Travel

10 Things To Do During Your First Visit To Amsterdam

Amsterdam, you were absolutely incredible.

Seeing as the Mr is turning 30 on 5th November, I decided that whisking him away was the best present that I could possibly get him. We booked a trip to Amsterdam for a handful of days in late October and had such a wonderful time!

We decided not to make any solid plans, to just go with the flow, to see where the wind took us and do what we wanted to do. We spent all of our evenings eating delicious food, wandering around the Red Light District and watching football.

There are probably so many things that I’ve missed off this list, but these are the things we did and the ones that I’d recommend to others visiting the city of tulips.

Oh and I’ve tried to include as much information as I possibly can – websites, location, opening times, prices and of course, my honest opinion!

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Walk Along The Canals

Amsterdam has 165 canals and believe me when I say, you can’t miss them.

On our first full day, we had no plans. I was determined not to have an itinerary during our short time there as we just wanted to wander around the city and take in the sights.

Honestly, this is probably the best way to see the city – wander around, walk along the canals and almost get run over by the many cyclists.

Location: City Centre
Opening Times: All Day
Price: Free

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Nosy Down The Side Streets

Along with the canals and many bridges, Amsterdam has a lot of side streets – some of which aren’t all that impressive but then there are the ones which will really surprise you.

The side streets are probably the hidden element of the city as they’ll lead you to beautiful houses, bikes parked up amongst the greenery, the delicious smell of a superb bakery and to more canals.

Location: City Centre
Opening Times: All Day
Price: Free

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Buy A Bar Of Tony’s Chocolonely

This chocolate is outstanding. Imagine the thick chocolate of a Yorkie, but in a entire bar! It was a sweet treat that was rather high on my list and after two fails within supermarkets, we found a lot of the bars in a sweetie shop.

Top tip: you will need Google to translate a few of the flavours.

The red bar is plain and quite possibly my favourite. During our trip, we tried the dark chocolate, the caramel as well as the shortbread – we definitely had our favourites and great news, they kindly informed me on Instagram DM that they are coming to the UK.

Location: Supermarkets / Sweet Shops
Opening Times: Dependent on shop
Price: 3 Euros

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Visit The Blomenmarkt

This is quite possibly the most Instagram worthy flower market you will ever stumble across. At first, we though the market was a single shop (we did spot one in the city) but in actual fact, they are floating along the water and there is so much choice.

Granted, once you’ve seen one shop of tulips, you’ve kinda seen them all but each individual market stall offers something unique.

Location: Singel, 1012 XN Amsterdam
Opening Times: 9am-5:30pm
Price: Free (unless you buy some flowers)

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Enjoy A Kiwi Breakfast At Bakers & Roasters

There were a handful of food spots on my list that I knew I really wanted to try and Bakers & Roasters came very highly recommended from a lot of you.

Firstly, I’d like to go back to New Zealand please. Secondly, the staff are absolutely incredible. Oh and thirdly, those were the best poached eggs I’ve ever had.

The café was about a twenty minute walk from our hotel and we managed to get there just in time as it is quite a popular spot which gets busy rather quickly. We enjoyed quite the breakfast while we were there – the Mr opted for the Kiwi Breakfast (16 Euros) and I opted for the Kinda Class Eggs Benny (11.50 Euros). Both were extremely delicious and so, I highly recommend if you’re visiting Amsterdam.

Location: Eerste Jacob van Campenstraat 54, 1072 BH Amsterdam
Opening Times: 9:30am-4pm
Price: Around 30 Euros (with drinks)

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Feel Cultured At The Rijkmuseum

Granted, I only wanted to see the library at the museum and we spent around an hour here due to it being overly busy and loud from all the wild school kids, but if you’re into art and fancy feeling cultured, then The Rijkmuseum is well worth a visit.

Our hotel was quite literally round the corner from here!

Location: Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam
Opening Times: 9am-5pm
Price: 17.50 Euros (purchase online)

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Play “Dodge The Other Tourists” At The iAmsterdam Sign

Top tip: If you want a photo with hardly any other tourists, go first thing in the morning! We were on our way to breakfast when we quickly spotted that nobody was around (aside from those two who refused to move even though I asked them three times!).

Location: Outside the Rijkmuseum
Opening Times: All Day
Price: Free

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Treat Yourself To A van Wonderen Stroopwafel

Believe me when I say: Holiday calories certainly do not count.

When I asked on Instagram for food recommendations, a lot of you said van Wonderen Stroopwafel (spelt that correctly, don’t worry!) and once I’d had a nosy of what they looked like, I knew it would be a real treat.

I opted for the medium size with marshmallows and I was very surprised by a) how busy the shop was and b) that they were warm! The location is very central and it’s a two minute walk from the shop to the nearest canal in order to get that all important Instagram shot. But be aware of the massive seagulls floating around!

Location: Kalverstraat 190, 1012 XH Amsterdam
Opening Times: 10am-10pm
Price: 5 Euros (for a medium)

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Hop On A Canal Cruise

Walking around the city is great, but hopping on a boat to see the city from a different perspective is something in which the Mr and I really do enjoy doing.

We didn’t really plan our second day in Amsterdam but we knew that a boat tour was on our potential to-do list. We went with City Canal Cruise, but you can get a tour from a lot of different spots within the canals – ours lasted 75 minutes and was well worth the pennies.

Location: Dotted around the city, but ours was Stadhouderskade (opposite MOMO)
Opening Times: 9am-5pm (cruises run every hour an hour)
Price: 13 Euros per person

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Have An Instagram Worthy Breakfast At Corner Bakery

This place is CUTE! We only visited two Instagram food spots while we were in Amsterdam (not my fault!) but on our final morning, I dug my heels in and we enjoyed a very quiet breakfast at Corner Bakery.

It is all very well being a picturesque café, but I found it very odd that they didn’t serve black tea and this girl was in desperate need of a good brew. In reality, the mint tea was also a bit odd as the tea bag was weak, barely brewed and they served it in a glass – oh hello almost burnt hands, how are you?

The food, however was great if not slightly overpriced. We both opted for the Corner Bakery Breakfast which consists of fresh juice, croissant with jam, boiled egg with toast as well as a small bowl of fresh fruit. It was a delicious breakfast – the toast was incredible, the fruit was what my body needed and the juice woke me up.

Location: Johannes Vermeerstraat 40, 1071 DS Amsterdam
Opening Times: 8am-5pm
Price: 38 Euros (for two breakfasts, a mint tea and a hot chocolate)

EL xx
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