Visiting Amsterdam

I haven’t been abroad much, so this trip was very exciting! I’d been to places when I was younger and to Canada a couple of times as I have relatives there, but I’d not been on holiday abroad since Austria in 2014. It was also my first time going on holiday with friends rather than family which was exciting. I went with two friends from uni and we stayed in a lovely Airbnb in Weesp, which is just on the edge of Amsterdam, for three nights from 5th – 8th October.

A sunny day in Weesp

The journey there went smoothly, except I felt very travel sick on the plane. But, thankfully, everything was running on time. When we arrived at the Airbnb in the afternoon we decided to explore Weesp. It’s a lovely little town with a river, shops, cafes and restaurants. There was also a church with an unusual bell ring that sounded very pretty.

A rather wet Amsterdam!

On our first full day in the Netherlands we headed into Amsterdam. It was only a 15 minute train journey into the centre of the city. Unfortunately it rained all day, so we decided to explore some museums. First up was the Amsterdam Museum, which although wasn’t at the top of my to do list was actually really interesting and gave a good overview and insight into the history of Amsterdam. So that was actually a pretty good place to start. At lunch I satisfied my sweet tooth with a pancake from a nice café which was delicious.

Our Lord in the Attic

Next we visited Our Lord in the Attic, which was much bigger than I was expecting and super interesting to boot. I’d highly recommend a visit. You get to see inside the house from top to bottom, getting an insight into Amsterdam life in the past, and then the highlight of the building, the church in the attic.

Oude Kerk

By the time we left Our Lord in the Attic, there wasn’t much time left, but since we had the I Amsterdam city cards we didn’t have to pay entry for most museums, so we just nipped into the Oude Kerk half an hour before it closed to have a little look around and take some photos. The church is the oldest building in the city and I’m glad we went in even though we didn’t have much time.

The next day the weather was much better and we decided to take a canal cruise to explore the city. Unfortunately it got cut short in rather spectacular fashion! As the boat was turning round a tight bend, the rear of the boat hit the wall of the canal. It turns out the rudder had been damaged by something underwater meaning it couldn’t steer properly. They were unable to fix it and had to await rescue, so we decided to abandon ship as we didn’t want to spend all our time waiting for another boat. Handily we were marooned outside the Tulip Museum so we nipped into the shop to buy some tulip bulbs to bring back for our families.

Our stranded canal cruise!
So many tulips to choose from!

From there we walked to the Rijksmuseum and actually got a pretty good look around some pretty streets and the canals on the way there. The Rijksmuseum is massive and you could probably spend a whole day there. We didn’t have much time so only got to see a small part of the art on display. I would definitely go back to see more, and also have a look at the other museums in the museum quarter.

Next we headed to the Albert Cuyp market, but that was a little disappointing. Although large, it was just a fairly ordinary market and nothing particularly special. As it is a little way away from everything else, I wouldn’t suggest going there.

Restoration work on Rembrandt’s The Night Watch at the Rijksmuseum

After spending a while looking at maps, we worked out how to get the tram to the Jewish quarter of the city. Although we probably didn’t take the most direct route, we got there! The museums had closed for the day and there wasn’t much to see, so I would go back when the museums are open.

On our final day in the Netherlands, we had planned to visit Castle Muiderslot in Muiden, which wasn’t far from Weesp. However the buses only ran once an hour, and we decided it would be a bit tight to get there and back in time to get to the airport. We probably wouldn’t have had much time in Muiden. So we spent some more time exploring Weesp then went to the airport with plenty of time so we didn’t have to rush. I’ll have to come back to Amsterdam so I can visit Castle Muiderslot as that’s one of the things I had been really looking forward to.

Overall I had a great time and would thoroughly recommend visiting Amsterdam. There is so much to do there, I’d definitely suggest going for a few days.  

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