We took the 6:25 flight connecting in Frankfurt and arrived around 9:30 in Amsterdam. We picked up our small luggage that we checked in (I packed unusually light 😂) and took a cab to the hotel.
I searched long and hard for a hotel in the medieval centre but it was so last minute that the affordable hotels were booked out and the rest was too expensive. Plus I didn’t know which areas are best to stay in since Amsterdam’s centre has some famous places, if you know what I mean. 😃 Finally we chose a hotel well outside of the centre but with great connection by tram.
The 4* Best Western Premium Hotel Couture is 4 star is amazing. The lobby and reception is nice and the staff was so welcoming.
You can buy tickets for the public transportation directly at the reception, we took the 4-days ticket for 21 euro. Don’t forget to check in and check out on every time you take the public transportation, otherwise the ticket is no longer valid.
The room is gorgeous and I love the Nespresso machine each morning. We booked without breakfast (15 euro extra) because we plan to eat out anyway.
The tram no. 2 stop is right in front of the hotel and takes us to the central station but it stops in the centre too as it enters from Leidseplein.
Fun fact: Amsterdam took its name from the river Amstel.
So as I was saying, we arrived at 10 am at the hotel and our room was not ready yet so we stored our luggage in their luggage room and headed out to explore the city.
We took the tram to Leiseplein and decided to walk from there. It was still very early and the centre was empty. I enjoyed strolling down the streets, sitting at canal-side cafes, stroll alongside the canals, checking the Flower Market.
We spent whole day exploring the beautiful Amsterdam: the medieval centre and even the red light district (it’s not so bad during the day), the Southern and Western canal rings. We packed away the maps and just wondered the streets without any plan.
We got lost… many times. 😂 But we found our way back every time. Both my guide books writes that it is easy to get lost in the centre and I can definitely confirm that. 😃
The canals with its bridges and houseboats are beautiful and the waterways are World Heritage Site since 2010. We took a boat ride on the canal which is a great way to start to get to know this city.
There are lots of long shopping streets in the centre. As expected there are lots of bikers in the city and they are driving fast so be careful every time you cross the street. There are also a lot of turists in Amsterdam, the city gets crowded especially in the afternoon and evening.
It’s been only the first day but I can already say that I fell in love with Amsterdam. ❤️
By 6 pm we decided to return to the hotel by walking across Vondelpark and taking the tram back to the hotel. Only we didn’t know which exit to take from the park and then we took the wrong turn as we exited the park and ended up pretty far.
We found a canal which we thought should take us to the hotel if we walk alongside it but we took again the wrong turn so eventually we searched for a tram stop to check how we can get back. It was the tram no. 17 stop which goes to central station and I was in no mood to expriment other routes so we returned to the medieval centre with the 17 and decided since we were already there to have dinner at Leiseplein before returning to the hotel.
Traditional Dutch foods that I found so far are the mashed potatoes with vegetables (stamppot), matjes, pancakes and mini-pancakes (poffertjes). The apple pie comes actually from here. Typical for breakfast is buttered bread with chocolate sprinkes which I haven’t tried yet. but there are plenty of delicious food here, although not particularly healthy.
Indonesian food is quite typical here. The Gouda and Edam cheese from here are delicious. Fries with mayo served in a paper cone are very loved.
My (not-so-healthy) food diary on my first day in Amsterdam:
🔷 Goat cheese, beetroot, walnut, onion and aragula salad for lunch at Dante Kitchen & Bar. The combination is delicious!
Restaurants, cafes, brown cafes and coffee shops or smart shops
I was a little bit uncertain as to where to go to eat. I am still not sure which places serve food and which places are for smoking you know what.
According to my guides, cafes are usually pubs and then there are brown cafes, grand cafes and theatre cafes. There are lots of pubs where you can drink beer.
Cafes are not coffeeshops. You are not allowed to smoke in cafes. There are signs in cafes that use or posession of you-know-what is illegal in cafes and they can call the police.
Coffeeshops or smartshops are where you can go to smoke you-know-what but alcohol and tabacco are in these places not allowed.
I usually identify the cofeeshops by the smell because you-know-what has a particular strong scent around these places.
Most places have free Wifi but they are very overloaded so I didn’t manage to connect to any that I’ve been to.
Highlights so far
- Medieval centre
- Canal boat tour
- Dante Kitchen & Bar
- Hoopman Irish Pub
- Magnum Passion Store
I understand most of the Dutch language, it sounds very similar to English and German to me. It’s difficult to read Dutch but if I manage to read to the sentence then I can most probably make a connection to the topic and understand what te sentence means.
Kayla Itsines in Amsterdam
What triggered me wanting to come Amsterdam right now (I wanted to for a long time) was that Kayla Itsines is right now on the world tour and her first stop is Amsterdam. She does a free bootcamp on 6th of June here. She is actually staying in the Conservatorium Hotel as we speak which is in the Museumplein.
We booked flight and hotel but unfortunately the registration for her bootcamp was already full, it booked out within 30 minutes! 😩 I hope I get a chance to go to one of her bootcamps in one of the other cities, perhaps she will come to Germany some say too.
I will be uploading pictures from my phone daily to OneDrive and from my DSLR when I get home.