TRAVEL: 30 Hours in Amsterdam

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I’ve been fortunate this summer to be able to travel to a number of different destinations, with my most recent trip to Amsterdam being a birthday treat for my sister’s 18th.  After years of wanting to visit the city, months of my mum planning and just an hour long flight from Manchester airport, we, my mum, dad, sister and I, finally got to visit Amsterdam for a quick 30 hour escape. From beautiful architecture, to a culture that is renowned for its laid back attitude and friendly residents, Amsterdam was a perfect place to visit to both relax and celebrate a milestone birthday. With a restricted timescale for our trip - we flew out on Sunday afternoon and returned home on Monday evening - we had carefully scheduled our time to maximise our sightseeing.
Our hotel, the American Hotel, was a graceful art-deco hotel located in the centre of Leidsepleinthe which was a 35 minute walk or a 15 minute tram ride back to Amsterdam Central station. After checking into our hotel, we made our way back near to the train station to board our pizza cruise. On our canal tour, we each had a delicious pizza and drinks while touring the canals of Amsterdam.  During the 90 minute cruise we were given guidance on the local history and culture, whilst passing many renowned sites, such as Anne Frank Huis. To top it off, the canal cruise ended with Ben & Jerry’s ice cream - winner.  Following our civilised pizza cruise, we opted to take a walk through Amsterdam's renowned Red Light District, or The Rossebuurt as the locals know it. It truly is an area that leaves nothing to the imagination - but is not one to be missed.  

The main focus of our trip was to visit the Anne Frank Huis, so on the Monday morning we took a brisk walk along the canal from our hotel before joining the tour.  I'd highly recommend booking tour tickets in advance as the queues are always huge for the museum, but the tour was 100% worth it. It was surreal to think of the struggles faced by the families in hiding and the interactive guide throughout the annex brought each room and its past to life. 

Once we had finished the tour of the annex, we grabbed a bite to eat at a cute lunchtime restaurant called Bagels & Beans, which as the name suggests serves healthy bagels that were also delicious. We then took a quick walk around Vondelpark  before heading to the IAmsterdam sign and touring the Rijkmuseum, where I was educated on Van Gogh, Rembrandt and other artists in between. Having some spare time in between the Rijkmuseum and our evening burger at Cannibal Royale, we decided to squeeze in one final museum trip, the torture museum. Admittedly this wasn't the best museum we'd visited, but it was insightful to learn about the torture methods and equipment used in medieval times.

Our trip concluded with a short return train from Amsterdam Centraal train station back to Schipol Airport before boarding our 9.50pm flight. It was a hectic 30 hours in Amsterdam but I wouldn't have done it any other way, though hopefully I can return again someday!


Have you been to Amsterdam?

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