Don’t let the title fool you, Amsterdam was anything but damning but Amsterdamned happened to be the name of a rather delicious cocktail I had in an ice bar. So in homage to that cocktail and that wonderful city I thought I would let the world know how I found my four days in Amsterdam.
First things first I’m the realist, I joke I joke, the first thing to know is the city is crazy beautiful, gorgeous architecture, hidden streets and an interwoven maze of canals. I start with that because the obvious connotations are brothels, prostitutes and coffee shops. Yes, those things are present and I may have dabbled (the last one, I’m afraid to disappoint – but I’m just not into paying for any action I may or may not be getting!) but there are loads of other awesome things to experience too. Its one of the friendliest and most laid back cities I have been in, with strangers being particularly helpful when me and my friend Hannah got a little lost between the train station and our air b and b loft.
We stayed in a loft on the island off the main central area called Prinsenland. I would highly recommend getting a little off the beaten track with where you stay, the public transport is easy to use and with a three day travel card you can’t go wrong. It was great to actually experience local life in an authentic canal side town house. Our host Carla was lovely and made sure we had everything we needed and apart from a wi-fi mishap on the first night it was awesome.
Okay I’m not one to openly admit my shallowness but Amsterdam is a very attractive city, as in the people, one night we got talking to a group of guys from the University and honestly it was like talking to an Abercrombie and Fitch catalogue. That was pretty random in itself, but then we ended up going with them to a secret lobby around the corner from the main square, it was their fraternity headquarters – at this point the language barrier became a bit of an issue and it felt slightly like we were in a eurotrash horror movie or a budget taken spin off. I was starting to feel pretty *weird* at this point after eating a certain cake so we slipped away and headed back to the loft to eat way too much bread and jam and laugh into the early hours.
Art – whether you have brushed up on your Van Gough or not you can’t help but appreciate the greats work. If you have any interest in art, culture or history you will be all over the multitude of museums you can hit up in dam. Getting lost for hours amongst random doll house furniture was a surprisingly fun way to spend a morning. The rijksmuseum was the chosen one for me, this is also an ideal activity to do if the weather is shockingly shitty like it was last week. It was free entry for under 19s and 17.50 for those unfortunate enough to have fully reached ‘adulthood’. Anyway, I, unsurprisingly love museums my friend Hannah wasn’t quite so crazy but it kept us both entertained for nearly three hours… then I finally agreed to leave plus it was lunch time so my brain was less concerned with art and more with pasta.
The red light district was something I felt it was important to see. It was strange, it felt like I had entered a weird parallel universe where its normal to see women in underwear wiggling in windows. This area was largely filled with men and there were people on doors of clubs trying to coax us into sex shows which was just surreal. I’m glad I saw it and if you are in Amsterdam you can’t not do it, but as a feminist and a twenty something women I didn’t agree with the principal.
The ice bar is another night time must see purely because of its novelty and great cocktails. It’s not too expensive so in this case I was all for succumbing to a tourist activity!
Overall Amsterdam was an amazing city and I will definitely be back. So if it’s on your list of places to see list put it somewhere near the top because it scores highly on architecture, culture, originality, fun and friendliness!