Last thursday I took off for my first city trip of 3. As my parents never wanted to go to the Netherlands, I didn’t get the chance to visit Amsterdam earlier. I’m a real lover of short trips. I love to get to know a city but I hate carrying big luggage. Also Europe has such a rich diversity in cultures and architecture and vibes that it is just perfect to explore everything one by one.
A few weeks ago my aunt called me and asked if I wanted to join her on a short trip to Amsterdam and of course I said yes!
So we packed our small bags and took the next flight to Schiphol airport.
We had a bit of waiting time once we arrived at the airport because my aunts luggage didn’t arrive on time. We decided to take the train to Amsterdam Centraal (the central station in Amsterdam but after we purchased the tickets we noticed that there were problems with that particular train line so we had to change our plans and took a taxi. Although a woman on the ticket counter sold us the tickets she couldn’t tell us that we couldn’t take the train. So my first tipp for you is: always double check information and don’t hesitate to ask somebody!
The tickets (a total of 4 tickets to get us from the airport and back to it at the end of our holiday) had cost us 28 € and the taxi cost about 40€ so it was definetely a lot of money that was spend unnecessarily….
When we arrived at our hotel we were absolutely thrilled!!! We stayed at “The Pulitzer Hotel”which is located in the Prinsengracht (directly at the famous canals!). It’s one of the best hotels and we were lucky to get such a brilliant deal online! (We booked with the german booking website expedia.de).
The Pulitzer’s interior is quite colourful but kept elegant and quite dramatic while the architecture is quite modern with lots of glass and plants.
We asked some employees (who were all very nice!) and found out that the hotel started with 5 houses and now consists of a total of 25 houses! So it’s quite a big hotel!
As breakfast was not included in our reservation we decided to go to a different café everday to get breakfast/brunch. On our first day in Amsterdam we went to PLUK Amsterdam, a lovely café near our hotel.
Just to let you know: In Amsterdam (especially near the canals) every house is quite narrow. Stairs are therefore quite steep. It’s a real adventure and you should really watch your steps!!! But it is almost always worth it! Doesn’t this café look cool?
They also have pretty good breakfast (they also offer lunch but I didn’t get to try this)!
Most of the food they offer is homemade so prepare for serious healthy food porn! My aunt had a slice of their homemade banana bread which was THE BEST. I had a very good granola bowl with fresh fruit. (Their coffee is also very good!) And for those of you who don’t feel like eating: PLUK also has an online shop (Pluk online store) and sells some of their stuff in their café. They have some really cute post cards, notebooks and phone cases!
Our hotel was also located at the “Negen Straatjes” (“Nine streets”) which are a bunch of small and cute streets located at the canals. There you can find lovely little boutiques, cafés and restaurants. The “Nine Streets” are perfect for a relaxed shopping day. If you don’t feel like shopping well-known brands like ZARA, H&M or Urban Outfitters you should definetely give these little boutiques a try! They have lovely interior stuff and also some pretty cool clothes!
If you want to see very public streets I’d recommend to go away from the canals and look around in the city centre of Amsterdam. There you’ll find famous brands like ZARA, UO and many more. After all this shopping we felt a little hungry, so we decided to go somewhere to have a small snack. We ended up eating saté at the “Museumcafé Mokum” which has a lovely courtyard. The food was very good and we loved how they decorated the courtyard! It also provides some relaxing and quiet time as the sounds of the shopping streets don’t reach the atrium!
The next day we decided to walk a lot…
Well, at least we wanted to see a bit of the city and didn’t know how much walking this included. All the small streets are quite confusing at first so it took us a while to get to our desired destination!
Before that we had a very good brunch at the “Ree7” which is a partner of “PLUK” as there were some of their post cards on the walls and it seems quite similar to “PLUK”. They had a very yummy carrot cake and my aunt told me that her goat cheese sandwich was also really good!
The whole walking thing gave us the chance to see all the beautiful “grachten” (canals).
We came across a lot of lovely stores. There a quite a lot that sell unique things like these post cards with arm candy attached to them:
We had a look at the “luxury street” where all the expensive stores are located. But it didn’t really excite us that much. It’s also currently not that easy to enter it as there are some road works being done.
On our third day we wanted to do a boat tour. I highly recommend you do one as well while visiting Amsterdam. It’s so cool to see the city from another perspective. You also get to see some places you wouldn’t have come across otherwise!
We booked a tour with the boat our hotel owned. Their boat is called “The tourist” and it was built in 1909. It’s very comfortable and the captain was very nice and told us a lot of cool details.
It was really cool to see all the house boats that lay in the canals! There even was one that was built in the 1800s!
We also visited the Van Gogh museum that day but it kind of disappointed me because there were a lot of pictures that didn’t even belong to Van Gogh and you only got to know the artist a little bit as there were very few infos given about his entire life. But some of his pieces are truly amazing and you wouldn’t even know that he painted them! Unfortunatley you aren’t allowed to take photos in there…
Before I continue with our dinner choices I have another tipp for you: If you are like me and NOT interested in smoking weed or coming in touch with it try and stay away from hideous coffee shops. Smoking weed is legal in the Netherlands so it’s quite easy to get weed. Especially in some coffee shops. We wandered through Haarlemmerstraat and I got a bit sick because of the intense smell. So if you don’t like weed try and figure out were not to go!
I don’t have pictures from the restaurants we had dinner in because I was so excited for the food. Especially indonesian food is very popular in the Netherlands as Indonesia was a dutch colony in the past. So if you want to experience splendit asian food go to Amsterdam and enjoy the gorgeous food! We went to following restaurant:
– Mashua (which is a peruvian restaurant): This one was quite good but it wasn’t very exciting. They have good food but no real cocktails. All in all it was yummy but I wouldn’t go there again because it was “out of this world” or something. But it’s not very pricey and the food is yummy so if you want to sit beside the canals and have some good food it is definetely a good choice!
– Blauw (which is an indonesian restaurant): This one was really good! They had excellent “rijsttafel” (which is a collection of small indonesian dishes which are brought to your table all at once. It’s really yummy!)
– Izakaya (Japanese fusion): Ok. Let me tell you one thing: If you are into good food and are happy to experiment with flavours AND are willing to pay quite a bit for it you MUST get a table at the Izakaya. It’s a very hip restaurant with a HUGE bar and a DJ. The food was out of this world and they have excellent cocktails! I would go there every evening if it wasn’t that expensive. It’s not like one dish costs hundreds of euros but you definetely have to pay for the quality of the food! But it’s SO worth it! I had a cocktail with lychee syrup in it and I could have had 5 of them because it was so good! This was definetely the best restaurant we’ve been to in Amsterdam!
– Blue Pepper (indonesian restaurant): We were told that the Blue Pepper had the best “rijsttafel” in town so we had to give it a shot. But we were quite disappointed. The food was not bad but it wasn’t extremely good. We weren’t really excited by the combinations and the dessert was okay but that was it. It was also quite pricey. But they had a very good ginger martini!
All in all I can just tell you to pack your bags now and go to Amsterdam. Make sure to grab some cheese! That’s what the Netherlands are very famous for! Enjoy the good weather and the atmosphere!
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