Oh Amsterdam, I wasn’t prepared to fall so in love with the city built on water. Full of canals, wonky houses and beautiful architecture. A city of great food and shopping, coffee shops providing more than your morning coffee and the friendly locals.
We wake up at the BEAUTIFUL Monet Garden Hotel, which is so modern, clean and well decorated. Our room overlooks a canal, the staff are so lovely, snuggly bed, marble bathroom and Nespresso in the room, we’re so happy with our choice of accomodation! We get up and go to Coffee&Coconuts for breakfast which used to be a cinema and has the coolest interior. Its 3 floors of Instagrammable bliss and serves wholesome, organic food. We order breakfast and once we’re finished, we’re honestly not that impressed. Our eggs were cold and the drinks we ordered (green juice, golden latte and a health shot) were SO “healthy” that they were gross lol. They do dinner too so I’d like to go back for that next time and give it another chance. After breakfast we head to Kalverstraat which is a busy street of shops and check out the shopping. When we get hungry again, we go to Bakers&Roasters for lunch which is an NZ owned cafe and we are SO in our element! Its funny what you miss when you physically can’t have it anymore. They serve delicious food, NZ slices like lolly cake and ginger slice, milkshakes, L&P, NZ wine… the list goes on, 10/10. We then go back to the hotel and get ready for the night ahead. We did the Anne Frank tour, which was really well set up for tourists. You get audio to listen too that takes you through the history. Having read her diary a week before, it was surreal being in the annexe with the details of her diary still so fresh in my mind. I do wish I went more slowly through the actual annexe but got pushed along with the group we were with. For dinner we go to HappyHappyJoyJoy which is good Asian fusion food in a funky set up of colours and neons and then… we hit the Red Light District! I must say – it is more tame than what I thought it’d be! It was a Monday night and the street was packed with tourists with some taking in the scene over a joint. There are plenty of pretty women in the red lit windows, some wearing lingerie, some in shorts and a top, I remember one in a Calvin Klein set lol but 95% were you’re everyday looking gals, just doing a job. Some shared a window with another woman, a lot of the girls sit there on their phones and if you get your phone out and try to get a picture, they close the curtain and yell at you out their door (as we witnessed a couple of times with a couple of idiots taking their chance). Along with the women in the windows the area is dotted with sex shows, sex shops, brothels, prostitute museum, peep shows, coffee shops etc. There are also drug dealers throughout the street that whispered “cocaine” in our ear as we walked past, took us by surprise when it first happened! Ihaia and I went to the prostitute museum which was actually so interesting and I’d recommend! You get an audio to listen too as you go throughout an old brothel of prostitutes telling their story, there is also a tribute to the prostitutes that have been killed on the job and a confession wall that people visiting can contribute too that was VERY interesting to read!! We also dabbled in a bit of a peep show where there are about 15 doors set up in a circle and you pay 2euros for 2 minutes to go in and watch the girl in the middle of the circle do her thang. It was an experience thats for sure! The RLD was a real eye opener to what we’re hardly exposed too and what is illegal in other countries. It is such a relaxed, open environment that has an “it is what it is” vibe. I was so like YAASS GIRL SHAKE IT! While also feeling quite feminist in thinking I’d rather them tell all the men ogling at them where to go :):). We ended our night by visiting the Green House Cafe which I was told was the best to visit for the experience and there are photos on the wall of all the celebrities that had been there which was cool to look at. For the buying of the wacky backy, past the normal drinks bar, there is another bar leaner at the back of the cafe that sells all types of weed. For a cheeky pre-rolled joint in the ‘Dam, it’ll set you back 4.50euro.
The next morning we get breakfast at Pluk which is another absolutely Instagrammable cafe that served good food, like 6/10. We then browsed the shops near by while walking towards the narrowest house in Amsterdam which sits at 2m wide and 5m deep (located at Oude Hoogstraat 22). Next we visited Moco museum to look at Banksy and Icy&Sot. You get an audio tour through the 3 story museum that is set out well and kept us interested throughout. The Amsterdam sign is across from it so we went to get the classsssic tourist pic on that, along with the couple of hundred others there. Then back to the hotel for a rest before another busy night. We spotted a canal cruise boat the night before outside the Anne Frank museum so we went back to that spot and jumped on it around sunset which turned out to be the most magical time of the day to do a canal cruise with a drink in hand. We went with a Flagship boat and found it really good! Its nice and clean, the guides were really interactive and the history they gave through the canals was actually really interesting. We got HappyHappyJoyJoy again for dinner because it was THAT good (& we’ve missed Asian cuisine in La Rochelle) then headed to an Opera that Ihaia’s cousin was performing in at Carré Theatre. It was called “Tosca” and it was sung in Italian and translated into Dutch but luckily we were given the story line before! Afterwards we couldn’t help but go back to the RLD for another walk around, it is so interesting, my eyes are wide the whole time!
Our last day we get breakfast at Bakers&Roasters for another great brekky and L&P bevy. We then went back to Amsterdam square for another walk around to kill some time before our flight to London.
I absolutely loved our short time in Amsterdam and we will DEFINITELY definitely be back!
I got some recommendations from others for food in Amsterdam as there are so many good places! Heres a list I had on my phone (we didn’t get to all of them):
- SLA (salad bar)
- Winkle 43 (apple pie)
- Mook Pancakes
- Peejays (donuts)
- The Avocado Show
As always, there are more pics from this trip on my “travel” highlights on my Instagram. Write to you next from London! xx