fashion Hotel, which is a tram ride from the city centre and then about a ten minute walk. It was nice that the hotel was slightly further out as it was definitely more quiet however doing that walk every time we wanted to get anywhere was a bit annoying at times..
The hotel itself was lovely, the rooms were a good size and we had a king sized bed! It was so big that I couldn't even tell that my boyfriend was in it half the time... The hotel staff could have been a tiny bit more friendly and there was a hidden deposit that we knew nothing about. If I was going to Amsterdam again (and I definitely would) I'd like to stay slightly more central. However, getting around was so easy. We were able to purchase tram tickets from our hotel, you can buy these for a certain amount of time so we chose 48 hours. You literally just have to scan your ticket every time you hop on and off a tram! This was the easiest and quickest way of travelling between places, we kept saying how we need trams where we live as they're so convenient.
Some people might assume that Amsterdam has got a seedy reputation however you can avoid anything you don't have an interest in really easily. The city itself is just so beautiful and if you're careful and you don't go around some areas then you're fine.
The only thing you cannot really totally avoid too much is the smell of a certain substance. We were expecting it to be everywhere which it actually isn't, smoking it in public isn't allowed (although some people still do, tut tut) so it's mostly contained to coffee shops.
I was told that you had to look for signs that say "café" instead of "coffee shop" however I think it's quite easy to tell whether a certain place is appropriate or not.
The Anne Frank House is exactly how everyone describes it, haunting but amazing to see and experience for yourself. As a group, we all kind of felt like we didn't see that much of the house. The diary which is the last thing you see was also under reconstruction as the time we went so there was a copy on display which we were a little disappointed about.
The Heineken museum was something that I didn't know whether I'd enjoy as I really wasn't sure what to expect however this turned out to actually be one of my favourite things that we did the whole trip! We went on the Saturday evening, and a lot of the staff said that this was one of the best times to go as it's got a really good vide. All the staff there were also really friendly.
The Red Light District was quite something to see which I don't think I'd forget. We went there twice, once during the day where it was really quiet, if it wasn't for the girls in the windows you'd think it was just a normal street! We also decided to have a look during the night, to see what it was like and I cannot believe how busy it was, you didn't have space to move let alone see anything. We didn't stay long as it was just a bit too much.
Overall I had an amazing time in Amsterdam. It's such a lovely city with so much history, character and friendly people! It was also so lovely to get away and spend time with people that I love. It was such a short trip that it went so quick and I can see why people come back from trips away and immediately book another! There's already talks of going away to Edinburgh next Autumn, somewhere I haven't been since I was a child.
Do you like to see travel posts on blogs? Let me know if you have any upcoming trips! I've included a little video of our trip, vlogging is something that I've love to get into as I really enjoyed putting this video together! Let me know what you think!