Amsterdam was one of those cities that I always wanted to go to and it didn’t disappoint ! It is a beautiful city , especially in Autumn when we went . The streets were lined with trees of autumn leaves – orange , yellow and brown . The roads were criss crossed with canals at every turn. There are about 1500 bridges in Amsterdam!
Yellow bike tour
Seeing all the bicycles parked up on every bridge and street corner, it seemed only right to take a cycle tour across the city. Now I hadn’t been on a bike in about 12 years so I was a bit weary at first! But the staff at the yellow bike tours made sure we were set and ready to go safely. There were about 8 in total in our group and we have a tour guide who told us about all the history of Amsterdam along the way. This was a fantastic way to see the whole city, we saw so much more than you would touring yourself! A cycle tour is definately a must do in Amsterdam .
Visiting the Anne Frank house was such an emotional experience. I didn’t think it would be, but being in the exact house where Anne and her family hid for so long really stuck me. The Secret Annex is unfurnished, a conscious decision made by Otto Frank. His decision was out of respect and to remind visitors that those who hid here did not return after the war . There are some items in the museum – the original bookcase that led to the Secret Annex, markings of the children’s growth on the walls and photos that Anne used to decorate her bedroom walls. Visitors pass through the house in silence , which adds to the emotions felt during the tour. I would recommend pre-booking tickets as there is a constant queue every day for the Anne Frank house. We queued for 2 and a half hours to get in! It was worth the wait, but the queue can be avoided !
The Red Light District
The red light district is everything you have heard it to be! It is very surreal to actually see the area. We walked around the red light district during the day, as did most people who were just curious like we were! We also visited the Prostitution Museum which I would recommend going to. It have a history of prostitution in Amsterdam and how girls came to be involved in this line of work. It was sad to hear how some girls ended up in Amsterdam in this work – a lot very young and trying to pay their way through college. It is more regulated now and there are not as many windows licensed for use in the red light district , and there is more done now to help try and protect the girls. Well worth a visit .
I loved the I Amsterdam sign! Basically it is just giant letters spelling out I Amsterdam. There were a few around the city including just outside the Van Gogh Museum. Always crowds of people and lots of photos being taken. It was a lot of fun and is a perfect photo opportunity .
Stroopwafel – delicious sweet treat from the bakery! Two thin waffles with a syrup filling ! Yum
Chips from Manneken Pis. This is a fast food outlet that you will see everywhere in the city , and you will definitely see people walking around with cones of chips! They have mayonnaise and lots of other sauces to choose from!
Macaroons – again you will see macaroons on sale at almost every corner. All so colourful they will most certainly grab your attention.
The nightlife was great, very relaxed! We found that we didn’t need to dress up in heels or dressy outfits at all, everyone was more casual . We often found that after being out sightseeing all day we would go to a nice bar for a drink and stay out for the night in what we were already wearing! It was nice to sit outside aswell, they had heaters and candles at the tables and also little blankets to keep cosy! We usually went to the Leidseplein square which was a busy area of restaurants and bars. All the trams went through this area too so was very handy.
I could write so much more on Amsterdam! So much to see and experience , a beautiful city!