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Weekend Getaway in Amsterdam
#Amsterdam has a famously tolerant #culture, which attracts tons of visitors from all over the world to it's cobblestoned streets. The Dutch are immensely proud of their various #foodanddrink offerings, and they should be. Heineken, bitterballen, and coffee shops serving anything but, are what make this city so special.
I would like to share my "Weekend Getaway in Amsterdam", a 3 day trip for singles or couples.
I arrived on Friday evening, and found a pretty cool and unusual hotel, which was a house boat floating on the canal. It is a good way to immerse in the Dutch culture, considering all Holland is made of channels and water canals.
The house boat is very well located near the center of town.
It is a good way to immerse in the Dutch culture
Bike Tours in Amsterdam
Hop on hop off bus Tour in Amsterdam
It was late on Friday so I decided to cross the street and get some Surinam food take away. Holland used to colonize many lands, including some islands in the Caribbean (Curacao, Aruba, Surinam) and also Indonesia, therefore the "local" food is a mixture of many cultures. I grabbed a bottle of red wine and enjoyed the evening on my house boat.
The next day, my husband Alex arrived pretty early. We decided to hit the "noordermarkt" which is the farmers market. There you can find great typical Dutch cheeses such as Gouda and Old Amsterdam. We grabbed some bread, cheese, and fruits and had an amazing fresh breakfast to start the day.
We continue walking on the Prinsengracht Canal which is a beautiful channel with loads of small shops and cute cafes. On that walk you can also visit the Anne Frank Museum. We walked all the way to the Albert Cuyp Market, which is in a great area called De Pijp. In that market we ate fried fish, french fries (the Dutch are very proud of their fries) and we also found a small Indonesian market shop selling food and offering a small table where you can eat. We sat down to drink Thai beer and eat delicious exotic food.
We sat down to drink Thai beer and eat delicious exotic food
We then walked to the Heineken Experience, but there was a long queue so we decided to cross the street and get some Heinekens at the pub with some bitterballen which are a typical pub Dutch food! Delicious!
bitterballen which are a typical pub Dutch food! Delicious
We then walked up the Vijzelgracht which is a long road but beautiful and full of shops. We reached the flower market which is full of color and souvenir shops. We then walked the Kalverstrat which is another great street for shopping. Here, you'll find really cool shops (the biggest H&M shop I've ever seen!) and there is a small chic food market called La Place which I like a lot. Rokin is a street by the water which is magical during Christmas with all the decorations and moods. We finally arrived to the famous Dam Square.
Rokin is a street by the water which is magical during Christmas
We then decided to go "gin tasting" so we went to this cute little bar called Proeflokaal Wynand Fockink where we had samples of Dutch Gin which is called "Jenever" and also some home made liquors. If you go ask for "Miriam's Special" which is a mixture of cranberry, lemon and ginger liquor and to die for! We had so many shots and beers we were struggling to walk out.
After our fabulous gin-tasting experience, we were hungry so decided to go for a "typical Dutch" food - Indonesian specialties. We went to Kantij and Tiger. We recommend you get the sampler to share as it's huge and very tasty.
After dinner, we decided to hit the Red Light District, where you find all the nightlife of coffee shops (where they don't sell coffee, but weed), prostitutes on the windows, and loads of bars and parties. If you haven't been, is good to go once. It is a touristy place, locals never go there. Once you've been once, its enough. Funny experience!
we decided to hit the Red Light District
We finished the night in style, and returned to our lovely floating home.
We had a slow morning as we brewed our own coffee and feed the ducks and swans from the canal who were coming to say good morning to us.
We’d heard Dutch pancakes are one of the best in the world. Not far from our boat home, on the Prinsengracht, there is one of the most famous pancake houses called the Pancake Bakery, where you have to queue but it is definitely worth it. Alex had a "seasonal special" which had poached pears and Goulash (I know it sounds like a strange combination but it was fantastic) and I had a savoury one with ham, cheese and mushrooms! Neither of us have a sweet tooth, but if you do, this place is pancake heaven!
We’d heard Dutch pancakes are one of the best in the world
The best way to move around in Amsterdam is by bike, but since it was November, it was always raining. You can get a tram daily pass for 7 euros, or walk everywhere like we did. In some cases we would take an Uber. Amsterdam is so small, you cross it in less than an hour and it is so pretty, it really is nice to just stroll around.
Alex wanted to visit a local brewery so we went to Browerij Het T’ij, a local brewery in Amsterdam which produces its own beer. You can have a tour of the brewery which includes a beer. You can also get some beer samples and try all sorts of different types. Alex's favorite was the Columbus and mine was the Pilser.
Then we headed to the Amstel River, to drink an Amstel beer in style! We found this super cute piano bar called Freddy’s in memory of Frederik Heineken, the founder of Heineken. Freddy's is a lovely, elegant bar by the Amstel River. We had great cocktails, the barman is great at making Moscow Mules and Gin & Tonics.
We ended our Sunday evening by going to an Argentinean steakhouse. Amsterdam is full of great restaurants, so if you are a foodie like me, you’ll enjoy every corner!
Back to Monaco, and back to diet :)