Two days in Amsterdam and our challenge: to squeeze in as much sightseeing as we can! This meant waking up super early and our first stop, the Anne Frank House. Top Tip: We had booked our tickets online very last minute, which had meant the only time slot available was at 9am (hence the early start). We were the first people in and therefore had the entire house and museum to ourselves!! Much better then fighting through the mass crowds (which we unfortunately discovered later on at the Van Gogh and Moco museums).
Electing to do things slightly differently, we had our Amsterdam tour in this adorable vintage Fiat 500 rather then the ever popular canal boat rides (although I confess we also managed a boat ride the next day, if only just to give our legs and feet a rest from the pavement pounding!) Amsterdam local Dam Lekker www.damlekker.com is a chocolatier and takes you on a ride in the centre of town stopping off at various chocolate shops. It is THE most delightful way to see around, and considering all three of us ladies are 6ft tall and above it was also hilarious and attracted all sorts of odd attention!
A quick pit stop at Instagram favourite Pluk for the obligatory avocado and poached eggs on toast.
ARTS & CULTURE
Although it was absolute chaos at the Van Gogh, Moco and Rijksmuseum they were definitely worth the visit despite the busy crowds. Another Insta find was Toki for a quick pick me up of tea and cake to warm up against the bitter cold weather.
The A’dam lookout is fun and lively, however a little bit of a tourist trap with the novelty swing and the 360° view restaurant. It might be worth the trip during golden summer days when you can get fantastic views, including a curious look at the urban developments transforming the north of town from industrial parks to trendy cultural hot spots. Not forgetting our ambition to see as much as we could in two days, we managed to navigate the bus links and took a trip out of town to see the traditional and iconic windmills at Zaans Schans. Again, it felt a little touristy, but I imagine during the height of summer this area would feel more picturesque, scenic and charming.
SOMETHING A LITTLE DIFFERENT
The Ritman Library hosts unique books on ancient mysticism, religion, and philosophy and is the more unconventional and obscure visit for the dark tourist in you. The architecture and interior space is stylish, comfortable and inspirational. Not too far from the Ritman Library we visited Van Stapele Koekmakerij where they have, without a doubt, the best cookies in Amsterdam. Top Tip: Do yourself a favour and purchase a box of 6 rather than just the one cookie – you will not regret it!
A successful weekend trip, we most certainly triumphed in our aim to explore as much as possible within the limited time. Amsterdam is a marvellous city to discover and there is an abundance of culture, history, intriguing architecture and delicious treats to entice and delight.