Are you looking for a European destination that makes you want to relocate? A place where the people are friendly, the beer is delicious, the architecture is beyond quirky and there is enough to keep you occupied all year round? Hm, you may want to try Amsterdam.
I’ve been a few times now and I have to say every time I visit I find something new that makes me fall in love with it even more. This year we went in November, I have previously been at the beginning of the year and although it was colder in November I would definitely visit at that time of year again. We stayed just outside the center, which I have always found to be such a good option, it allows you to see more of Amsterdam especially through the little back streets and along the canals.
We stayed at the Pestana Amsterdam Riverside which was a lovely hotel, however, we didn’t see much of it as we spent the majority of our stay out exploring, all the way up until the early hours if I’m honest.
I have a few places I always want to visit when I travel to Amsterdam, regardless of the time of year.
Number 1: SupperClub
If you have never heard of SupperClub, I strongly recommend doing some research or even just check out their Instagram. @supperclub_ams
They have a variety of different events throughout the week and each month or so they change the theme. The evening includes an incredible tasting menu, which you enjoy whilst watching an array of different performances, from singers, pole dancers, illusionists, and acrobats. It is such an immersive, spectacular and enjoyable evening. The food is always created around the theme of the evening. Your drinks are not included in your ticket price so bear this in mind as the bill can rack up. You have the option of a balcony day bed or a floor day bed; I personally prefer the balcony because I think you get a better, full view of all the performances. If by the end of the event you fancy something a little extra, stick around for the after-party. They move the props and set up a DJ! Each night will have a different music genre depending on which night it could be dance, RnB or a resident/guest DJ. You can just get tickets for the after-party if that’s more your cuppa tea. Either way, I have to put it as my No.1 thing to do in Amsterdam.
Number 2: Ice Skating &Apres Ski Chalet. (November to December)
As we went in November, we had to check out the ice skating. Although I didn’t fare well, if at all, when it came to ice skating – yes, I gave up almost instantly, much to my own disappointment in myself. However, it was good fun watching other people attempt, many succeeding, to ice skate whilst drinking my body weight in mulled wine and nibbling on waffles! The apres-ski chalet was beyond cosy, with heaters, comfy chairs and mulled wine / beer on top, what more could you ask for on a cold wintery evening. Needless to say we made the most of it; we arrived in the daylight and left well after the sun went down. It was magically, the rink was lit up with multicolored lights and Christmas music was played. If you’re planning on visiting Amsterdam during between November and December I would have to insist taking a wander to this part of the City for a bit of Christmas Magic!
Number 3: Get lost!
Don’t panic! Getting lost in Amsterdam is not a bad thing, trust me. Most of the side streets you can walk along and, eventually, you will loop yourself back round to something you know to be familiar; your hotel, that place you had incredible pancakes, the bar you enjoyed one too many pints – you get the idea. I don’t think I’ve ever been to Amsterdam and not got a little lost. Wandering up and down the canals, popping into a café (to smoke a legal joint), or a bar (do try some of their dark beers – YUM!), or even just to stop to appreciate the City’s architecture and quaintness, is something every visitor should do. Don’t worry though, if you do get a little too lost for your liking the locals are all very friendly (so I’ve experienced). I’d suggest by starting somewhere for brunch (wait for the next section to have your mind blown on the incredible brunch options), eat yourself into a baby food comma and hydrate yourself with a bucket of tea/coffee or maybe something a little stronger; Bloody Mary or Espresso Martini! Then take a leap of faith and venture left or right. I’d suggest comfy shoes and a camera.
Number 4: Brunch!
I think most people these days, including the rugby lads from University, love, love a bit of Brunch. It’s become such a phenomenon in recent years. I’ve found specifically in 2019 the concept of brunch has taken off. I have probably had brunch in pretty much every place I’ve visited including; Fort Kochi (India), New York and Boston (USA), Sao Paulo (Brazil), San Jose (Costa Rica), Barcelona (Spain), Prague (Czech), I mean the list goes on, and on, and on… Needless to say, I am a FAN of brunch. So, Amsterdam was not going to be an exception. After researching brunch spots I found a few that caught my eye.
Number 5: PANCAKES!
Yes, you heard pancakes. Amsterdam is full of delightful pancake cafes. You can find them dotted around the City and some, from the outside, look very unassuming. However, take it from me; those that look the most unassuming usually turn out to be the most delicious. If you fancy trying some I’ve listed some of my favourites for you. There is also one that is located on a carousel – although I am yet to try this one, I would go just for the quirkiness of eating a pancake on a fairground ride!
Let me know what your Top 5 are and what you get up to in Amsterdam! 🙂