I like to think I am pretty ambitious in the travelling stakes, and with a new year just around the corner, I am starting to draft up my 2014 travel hit list. I’ve got a life long bucket list, but every January I also write down all the places I want to go in the next 12 months. So where’s on my list?
Well, I’m hitting Tignes this month for some skiing in the French Alps and I will be doing an 8 day activity tour of Kerala in India in April. I’m dying to visit Croatia during Yacht Week but one other place definitely on my list is Amsterdam. Until 2013, I had never stepped foot in Holland, let alone Amsterdam, but this year I ended up visiting Amsterdam two times. One time for business, one time for pleasure.
Both of my trips were as part of a Mini Cruise from Hull to Rotterdam (now that is an experience in itself let me tell you). The overnight crossing means you spend two nights on board the ship giving you the option to spend 1, 2 or zero nights in Amsterdam. The first trip was with 9 of my best girl friends. My second trip was a work trip to Amsterdam to shoot a travel guide, and we only visited Amsterdam for the day – you can imagine my sea legs when arriving back in the UK.
Despite both of my visits to Amsterdam being total whirlwind trips, I still had just enough time to fall in love with the city and both trips let me intrigued to discover more. Everything I’ve done so far in Amsterdam has been ridiculously tourist and pretty damn tacky if I’m honest. In 2014 I hope to redeem myself by making a trip to Amsterdam long enough to really scratch beneath the surface of the Dutch capital. This time I would definitely fly, leaving me lots more time to enjoy the cultural highlights of the city.
Here are the primitive and incredibly cliché things I have done in Amsterdam so far
- Visited the floating flower market (Bloemenmarkt) on the Singel Canal
- Visited the Sex Museum on Damrak
- Walked around Dam Square and sat in the famous giant clog
- Had a snoop around the Red Light District (come on, don’t pretend you haven’t)
- Ordered a Dutch crepe in a café
- Contorted myself into the ‘A’ in the iAmsterdam sign outside the Rijksmuseum
- Went to the Amsterdam Ice Bar (terrible rip off version of the proper Ice Bars, I wouldn’t recommend)
Here are the incredibly cliché but a little more adventurous things I want to in Amsterdam when I visit in 2014
- Visit the Anne Frank House (lots of people say it’s overrated but I’ve read the book and would absolutely love to see the house)
- Hire a bicycle and cycle along the canal ways
- Have a picnic in Vondel Park
- Have lunch al fresco in one of the many restaurant squares
- See the works of art in the Rembrandt Museum
- Go for a ‘High Tea Cocktail’ at the Vesper Bar, Vinkenstraat 57
- Visit the Heineken Museum
- Take a canal cruise
- Actually go INSIDE the Rijksmuseum instead of just posing outside it
- Eat a 3 course meal of Street food (waffles, crepes, chips, pizzas, pastries, donuts. If you crave it, they’ve got it).
In an ideal world, I’d go for 3 days and treat myself to a luxurious Amsterdam hotel. My last two trips were in winter and both times were freezing! So I’d love to visit in the height of summer this time. I can’t wait to return to Amsterdam with enough time to explore (and without the sea legs!)
What do you think of Amsterdam to do list? Can you recommend any other ‘must-see’ things for my trip? If you’ve enjoyed this post please leave me a comment in the box below