Last weekend I visited Amsterdam with one of my good friends. We planned a mini weekend break to see the city and of course have a good time. It was a perfect mix of culture and fun! We rented an apartment to stay in which is really recommended as you can find a lovely place in the centre of town with a lot more space than a hotel (and the same, if not less money!). We found ours on the Air BnB website.
We visited the Rijksmuseum and Anne Frank's House on our first day there, renting a bike to cycle around the city. We also made a stop for an amazing Dutch style Pancake. See the pictures - it was delicious! In the evening we went out to the Rembrantplein area to a club. This is one of the two main areas for going out in Amsterdam; the other one being Leidseplein. The nightclubs in Amsterdam are great fun as you would expect from a country which has produced some of the best DJs in the world!
The next day, feeling slightly worse for wear, we had a lazy morning and then headed out on a four hour walking tour around Amsterdam. This is a free tour and it takes place twice a day but it very popular so it is important to get there early to ensure a place on the tour (or book online, even better). The tour took us to the Old Church, the infamous Red Light District, the quirky Jordaan district, the Royal Place, the Begijnhof Convent and the Masterpieces of Dutch Art, amongst other places. It was really interesting to see places and hear facts about the city that you wouldn't necessarily know otherwise.
In the evening we went for a lovely meal in Chinatown before heading to a pub where we had the nicest mulled wine either of us have ever had! Definitely make sure you order some at one of the local pubs if you are in Amsterdam. The pubs have such a nice atmosphere in Amsterdam - very European and friendly!
On our final day we wandered around the markets and shops of Amsterdam and picked up a few purchases, including some authentic Dutch cheese from one of their fabulous cheese shops. These shops have more cheeses than you can even imagine exist and the best thing is that they give you samples to try of them all! Aside from their cheese we didn't find too much in the way of Dutch cuisine but there is a big popularity for Spanish tapas restaurants, which have really high quality food. It is worth going to one if you are looking for a tasty meal!
It is also worth noting that shops open around 12 midday on Sundays in Amsterdam.. as we were left peering into a lot of windows before that time. After this it was a quick stop back to our apartment before heading to Centraal Station to catch a train to the airport for a flight home. The trains are really regular, quick and cheap so if you are staying in the heart of Amsterdam it is worth taking the train to/from the airport instead of spending lots of money on a cab.
We were sad to leave Amsterdam but we will definitely be returning soon!!