A couple of week's ago I enjoyed a lovely break in Amsterdam with my boyfriend. I had some work holiday's to take and booking flights to Amsterdam seemed like the perfect way to use them. We visited Berlin around this time last year, so this time around we decided to visit Amsterdam together.
Amsterdam is such a beautiful city. It has a very relaxed vibe with lots of pretty buildings to lust over and incredible canals running through the whole city, creating a very picturesque city indeed. Having both been before, we didn't have too much planned whilst there. We just wanted a relaxing few days, strolling round the pretty canals and eating lots yummy food, which is exactly what we did. I have put a short city guide post together to share some of my favourite places we visited (mostly food places NGTL).
What To Do?
On our first day we decided to go on a Canal Boat Ride around the city. Walk to any main canal and there are most likely signs or stalls selling tickets for canal boats. This is such a great way to see the city before deciding which parts you would like to explore more. We opted for the hop on hop off service, meaning we could get off and on, as and when we pleased. You also get to learn a little history about the city, whilst slowly floating through the canals.
We didn't actually visit Ann Frank's House this time, as I had been before but it is definitely a must see in Amsterdam if you are visiting for the first time. It is the house where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazi's for two years and has been preserved to show you what life would have been like for her during that time. I would recommend booking in advance as there are always huge queues to get in, when I visited I think we waited for over an hour to get in.
I really wanted to visit the Van Gough Museum and although I found the tickets slightly pricey, it was incredible to see so many Van Gough paintings in once place. It is the world's largest's collection of works by Van Gough and includes lots of other amazing work by artist's that inspired or befriended him during his life. I also found it very interesting to learn more about Van Gough's life, the up's and downs and truly see how he felt through his art during the hard times in his life. It is located in a pretty impressive building, situated in Museumplein, nearby the 'Amsterdam' sign. If you are planning on visiting that area and are interested in art I would highly recommend checking out this exhibition.
We also enjoyed a long walk around Vodelpark whilst there. It was so nice to escape the city for a couple of hours and just spend the afternoon strolling through. I have also heard that the Rijksmuseum is really good and I wish we had been there for longer so we could have visited. If you are looking to do some shopping, definitely head to the Nine Streets for lots of independent boutiques and cute little shops.
Where To Eat?
I actually didn't stop eating the entire trip, no shame. After all I was on my holidays, am I right? Eat all the cake you want or you will regret it, well that is what I told myself anyway. We ate at some amazing little cafes and restaurants so it is only right to share them with you....
The perfect little lunch spot, Bagel's and Beans are are dotted all over the city, so wherever you are I am sure you can find one nearby for a some amazing bagels and coffee. The bagels are pretty damn good bagels and they offer a huge selection of all types of fillings. I went for pesto chicken, which was incredible and so fresh. I also tried a matcha latte, which I actually quite liked but I definitely think it is a bit of an acquired taste.
Betty Blues is located in the centre of Amsterdam and has a very relaxed feel. We enjoyed breakfast here, followed by some amazing cake. In fact it was quite possibly the best apple pie I have ever had. I had found this place on Instagram and so I knew they had this amazing neon sign, but when we arrived that table was taken, sad times. I did manage to get a photo with it after the people sitting at the table left though. It was such a cute little cafe and I would definitely recommend going, even if it is just to try the apple pie!
Corner Bakery Amsterdam
Up there with one of my favourite foodie places in Amsterdam. They offer everything from healthy salads to lots of naughty treats. I was tempted by a milkshake but we eventually opted for some sandwiches followed by the cinnamon french toast, which was absolutely incredible. Even although the cafe itself is quite small and was very busy, the staff were really nice and managed to get us a table pretty quickly. I would highly recommend this place and it is V insta-gramable, you can visit their Instagram here to see what I mean.
De Hallen is a really cool centre dedicated to the art's, housing everything from independent fashion stores, a boutique hotel, amazing food and even has a cinema in it. My parents stayed in the hotel here when they visited so they recommended the Food Hallen to us. It is basically what it says in the name, a huge indoor food hall with lots of different types of upmarket street food stalls. We decided to go for dinner and tried lots of different stalls, with every stall offering a different cuisine and the food was delicious. The gin bar also become a bit of a favourite of ours. It would be great place to visit if there was a large group of you too, as you can all get whatever food you fancy and bring it to a table and all sit together. I would love to visit Amsterdam again just for this place. I honestly wish this place was in London.
I also wanted to mention that we also enjoyed an amazing meal at Cau on Valentines day, which is an amazing Argentinian restaurant just off Dam square. They honestly have the best burgers I have ever had in my life, and after visiting a few years ago, I had to go again. The staff go over an above here too, they were just so lovely and accommodating and I would honestly 10/10 recommend.
You can't visit Amsterdam without having a waffle, can you? There are waffle shops located on every corner in Amsterdam and I very much enjoyed sharing this one covered in chocolate sauce, mmmm yum.
Where We Stayed?
We headed home with sore legs (our step count was 26,000 a day!) but feeling very relaxed having had such a lovely trip away together. Amsterdam, I will definitely be back.
I hope you enjoyed this little city guide and reading about what we got up to and visited whilst we were there.
Let me know if you have any other recommendations of what city I should visit next for a little city break?