Hello Wanderlusters,

How I have not visited Amsterdam before, I shall never know!

The canals, the bridges, the bicycles, the colours of the tulips, the people, heck even the smell of the wacky tabaccy (cringe) was just sensational.

As it was my first visit, I wanted to jam pack everything in, and see as much as Amsterdam as possible – all in the short space of a weekend.

Likewise, with every Wanderlister Weekends away, to make the most out of your time, I strongly recommend planning your trip beforehand and making a little itinerary to maximise your time spent there.

So to truly immerse yourself in the Amsterdam experience, here is my top Wanderlister to do’s…

Amsterdam Weekend Trip

My Wanderlist:

  • Brunch.
    Start the trip off Right!
    When asking around about what I should get up to during my weekend to Amsterdam, almost everyone simply said… Brunch. Brunch culture is huge over in the dam, and the city is filled with great breakfast outlets. Each neighbourhood has their fair share of brunch spots, but as I was only there for 2 days, I went to two of the best:
  • – Bakers & Roasters:
    It’s easy to see why people literally queue up to get a table here!
    Bakers & Roasters is a quite the famous establishment on the Amsterdam scene, serving up mouthwatering dishes inspired by Kiwi & Brazilian cuisine. They do excellent coffee and fresh juices – and if somehow you magically have space left for dessert, they offer some tasty homemade treats.
  • – Pancakes:
    Pancakes was another great brunch spot. It’s no surprise here really that the main dish they offer here is… well… pancakes! But boy are these some pancakes. With over 30 styles to choose from (including make your own options) you’ll ponder over the menu for quite some time – but it’s certainly worth it!
  • Get lost down the side streets & Canals
    My favourite thing to do in any European city break is to just simply wander around taking in all the sights and soaking up the atmosphere.
    Amsterdam is a city is built on its canals, with over 1,500 bridges connecting all the charming buildings and gabled houses.
    Walking around through the different neighbourhoods, you can see why the Dutch have such a laid-back lifestyle! What I just loved about Amsterdam is that you can literally just walk around all day (weather permitting) and find hidden gems, market stalls, and great little cafes. There’s such a wealth of experiences in the city, with lot’s to do and see whilst wandering around – Amsterdam was one the most Instagramable places I’ve visited, I was so snap-happy the whole trip!
  • Admire Banksy’s Art
    Moco Museum
    As a huge Banksy fan, it was fantastic to see his work exhibited and gain a little more insight into the man behind the art, and the stories behind his infamous pieces.
    The unique Moco Museum and quirky place to spend to spend an hour or two.
    Best to go as early in the day as possible, as it gets pretty crowded in the house!
    For tickets & more information visit here.
  • See Amsterdam from the Sky
    Sky Lounge, DoubleTree By Hilton The Sky Lounge, at Amsterdam’s Hilton Hotel, was a great place to get a bird’s eye view and see the formation of the city  – something you don’t get to quite appreciates from ground level
    The Sky Lounge was a rather trendy place to spend an afternoon, sipping on nice fruity (but pricey) cocktails, with a great DJ playing in the background – very cool vibes.
    In the summer months, the lounge opens up to a roof-top bar – this looks like a must do!
    I recommend going for sundowners to watch the dramatic setting of the sun going down the city.
    No need to book – you can just simply go to the elevator in the lobby up to the top and be seated.
  • Wander around the infamous Red Light District
    No trip to Amsterdam would be complete without visiting the infamous Red Light District!
    To fully get the ‘Amsterdam’ experience, you need to see the Red Light in both the day and night – what a difference it makes when the sun goes down…
    Despite being home to a very naughty side of Amsterdam, it is a great historical area with some of the oldest buildings in the city.
    I did expect the area to be full of stag do’s & boisterous Brits (which a lot still was) but there are also families, locals, couples strolling through enjoying the hustle & bustle.
    To learn more about the provocative history of Amsterdam we visited
    Red Light Secrets‘ Museum – what informative and surreal experience this was. If you are a little curious what goes on behind the windows but don’t want to physically visit then the museum has all the answers!
    An audio guide takes you around the museum, giving you accounts of real women and their experiences as well as taking you through the history of prostitution in the city.
  • Go To Bed For Dinner…
    Supper Club
    One of Amsterdam’s sexiest haunts, book a table to discover the naughty elements of The Supper Club, where dinner promises a night ‘full of spectacle, from exciting food concepts, exhilarating music, provocative performances to artistic visuals’.
    The food was great – although a little strange eating from the beds on a little table, it was a very unique experience.
    Throughout your meal, there are shows going on – all weirdly wonderful and very seductive.
    After your meal has ended, the place transforms into a club, where you can party the night away!
    To book a table visit here. 
  • Go sight-seeing by boat
    The Friendship
    Climb on board to admire the sights and sounds of Amsterdam from the water! As the city is built around the canals, a boat tour is the best way to see the city.
    Being the typical tourist that I am – I absolutely loved this activity… even more so as the cruise comes with a fully stocked bar! The lovely host tells you all the fun facts about the city whilst you can sip on gin and tonics: educations AND fun!
  • Be Mesmerised by Van Gogh’s Artwork
    Van Gogh Museum
    A fantastic tribute to The Netherlands most famous artist. The museum is world-famous, with over 1.9 million people visiting every year, and from spending a few hours there, it’s no wonder!
    The whole experience of journeying through the museum was incredibly insightful, with Van Gogh’s work is displayed beautifully. The brilliant audio guides trace you back through trace Van Gogh’s personal history from the start of his painting career to his tragic ending.Learning the story behind his artwork has really changed my view on the way I look at paintings now. A ture eye-opening experience.
    Queues get quite busy, so make sure you book in advance here.
  • ….And after all that walking, stop for a cute coffee breakAlthough it was mid-February during my visit, the weather was brisk but sunny, which made it so pleasant to sit out, have a cuppa and watch the world go by.
    Our days were filled with non-stop walking, which meant there was a need for a few wee breaks!
    One of my favourite things to was to sit in the sun, by the canals, admiring people going past on their bicycles, and the boats sailing under the bridges, all with the prettiest backdrops.

Getting There:

Like most wonderful European cities, Amsterdam is very accessible to all!

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is international – and is absolutely huge (just keep this in mind when flying back home as the gates are a good 10 min walk away – at least!)

The Eurostar has also now introduced a new route from London – Amsterdam, with prices starting from about €35 one way.

Failing air or rail, you can also get to Amsterdam by sea! For more information on ferries, see here.

The Wanderlister Way:

  • Book Anne Franks House WELL in advance
    I was so bitterly disappointed to find this out upon arrival to Amsterdam – now on trips, as they are always quite last minute, I try to be as organised as possible and do a full itinerary, however, I just missed the boat on this one!
    With its revelation work currently going on, you can’t simply turn up and queue like you used to – booking well in advance is the only way to get in (you even have to wait in a queue to access the website! So be prepared and get organised.
    Visit here for tickets and more information.
  • Bakers & Roasters 2.0
    Although I said above, how one must brunch at Bakers & Roaster, you probably will find yourself queuing outside waiting for a table for some time as it’s very popular! Upon approaching the cafe and seeing the queue in the distance, our Uber drive gave us Amsterdam’s best-kept secret – a SECOND B&R location! Highly recommend for anyone to go there instead as it’s super quiet!
    Eerste Jacob van Campenstraat 54, Amsterdam
    Kadijksplein 16, Amsterdam
  • Take the tram
    Amsterdam has a fantastic public transport system. Check out IAmsterdam City cards or OVChipcard to maximise your travel experience.
  • Coffeeshop v Coffee Shop
    Coffeeshop (with no space) is a place that will serve you weed.
    A Coffee shop is a coffee shop.
    Know the difference to avoid the embarrassment of ordering marijuana in a normal cafe!
  • Don’t take pictures of the windows in the Red Light District
    Remember that these women are human too and you should respect their privacy and protect their security.

Verdict:

If you are looking for a short weekend escape to a city which has the perfect mix of naughty entertainment and fine culture – then Amsterdam is the place for you, my friend!

Dag for now…

Georgie
xx

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