Amsterdam

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The last time I was in Amsterdam I was nine years old, on a layover with my mom and my grandmother. I remember thinking that they were way too dog friendly (I was terrified of dog’s as a child), and my grandmother fell in the shower. Not exactly great memories, but going back in November 2013 with my then boyfriend, now husband, who had just moved to London was going to be a different experience. I was determined to make our first Eurotrip a success, and it was.  Being my first true city break, it wasn’t overly planned, and it shows in this list, but you have to start somewhere.

STAY

Best Western Apollo

What I remember most about this hotel, was that the bathroom to the door was made of glass. Sure it was ‘frosted’ but I basically felt like the toilet was in the middle of the room. Not sexy! I did request a new room and they obliged, thank God because it was too real!

The hotel’s location was central, easy to get around and other than the above, a great stay.

SIGHTS

Canal Cruise

With the city being a network of canals, what better way to see it? The canal tour was lovely, except for the annoying American exchange students sitting beind us. There were lovely photo ops, and a great view of the city’s beautiful architecture.

Weed

I’m not a fan. I tried a bit. I hated it, but if you’re into it, of course it is a must try.

Anne Frank Museum

One of the biggest attractions of the city, the museum experience was educational and comprehensive. There were long lines, as expected but I would say it is a must see if you are in town.

FOOD

Mayas Steakhouse

Our first night, we wanted to head here for a nice dinner, but were offered free tickets so ended up going to Burger King instead, to hurriedly get a meal before the show. We made it back the last night to this quaint steakhouse, where the steak was tasty and décor homey.

PARTY

Paradiso Theatre

Amsterdam hosted the MTV Europe Awards back in 2013, which meant a great number of artists were in town for a random gig. We were stopped by two girls who worked for a radio station, who were giving away free tickets to The Killers gig happening in 20 minutes. It almost seemed like a prank, but we agreed. The venue is a beautiful theatre, and it was a full crowd. It also reminded us how tall everyone was in Netherlands – and 5’11” and 6’ we were the shorties in the crowd. An evening of ice cold Heineken and singing along to Mr. Brightside was a great start to our first Euro city break.

Red Light District Sex Show

So this had to happen. It wasn’t cheap either…I cant remember exactly how much, but it was more than I was really comfortable with…but when in Rome right! It was also a seedy process, lining up for the show, paying and then being ushered into another venue across the street, up some small staircase and into a tiny theatre and bench seating. There was a mixed crowd of couples, groups of guys and sad lonely men. The show had at least 7 acts, some solo, some couples – I won’t go into detail, but the most normalising part of it all was walking out at the end of the night and seeing the performers outside on the stoop having a cigarette together. Just another day at the office.

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