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Exploring Amsterdam

Amsterdam, a beautiful city sometimes referred to as the Venice of the North. I have to say I fell in love with the city very quickly on my three day trip (Even if it did snow on the first day!). The beautiful architecture, the canals and of course the vast variety of nationalities which are in the city make you feel like you are in something straight out of a postcard (or an Instagram post).

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When people first think of Amsterdam many people think of drugs and the infamous Red Light District but there is a whole load of other things in the city to explore which really should come to peoples minds first. For example, Anne Franks House, the Jewish Museum, the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Vondlepark, canal tours to name a few plus shopping and the food is incredible!Exploring Amsterdam

After we arrived on the Friday we checked in and embraced the cold, snowy weather to venture out to Anne Franks house as we heard that the queues can be crazy at times. We arrived and waited an hour in the queue before entering the museum (most people must of been put off by the weather – no wonder!). The museum was like nothing I had experienced before. You weren’t allowed to take photographs to help preserve the building and the rooms had an almost eerie feel to it. When you go around the museum you can’t help but wonder how on earth they managed to quietly sneak around or even live in the small spaces without fresh air or sunlight for two years. One thing that really stood out to me was the talent of Anne Frank. Stuck in the annex, hiding in hope that the war would soon be over and she could live her dream of being a writer, her writing spoke to you in a way you don’t expect a 13 year old girls writing to. She wrote with such maturity and was an incredibly talented writer. A talent that was cruelly taken away from her and never allowed to be developed into the full potential it had. Throughout all this, Anne never lost her positive outlook on life which says a lot about the little girl who had to grow up extremely fast.

I think one of the most haunting things about the museum was that really, that was only one families story. The book of names from Auschwitz contained  millions of names of people who had to go through the same situation and stories weren’t told. As someone had written in the guest book “We would like to think this would never happen again, but we cannot be sure”.

IMG_0676After Anne Franks house we took a wander through the city, visiting Dam Square and the shopping streets surrounding it before stopping off for some food and some well needed heat! We decided to call it an early night as we would be up early on the Saturday to explore some more. We were staying in The Bulldog Hostel which was situated between Dam Square and the Red Light District. The location of the hostel was not as we thought but despite this the hostel was lovely, clean and friendly – what more do you need when you are just needing somewhere to rest your head for the night?

On Saturday we got up bright and early delighted to see that the spring sunshine had arrived! We had a quick brunch at a cafe near Dam Square and headed off for a canal tour around the south of the city. Amsterdam is seriously beautiful in the sunshine, I couldn’t stop snapping photos of the buildings and the canals. Seriously my whole camera roll is practically house goals. After the canal tour we jumped on a tram and headed West towards the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museums to take some proper touristy photographs with the ‘I AMsterdam’ sign. The location of these museums is seriously stunning based in park land with a beautiful pond in the middle.IMG_0730

We spent some time there before taking a walk through Vondelpark which is very similar to Central Park in New York (or so I thought, many people may disagree). We decided to continue with the tourist theme for the day and had a very late lunch/early dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe washed down with one too many cocktails. Slightly tipsy, we explored the Red Light District and Sex Shops before sitting outside our hotel over a canal talking to other residents of the hostel having a fantastic laugh.

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It is safe to say we were a little worse for wear the next day. Luckily as it was our last day we decided to explore the shops in the morning and spend the afternoon on the sightseeing hop on, hop off canal tour. I got some great items in Amsterdam from Pull&Bear, a shop we only have online here, as well as some Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow products.

If you are looking for a fun city break with lots to do I would certainly recommend Amsterdam. It has something for everyone and isn’t that expensive for a European City. Next week I will be posting a ‘Top 5 things to do in Amsterdam” post if you are thinking of booking up!

Have you been to Amsterdam? What was your favourite thing about this city?

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