I am so glad I have finally found a few hours since returning from holiday to write this over due post on my recent trip to Amsterdam! I went for a little jolly last Wednesday to Saturday and it was a well needed break.. after the whole 3 weeks back at work since Christmas! I definitely had a whole whirlwind whistlestop tour and I definitely felt like even though it was supposed to be a relaxing time away, most of it was spent completely on the go. I went with my boyfriend for his birthday and stayed in the most beautiful hotel which I will definitely write a separate review on in a later post. I had such an amazing time and could not recommend Amsterdam enough for a short getaway so I decided to write a short list of the things i enjoyed the most out of all the things I crammed in and what I'd definitely recommend.
1. Anne Frank House
This is a definite must for me. I read the diary of Anne Frank when I was 13 and have been itching to visit where her and her family hid during WW2 and it definitely didn't disappoint. It was amazing to just soak up all the history within that building and even see copies of the original diary. One thing I would recommend is to buy tickets online before visiting. If you don't buy tickets, you'll find yourself hanging out in the HUGE queue in the cold and rain for the afternoon waiting to get in.
2. The canal boat tour
What better way to see a city centre mostly built on water then to take a canal boat tour? I had no idea before visiting Amsterdam that its mostly built on water and you can get around via canal boat. It was such an easy, cheap and fuss free way to get a feel for the whole city from the comfort of your seat. As a bonus, theres the option to listen to the history of Amsterdam on the way round.
3. Body Worlds
If you're a bit weird like me and you love science and the human body, this may be the attraction for you. Its basically a museum full of real bodies of people who have donated their bodies to science after their death. The exhibition goes into tonnes of detail on how the body works and demonstrates everything via the weird contortions they have made the bodies into. It sounds very gruesome, but if you like that kinda thing then you'll love this.
4. Get lost in Jordaan
Jordaan is a beautiful part of Amsterdam and in my opinion, holds the first place price for architecture in Amsterdam. On my first day I spent 3 hours looking for a place which was 12mins away on Google maps and we just couldn't get to it. This is because there are countless canals, bridges and houses which all look fabulous, but can all merge into a sort of maze which I absolutely loved. Within Jordaan are cute boutiques and cafes which I wish I had more time to explore.
5. Go for a bike ride in the Vondelpark
This activity is probably something i haven't seen anyone write about before and I have absolutely no idea why. Every local in Amsterdam will tell you to rent a bike, but believe me, if you value your life, you will definitely not ride a bike in the centre of Amsterdam. I could barely stay alive as a pedestrian! However, still not wanting to miss out on a bike ride in Amsterdam, we rented some and went for a ride in the Vondelpark, which is probably the most grand and beautiful park I have ever visited. It even has an open air theatre! The houses surrounding the park are stunning and the park is so well looked after and is full of people enjoying time with friends and family. I would also definitely take your phone for maps as this park is HUGE.
I hope some of these gave you ideas if you are currently planning a city break in Amsterdam! Of course there were so many things I missed off such as: Red light district, Dam square, Rijksmuseum etc. but I thought these top 5 were a bit less obvious and were also things to do additional from the usual touristy activities. Please let me know if you've been and you did anything else amazing that I missed so I can add it to my list for when i revisit!