Yes I’m day dreaming of jetting off somewhere… again. I recently made a list of my (current) top 10 travel destinations, so I’ve decided to do a write up about why I want to go there so badly and what I’d like to do there. This week I’m looking at my dream trip for 3 days in Amsterdam!
A random chosen date (September 1st 2014), shows I can get a return flight to Amsterdam, from London Gatwick for £72.12 per person, returning late evening September 3rd.
For these 3 days, I can stay at the NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky for a total (including flights) £378.12 for us both! That’s £189.06 each! 😀 The hotel is also a choice I’m pretty happy with – good reviews on TripAdvisor and a great location, right in Dam Square, making it perfect walking distance to everywhere!
to the hotel
A quick look on Google and it appears Amsterdam public transport is efficient and quite easy to understand. Amsterdam airport is quite far out of the city centre, but it’s direct. I’d need an ‘Intercity’ train, heading for ‘Groningen’. I’d get off at Amsterdam Centraal to catch the tram into Dam Square. The whole journey is estimated to take half hour.
My flight times are good (I arrive at 8:25am) so let’s assume everything goes according to plan and I get to Dam Square for 9:00am. First call of duty – find the hotel and pop my bags with them, ready for some exploring!
day 1 plans
I’d like to have a walk and nose around Dam Square and then make our way to Anne Frank’s house, which is a short 5 minute walk away. I’d say this would be a high priority early on, because I’ve heard it can get busy very quickly, so I’d rather get there early to avoid the queues.
After this I would love to have a casual nose around Jordaan, it looks like a beautiful area of Amsterdam, with lots to do see and do. I’ve heard good things about Cafe t’smalle and as that’s in Jordaan it might be a good opportunity to pop in and grab a bite. Overall, I would love to spend all morning at Anne Franks House and wondering around Jordaan.
In the afternoon, I’d like to explore a bit more around Dam Square, get my barings and be somewhat close to the hotel ready for check in time. The evening is pretty much a sure thing for me – an earlyish dinner out (of course) followed by a Red Light District tour. A very tourist thing to do, but it’s such a huge part of Amsterdam culture and such a different way of life to what us Brits are used to, how could I not? I’ve read that the tours are very informative too, so it would be nice to learn and take something away from it, rather than just spectate.
I’ve also heard Rembrandtplein is a great area for drinks and nights out and as the area is only a 5 minute walk away from Dam Square, I think it’d be a good spot to end our first night!
Seeing as the best way to see Amsterdam is on foot, I’d love to have an explore and from Dam Square, make my way over to Vondelpark – about a half hour’s walk. Being that I’ve based everything on a September trip, I would assume the weather would be somewhat nice and the park would be quite pleasant for that time of year. I’m also always a sucker for a park, so it would be nice to take in the scenery and go for a wander.
Say we spend an hour in the park and leave at 10:00am, one other thing I am intrigued by which is close by is the Heineken Experience. Admittedly I don’t like Heineken, or any beer for that matter. But as we’d be close by it makes sense to check it out.
From midday onwards, I’ve heard about this great Canal company https://www.canal.nl/en who offer various different activites, from renting pedal boats, to tour cruises and dinner cruises. I’d be interested in hopping on the ‘100 Highlights Cruise’ to see a bit more of Amsterdam and perhaps find some new things and places to see. However the departure is back up near our hotel, so it might be best to see if this is possible during our first day.
Not that this is a problem, there’s loads to see and lots of areas to explore near Vondelpark. I’d want to spend most of the day in this area, because I’d definitely want to spend my evening here. I’ve heard great things about Leiden Square for eateries and evening entertainment; there’s a couple of Jazz Clubs which I’d love to go to in the evening, either Alto Jazz Club or Bourbon Street.
En-route back to the hotel, I would definitely want to go via Keizersgracht to see the Bridge of 15 Bridges. No other reason than to view it, but it’s a very iconic setting in Amsterdam and I would love to capture my own memory of the place that is used so frequently to advertise ‘Dam.
My last day would consist of everything that’s left that I’ve read about – perhaps a visit to the Smokey Coffee Shop, or the Van Gogh Museum. One place in particular I’d love to have a day trip to would be Zaanse Schans. I have a fascination with windmills and I think the place looks beautiful and is definitely something a bit different to do in Amsterdam.
So my last day would definitely either be a day trip out to Zaanse Schans, or a mash up of everything left in Amsterdam. I would want to explore as much of it as possible, perhaps rent a pedal boat and generally just make the most of time left in the city.
I think Amsterdam looks beautiful and I have butterflies just day-dreaming about visiting there. I really hope I get to see it for myself one day… 🙂
So that’s one destination down, next week I’ll be talking about my next destination – Iceland!