Hello everyone and sorry for the recent radio silence on the blog. I’ve been in Amsterdam and even though I had things lined up to post on the blog, I just didn’t get round to it. Every year I organise a trip to Amsterdam to show friends of mine, from all over the world, the greatness that is Kings Day! It’s our national holiday where we celebrate the royal family but mainly it’s just about having a great time, celebrating being Dutch and our huge love for orange! I have been in Amsterdam since Saturday and here some photos of my time there; which includes some tips if you’re ever planning a visit to this wonderful city!
On the first day we had booked a bicycle tour with We Bike Amsterdam. I’ve done a few bike tours in Amsterdam over the years with friends and loved our time with Jasper from We Bike Amsterdam. He showed us the sites without focussing too much on the real touristy stuff, but more the way locals enjoy and see it. I definitely recommend doing a bike tour when you’re in Amsterdam because you get to see so much of the city on a bike; aka the dutch way!
Isn’t Amsterdam so pretty? I think it’s one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Here are few tips on what to do/see while you’re in Amsterdam: Pick any of the big canals (Keizersgracht, Prinsengracht, Herengracht or Singel) for your walk, bike ride or boat tour, and stop frequently to admire the beautiful houses // If you like museums go to the Rijksmuseum – it’s the main one in Amsterdam on the museum square south of the canal ring // Walk around the Jordaan area (one of my favourites). On Saturday the Noordermarkt Square has a biological food market which is lovely to browse around, try and buy food! // The Anne Frank House I find a must-see (if you enjoyed the book and history stuff of course) If you want to go make sure you book a time/date online this week so you won’t have to line up for hours in the cold to get in. It’s my main tip for people! Go to their website HERE to book! // Hidden behind a heavy wooden door on Spui square you’ll find the magical Begijnhof court that dates back to the Middle Ages. You can inhale history and culture here, just don’t make too much noise as the area is kind of private. It’s just in the central city and a lovely little inner court that’s otherwise easily missed // De Negen Straatjes or 9 streets (info here) is a wonderful shopping area in the heart of Amsterdam filled with boutiques, jewellers, specialty shops, bars, cafes and restaurants. It is the perfect place to spend a day shopping or walk around. Loads of nice cafes here too! // Located in the heart of Amsterdam, Vondelpark offers a quick escape from the city’s hustle and noise. Here you’ll see a mixed crowd of all ages sunbathing, playing ball games and simply relaxing.
On Saturday night we had dinner at Boca’s in the Jordaan, which is one of my favourite spots in Amsterdam for a casual bite to eat with friends. You get massive sharing platters and wine is pretty affordable too. I always have a great time here so I definitely recommend checking this place out.
On Sunday we spend a bit more time exploring the city (giving my friends backies on my bike being a highlight for them haha) and we went to the SkyLounge bar near the central station. It’s a nice place to go for a drink/coffee/cocktail & you will get a great view over the city from there!
Sunday was Kings Night and to get the group (of 50 people!) all together before the boat day, I’d organised dinner at iDock Restaurant in the new Westerdok marina area of the city. I hadn’t been here before but the restaurant was really good. The food was delicious and the service very good (especially seeing they had a group of 41 people to accommodate). After dinner we headed to the Westerstraat in the Jordaan for one hell of a street party. People everywhere, music and fun times! Then on Monday it was officially Kings Day. We all suffered from a slight hangover from the night before, but hey we just manned up and got ready to celebrate Kings Day in true orange party style!
The weather report had been terrible for the weekend but by some miracle the sun ended up coming out on Monday which made a huge difference, as it was pretty chilly! Everyone had a great day on the boat – dancing up a storm while cruising the canals. It really is my favourite day of the year :)
This morning, on our last day we had dutch Pancakes and Poffertjes (which are a must eat while you’re in the Netherlands) before taking some final snaps of this gorgeous city. For more photos you can find + follow me on Instagram HERE. I am now back in The Hague for a few days of relaxing before I go back to London at the end of this week to get ready to start my new job. I do always feel a little bit sad leaving Amsterdam behind again, it is just such an amazing city. Until next time Amsterdam, maybe one day you will be my home town..who knows right?