48 hours in Amsterdam

When Ami suggested we go for a European mini-break, I immediately thought of Amsterdam. I'd been before (a couple of months before I started blogging) and wasn't particularly enamoured with the city but it was very cheap, so seemed like the perfect place. In the end, I had a much better time than I'd anticipated, perhaps because I went with low expectations following my last, rather disappointing trip. We managed to have a great time and spent very little doing so. Bonus! Sunny Day Amsterdam

On our first day, we walked the five minutes from the station to our hostel (I'll have a post soon with more details on where we stayed) before catching the tram to Leidseplein for the Hard Rock Cafe. It may not be particularly cultured but, after visiting the restaurants in Berlin and Vienna, it's become something of a travel tradition for me. Besides, if I get the Local Legend burger it's almost- almost- like eating local cuisine. Here in Amsterdam it consisted of a Dutch beef burger topped with slices of braadworst and caramelised onions. Yum!
Hard Rock Cafe Amsterdam
We ate leisurely, enjoying our waterside table and waving to the boats sailing up and down the canal while trying to find Ami a Dutch date on Tinder. After we'd been chilling out for a good 90 minutes or so, we decided to spend the rest of the evening taking a casual stroll around the canals. We meandered towards Rembrandtplein and stopped off in a pub for a drink before catching the tram to the Red Light District. This was every bit as surreal and interesting as you'd imagine, and we came away with a thousand questions about prostitution in Amsterdam. What did we do before Google, eh?
Amsterdam Bicycle Cyclist Amsterdam
Returning to our hostel around midnight, we settled in for the night and ended up sleeping in fairly late in the morning. I was keen to try one of the pedalos, or canal bikes, as they're known. Since I'm the eldest, and the only one who can drive, we naturally both assumed that I would be in charge of the steering. That was a mistake! After 10 minutes of going round in circles, bumping repeatedly into the wall and being laughed at by the people sitting outside the cafe on the canalside, Ami took over. Although she was also partial to a bit of crashing (including bumping into a man while he sailed his boat through a junction, much to his displeasure!), she was far more accomplished than me and we managed to actually start making progress!
Canal Bike Amsterdam Amsterdam canal
Pedalling along Amsterdam's canals on this beautiful sunny day was the most enjoyable experiences. We had a beautiful view of the distinctive architecture on each side of the river and were witness to hidden wildlife including ducks building nests and a huge family of fluffy yellow ducklings chilling out on a boat. The map on the boat was a little unclear but Ami was great at decoding it and guiding us around without any disasters.
Pedalo hire Amsterdam Bicycles in Amsterdam
After an hour, we were back at the pier and, after a quick dinner, caught the tram to the Heineken Museum. Although I'm not a drinker, it was still really interesting to learn about the history of brewing Heineken in Amsterdam and I particularly enjoyed the second half of the experience, where there are photobooths galore! Not to mention the huge, darkened lounge where you can put your feet up on squishy footstools and make the most of the free wifi! If you like lager, you'll love the three complimentary glasses of Heineken! (Small glasses, but free beer all the same!)
Amsterdam Heineken Brewery Amsterdam bike and flowers
Nearby is a cafe called The Carousel and we took full advantage of the warm evening by sitting on the patio until closing time, scoffing waffles and giggling at the loudest nose-blowing we've ever heard in our lives! When it started getting chilly, we took the tram back in the general direction of our hostel, taking a leisurely stroll through the city centre and stopping off for a McDonald's on the way.
Amsterdam Leidseplein Tram Amsterdam Architecture
Our final day was mostly spent on the patio of Dan Murphy's Irish Bar in Leidseplein although we loved the canal bike so much that we couldn't resist going back for another hour! This time we were served by a lovely young man who gave us a canal map free of charge and lots of tips to make the experience easier. It would have been great to have that information on our first journey but was very much appreciated nonetheless! This time we took a different route and paid attention to the significant places that we passed, such as Anne Frank's house.
Amsterdam Summer
All too soon, it was time to pick up our luggage and head back to the airport. I had such a wonderful time and, contrary to what I believed before, I will be returning. 
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  1. Ah i was excited to see your post about it! Gorgeous photos too, I'm glad you had a great time x
    Love Vicki |

  2. You seemed to had such a great time, and you managed to do and see many things! Walking along the canal seems like one of the most pleasant ways to discover the city. I'd love to visit the Heineken museum as well, just for fun - it's not every day that you can visit a museum like that :D

    Julia x
    Last post: A Vikings Makeup Tutorial |

  3. Great post! It was lovely to read and your photography is fantastic! It sounds like you had a wonderful time. I'd love to visit Amsterdam one day :)

  4. You had the best time ever because you were with me obviously! ;) Thanks for such a good trip, now let's plan where we're off to next! P.s your photos are so beautiful just like you xx

  5. Some of my best friends are Dutch, I go there all the time. Love the Netherlands (apart from the bikes!)

  6. Sounds like you had a fab time! I recently got back from Amsterdam too, here is my first photo diary of Amsterdam:

    Holly at xx

  7. love Amsterdam! I have also been once before but want to go again, would love to do a bike ride :)

  8. what a beautiful city xx

  9. Gorgeous photos! I really like the motion shot of the cyclist on the bridge.

    Jazz over xx

  10. I've wanted to go to Amsterdam for ages. This sounds like a really nice relaxed trip! I love any kind of river tour, so that sounds right up my street :)

    Nina |

  11. Loved this post! I was hoping to go to Amsterdam soon but I didn't have what I thought was enough time, but if you went for 24 hours then I am so tempted to just go now! This is so inspiring and I loved the photography! Ahhh Amsterdam just looks so beautiful! Do you have any other posts on it? Did you visit any of the museums? (so many questions!!!!) xx

    1. We were there for 48 hours. I'm sure you'll be able to get enough done in 24 hours though. Everything we did is in the post- we visited the Heineken Museum but not the other ones. I have a post coming up about how we budgeted for our trip

  12. Oh wow - Amsterdam looks gorgeous! It's high up on my list of places to visit when we have the money. Although, seeing how much you fitted in in just 48 hours, we might be able to afford a trip out there sooner than expected! I'd really love to visit Anne Frank's house, and I know my other half would love to visit the Heineken Museum! x x

  13. Looks amazing I am planning visiting Amsterdam soon xoxo

  14. Good to see you had a good time! My friend and I are going next month so this has giving me some great ideas!
    Sarah x

  15. Loved reading about your trip. Amsterdam is somewhere I have always wanted to go but never really knew how much it was.

    Christie x

  16. Loved reading through this post, I visited last year and absolutely fell in love with it and can't wait to return :)

    Abbi |

  17. Gorgeous pictures :) I'd love to go!

    Natalie Ann xo | Petal Poppet Blogs ♥

  18. This is a really helpful post! I visited Amsterdam last summer but I'm off again next week and looking for some recommendations, I've made some notes for my trip :) love your photos!!

    Hannah xx


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