December City Break – Amsterdam

The one thing you will probably come to find when reading my blogs is that I love to travel. Going around Europe and exploring with my boyfriend is one of my favourite things. On the 2nd of December, we headed to Amsterdam.

It was my first time going to the city and I was excited. After what seemed like the most seamless and short journey (the flight was about 45 minutes), we were there!

The first thing I noticed about the city was how many people spoke English. At first, it was odd to think we were actually out of the UK. We got on a train from the airport to the centre, watching the low buildings go past. It is odd, being from a city with such tall buildings, to not see any at all!

It is a very odd sensation to walk around constantly smelling weed. I mean, come on, I live in East London, of course I get a whiff now and again but yeah, it was odd. We walked along the busy streets and I took it all in a little bemused for a while to get my bearings.

Amsterdam is truly beautiful. I couldn’t get enough of the scenery and the canals. My camera roll was pretty much full of photos with the light reflecting the water. The buildings were so varied and when walking across the city, we saw the most amazing houses.

We stayed in Volkshotel, in Amsterdam Oost, basically the coolest and most reasonably priced place to stay. Oost is a little bit like the Hackney of Amsterdam. It was perfect for us as it meant there were cool places to explore, great bars and restaurants in walkable distance and wasn’t far on the train to the centre. The hotel also had a nightclub on the top floor, a cocktail bar in the basement and a bar in the foyer!

We went to this great bar on the first night called Bar Bukowski. You could tell it was full of locals with a great atmosphere. We then went to a restaurant called Smokin Barrels, home of the 2nd best burger in the world!

On the Saturday we headed out for Brunch. Living in London, brunch is a regular occurrence, so I always jump at the chance for eggs and coffee. We went to a place called The Breakfast Club (not connected to the ones in London). We sat down with omelettes, coffee and juice and planned the rest of our day!

We headed to the Museum district and went to Moco Museum for the Banksy & Warhol exhibitions. Amongst the massive buildings, it was almost like a stately home! It was incredible to see so much work from Bansky in such a small place. There was a mixture of street art as well as art on canvas. The best part of it was the Squad car which was outside and showed a huge variety of work with political context.

We did a lot of walking in Amsterdam. We stopped off at a coffee shop called Screaming Beans, famous for their coffee. I would definitely recommend it for anyone in need of a decent cup of coffee.

Another recommendation I would have for anyone going to Amsterdam is looking up the asian restaurant Happy Happy Joy Joy (there are a few you can go to). Small plates of asian dishes are always a good shout and this was no exception. There were delicious duck dumplings that were some of the best I have ever tasted!

We then headed to the Red Light District. We had briefly walked through it in the day time and I found it a bit much. The whole idea of it and seeing the girls so up close made me feel incredibly uncomfortable. I then felt even more uncomfortable seeing men leer over them and take selfies by the windows. I don’t know, it was just a bit weird! You could also tell that there had been a decline so maybe if you go to Amsterdam in 10 years then the Red Light District might look very different.

Overall, Amsterdam has been one of my favourite city breaks by far. I always measure it on if I would want to live there. With the great food, culture and scenery, it is a definite yes. I can’t wait to go on a new adventure!

Rebecca x

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