Lilis Travel Diary: Amsterdam

Disclaimer: All the pics are taken by me and I would appreciate it, if you could say so if you ever use one of the pictures!

A beautiful, sunny Sunday Funday to all of you magic beans,

as May has 5 sundays (yo May, what’s good?!) I have an extra special Sunday Funday for you.
If you follow me on Instagram and twitter you may know that 2 weeks ago I’ve been to the lovely city of Amsterdam for a weekend trip and let me tell you, it was beautiful!
I instantly fell in love with the city and the dutch people. After having a little look at all the pictures I took I though I could talk you through what to do on a weekend in Amsterdam, hence what I did. You can also check out my Youtube Video about my trip to Amsterdam here 

Day of Arrival: Wednesday

I’ll spare you the boring „we flew from Hanover in Germany to Amsterdam“ shit but I will say that getting to the central station in Amsterdam from the airport is super easy breezy. Make sure to order your train ticket online (they’re around 4,20€) so you don’t get confused by buying them over one of the ticket machines as those are only in dutch.
The ride to Amsterdam takes around 30 minutes. We arrived on the day of some national bank holiday so there were celebrations going on in the center of the city, therefore we couldn’t walk the way that google maps had told us, but luckily you can ask anyone to show you the way and the Dutch are just the loveliest and give you directions to any place you want to go to.
We, which is my mum, my brother and I stayed at the „Iron Horse Hotel“, which is a tiny bit away from the city centre and right around the corner of the beautiful „Vondelpark“, the „Rijksmuseum“ is also not far away.IMG_3741
The first day though we checked in and then went out to get some dinner, as we couln’t decide we ended up at Hard Rock Cafe…I mean it’s the same in every city so I really don’t have to go into detail. The only thing I got out of it was that there are a whole lot of smokers and they’re all allowed to smoke in the seating area outside, so be prepared if you don’t want to end up sitting in cigarette smoke for an hour or two. I will say though that the waiter was super lovely and we had wonderful weather so we took the path along some “Gracht” back to the hotel. The “Grachten” in general are just super beautiful and pretty and I can highly recommend going on a “Grachtentour”.

Second Day: Thursday

On Thursday we woke up quite early as we had booked tickets for the Anne Frank house near the Jordaan district and next to the „Westerkerk“, a beautiful church right next to the house.

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You can see the Westerkerk 🙂

If you plan on going there you should book tickets in advance as well and arrive as early as possible, it can get quite full. Visiting the house itself was incredibly emotional for me and I actually had to cry. I’m just an emotional person in general, so just be prepared that some visitors might be as sensitive as me and just start crying. After all it’s just horrible what happened and there’s nothing wrong with crying because of it.
After that we took a walk around the Jordaan district that I instantly fell in love with. There are millions of cute restaurants and cafés and quirky independent stores just like some second hand shops. It’s definitely worth a visit!

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It says No 1 in Holland on the sign just so you know

Since we were quite near the spot where they sell the supposedly best fries in Holland we of course went to check them out. There’s always a queue in front of the „Vleminckx“ food stall and to be honest
I still don’t get what makes them the best fries. Yes, they were good but I wouldn’t call them the best fries I ever had.
However, my brother really did enjoy them but afterwards he also had the brilliant idea of renting a pedal boat for an hour. During the afternoon. A time when literally everyone is on some kind of boat tour and with a pedal boat doing one of these “Grachtentours” is the scariest thing ever. It’s probably much safer in the morning or if you just go on one of the bigger boats. I was terrified the whole time, my brother and I got into a fight and my mum just sat there like “wow, so that’s supposed to be my holiday”. Lovely right? I mean my brother is 16, I’m 19…the tension and the fights can get quite out of hand („You should try and add a word called ‚respect‘ to your vocabulary“, „Maybe you should realize that the world doesn’t revolve around you, Lili“) and you basically stop listening to your parents, so my mum just sat there and was probably even entertained by my brother and me calling each other names. Quick disclaimer: My brother is like my best friend, we tell each other a whole, whole lot but we also have the occasional banter and well get into arguments kind of a lot as well, we’re just both really stubborn.
As you can imagine my brother was in quite the bad mood afterwards so my idea of going shopping didn’t really excite him at all, until we found a super awesome store called „Popcult“. Now I don’t know in which countries you can find this store but I’ve never seen it before. Inside, I was in video game-nerd-comic heaven. They have magnificent merch from „Adventure Time“, „TMNT“, „Sponegbob“ and loads of other stuff. Most importantly they have lots of Pokémon merch, I am a sucker for Pokémon merch. I grew up watching and playing it and collecting cards and I was super excited about a Pikachu beanie. Unfortunately it was kinda expensive so my brother and I got a snapback that we’re gonna share (Lets see how that will work) with charizard on it.

Bildschirmfoto 2016-05-22 um 17.47.18

So much Popcorn!!

With my brother being happy again I got to get some Popcorn at this Popcorn shop called „Fol“ that sells gourmet popcorn. It was heaven! I was allowed to try all the flavours, from chocolate coconut and caramel to bacon and salted caramel.In the end I decided on white chocolate, caramel and Pretzel ones that I ate within 2 days, they were just too good.
I just realized that we did too many things on thursday already, no wonder that I was wondering the whole time when I was in Amsterdam why I’m this tired.
For dinner we walked all the way to the Jordaan district again IMG_3772and got some kind of luxurious sandwiches at a restaurant called „La Oliva“.
It was wonderful, the staff was super friendly and the food was amazing. Afterwards I treated myself to some white chocolate and apple pie (!) ice cream at an ice cream parlor called something along the lines of „ijscuypje“, that ice cream was the best ice cream I ever had and you should definitely check it out!

 

Third Day: Friday

On Friday we decided to go to the Rijksmuseum quite early so we could take a picture with the „I Am Amsterdam“ sign without too many tourists around. From our hotel we walked around 10 to 15 minutes. I’m gonna admit we didn’t go into the museum for the reason that we didn’t want to mingle with all the tourists and wanted to see some other tourist attractions before everyone else did.

look at me being all touristy

Therefore, we only took our pictures and around for a bit, then walked through the „Spiegelkwartier“ district to get to the „Begijnhof“. The „Spiegelkwartier“ district is your go-to district if you want to visit art galleries and look at vintage furniture and art in general. It has quite the vintage vibe if I may say so myself.
The „Begijnhof“ we went to features one of the oldest buildings in Amsterdam, dating back to 1300 something, which is actually quite impressing. But the prettiest thing about it is the courtyard where it’s build, other people are living in the houses around it and their gardens are just super pretty.

Well here you have the Royal Palace and me…in front of a some random persons’ garden 😀

From the „Begijnhof“ you can reach all the shopping areas and the royal palace, which was our next stop. I have to admit I thought that the Royal Palace was the central station…shame on me…:D but I just confused the two. The Royal Palace is actually quite nice but it’s enough to look at it, take a picture and leave again.
We decided to go shopping after our little sightseeing tour, which I liked a whole lot.
The rest of the day we just enjoyed the sunshine, while walking around Amsterdam. For Dinner we went to a restaurant called „Pancake Corner“. The waiter was a bit unfriendly but I think he just couldn’t speak English nor German very well so he probably just concentrated on what we were saying to him. I got a pancake pizza with salmon on it and it wasn’t too bad, a little too salty but not bad. Katie went there as well but for breakfast and according to her the breakfast pancakes are lit so maybe I just ordered the wrong one.

Last Day: Saturday

Saturday we already had to leave but as our plane was departing in the afternoon, we still had some time left. So we checked out, left our luggage with the receptionist and went to visit the café next door called Friday Next. Surprisingly, it was a café and a store in one. Meaning you could actually buy the chairs you were sitting on and the lamps hanging from the ceiling, they had bags from local designers on display and also some stationary, giving the cafe its very own charming atmosphere.
The food was super healthy and delicious, they had several vegan offers and I was delighted. Every day they offer a smoothie of the day, which they create on their own. For my sandwich they used the bestest whole grain bread ever and the most delicious cheese (I just had to try the cheese, the Netherlands are famous for it after all).
I was just really happy that I could talk my brother and my mum into checking it out, making my stay in Amsterdam even better.
After I fell into food coma because of this wonderful breakfast  we were ready to leave Amsterdam and drove to the airport.

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Me and my favorite backpack had a good time!

I have to admit I already miss Amsterdam and I cannot wait to go back some time again. It really is worth a trip and a weekend actually is enough to see the most important sights and get an idea of the city. You can walk everywhere and the food is the best!!
I hope this travel report kind of post wasn’t too much to read and you enjoyed it. If you have any further questions on Amsterdam don’t hesitate to message me on any kind of social media.
Have a lovely Sunday,
loads and loads of love,
Lili xxx

Twitter: @castaway_minds
Instagram: @castawayminds

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