• Sunday, 30 April 2017

    Amsterdam Travel Guide One: Where To Go and What To Do

    So, as you know I came back from a trip to Amsterdam a couple of weeks ago and I have a good few posts coming up to do with it. But I thought I'd kick off my first one with a mini travel guide of all the things we did that weren't museums - separate posts on that to come!

    Floating Flower Market
    So just in case you weren't aware, Amsterdam is pretty famous for it's tulips. I know, who knew right? The floating flower-market along the Singal canal is a must-see for tourists as it's the best place to pick up souvenirs and presents for friends and family. We brought back some tulip bulbs in cans for our parents and some of the wooden tulips for ourselves. They range from the large and realistic to the small and minimalist, much more our taste.  It's an excellent place for colourful instagram snaps too. Get the 1, 2 or 5 tram to Koningsplein and wander along.

    Canal Cruises

    Is it me or is not a proper holiday until you've had some form of boat trip? It's always a good way to see a city, but as Amsterdam that is literally nothing but canals it's almost impossible not to do it. We got a free trip with our I Amsterdam card and got on near Central Station where there's a few to choose from. We then spent an hour listening to a, slightly cheesy, guided tour on our headphones. It was an excellent way to see different neighbourhoods and pick up those random facts about the city that will stick in your head for ages, if you're anything like me. I'd advise doing this early on in your trip, because we did it on our second to last day and discovered a ton of other places we wanted to go to. It also helped us get our bearings around the city a little bit.

    Waterloopien Flea Market
    My word, this was one of my favourite things of our trips. But, you might know about my passion for flea markets and all things second-hand i.e cheap. Waterlooplein flea market is the oldest market in Amsterdam and full of all things weird and wonderful. I bought myself an excellent floral jacket for five euros and spent a lot of time rummaging through piles of one euro treasures. If we hadn't been travelling with hand-luggage only, I'd have come home with a whole new wardrobe. There are lot of vintage shops nearby as well and the whole feel is a bit Camden-esque. It's a fifteen minute walk from Dam square or you can get the tram to Stadhuis.

    The Amsterdam Duck Store
    You might not know about my rubber duck collection that started in high school. Probably because I don't tend to talk about it much and my niece has kidnapped most of them, so I only have about two in my current house. But anyway! I like quirky rubber ducks is where I was going with this, so the Amsterdam Rubber Duck Store was a pleasant find. Located in Jordaan, it's on the way to the Anne Frank House from the tram stop. They don't take cash, so it's card only (a weirdly common thing in shops in Amsterdam, I think it's a security thing). And yes, I brought one home. It was a toss up between Shakespeare and Rosie the Riveter, but little Rosie came back and now sits on our toilet celebrating women everywhere. If anyone wants to buy me the Shakespeare one next time they're there, then that'd be great.

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