Amsterdam is a place I never really thought I would visit; maybe I was intimidated by its famous stories prostitution and drug-hazed weekends and assumed I’d save an interesting trip for when I’m ‘older’. However, when searching for gift ideas for my boyfriend’s 21st birthday, I came to see that Amsterdam would be the perfect present. A place of little romance but fun and eccentric at the same time, I knew this was going to be a great holiday.
We dumped our bags to the ground as we gazed out the windows of our incredible accommodation. The hotel was literally called ‘The Good Hotel’ located near the central station and it floated on water; I smiled at my boyfriend and thought it can’t get much better than this.
As we made our way down the streets of Amsterdam it started to spit with rain, as I wrapped my arms around my shivering body; but that didn’t make the scenery any less beautiful. ‘It’s so different to London’ I kept saying. But it was true; the streets were a fusion of tram lines and roads woven together with bike lanes, shimmering canals lined the pavements and overall, the people just seemed so much more…chilled. Compared to the stressed citizens of London who rush to make their last trains, Amsterdam seemed a world away.
All I’d ever heard about Amsterdam was the likes of weed and the night life, and even though we did duck into a few smoky little ‘coffee shops’, there was so much more to see. From Madame Tussauds to the Van Gogh Museum, we had so much fun. Museum De Sexe also gave us a few giggles and it really was refreshing to see how open people’s attitudes are in Amsterdam.
Not only did Amsterdam offer many activities, but the food was gorgeous. Being keen lovers of a traditional burger, we were both ecstatic to see so many steak houses on the Dam streets when searching for restaurants at night. Of course, we made our visits to the Red Light District which triggered mixed emotions within me. I found the Red Light District both interesting and bizarre, but also kind of sad. Knowing that many of the prostitutes wanted to pursue their career for a living reassured me, but I can’t deny that seeing half-naked women in red-illuminated windows looking like packaged dolls did leave me feeling some kind of emotion I couldn’t put my finger on.
With around five miles of walking a day leaving sore blisters on my feet but a grin on my face, we were both exhausted but amazed at our wonderfully short break in Amsterdam. We finished it off by spending twenty euros on a rickshaw ride on our last night. A bumpy ride on a bike driven by such a kind, bubbly man left us feeling satisfied with all the things we’d ticked off our list this trip and it’s safe to say I’d love to visit Amsterdam again.