48 hours in Amsterdam (Part 1)

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Over the early May bank holiday weekend, we decided to hop over to the Netherlands for a quick trip.  The cheapest flights however, only allowed for 48 hours there, but we managed to see a lot!  We stayed over on Friday night at the Manchester airport since we had a 7 am flight, and ate dinner at the Trafford Centre (one of the biggest malls I’ve ever been to, seriously the food court is epic) before heading to the Radisson Blu at the airport.  It is the most convenient airport hotel I can imagine, since it is about a 10 minute walk to any terminal and you don’t even have to go outside.  Perfect for an early morning flight.

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There were several stag do’s on our flight, with the grooms to be dressed up in rather interesting costumes…but it was otherwise uneventful.  Schipfol airport is pretty close to Amsterdam, and there are a myriad of transportation options to the city.  Because we were staying near Vondel Park, we took a bus to our hotel, but there are also trains and trams that go to city centre.  Google maps will tell you the fastest option for where you are headed because the options can be overwhelming.

After checking into our hotel, wandering around Vondel Park and grabbing lunch we headed back to the airport to the Keukenhof Gardens (separate post on those coming soon!). Vondel Park is beautiful, and when you walk through it (which you definitely should) you can totally imagine the hippies communing there back in the day.  When you aren’t freaking out about getting hit by a rogue biker of course…We then headed back to the city for a quick falafel dinner and a red light district tour.  I thought that the tour we took was interesting, historical and respectful of the women who are sex workers.  We went around to different important historical areas in the Red Light district, and also saw some of the women working in the windows.  I thought it was interesting that our guide noted that no Dutch women work in that area, that it is all women from other countries.  We also visited the Prostitution Museum, which provided insight into the lives of the women in the industry.  I would definitely recommend taking a tour of this area because it provides factual information and was really interesting.

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We also learned a bit about the marijuana industry in Amsterdam as well, what is legal and what isn’t.  Apparently while it is legal to sell to customers, the amount the coffee shops can have on hand is small compared to what they turn over daily, so technically, the amounts that their suppliers must have somewhere is illegal.  I haven’t decided how I feel about these industries, but it was good to get some insight on it from a local.  We ended our night with a few (Belgian) beers at a historic bar.  IMG_1986

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20 Comments Add yours

  1. aww you’re so lucky that you can just go on a trip for 2 days 😦 Amsterdam seems fun! I’m going there in a few months 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is great to be able to get there so easily, although it would have been nice to explore for longer! I hope you have a great trip!

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  2. I’d say, go outside Amsterdam, there are much more beautiful places in the Netherlands. 😀

    ————-
    http://travelingrockhopper.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Where else would you recommend in the Netherlands?

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      1. There are plenty of lovely places!
        Leiden, Haarlem, Delft, and Den Haag are much nicer and close to Amsterdam!
        Still, Keukenhof is possible.
        All Dutch islands are great for a cycling visit.
        Gouda or Alkmaar are nice places too, or a great experience to go to the cheese market!
        Maastricht is such a beautiful city!
        Then Amersfoort and nearby amazing castle Kasteel de Haar
        And of course, Kinderdijk with many cute windmills.

        I can count them longer, if you want more ideas please ask me 🙂

        And, I didn’t want to upset you, I just lived in the Netherlands for 3 years and I know it’s a beautiful country, and there is much more than a capital. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks for the suggestions! With only 48 hours we figured we would be best off in the city (although we did make it to Keukenhof). But my boyfriend Is going back in June for the USA Netherlands football game and was looking for other places to see!

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      3. Yeah, I understand, it’s the easiest to visit capitals, but with my experience I always try to encourage people to visit something more in the Netherlands 😀

        Here you can find more information about cheese markets:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_cheese_markets
        They’re not so often, usually only in summer, but it’s something really interesting, I visited the one in Alkmaar.

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  3. Sounds like you managed to pack loads in – those tours sound fascinating as well!

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    1. They were! And while you had to be 18 to go on the red light district tour, it was much more educational and less raunchy than I was expecting. And yes, it was an extremely busy weekend! But a lot of fun.

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  4. Amsterdam is a great town to visit,but can be easily crowded with tourist. I hope you made it to the Begijnhof ! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We walked by but didn’t go in. It was such a short trip that we will definitely have to go back because there are a lot of things we missed, and that’s one of them!

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      1. Yes, difficult to do everything I suppose 😉

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  5. I loved amsterdam! It’s definitely a must when eurotripping.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it’s definitely a unique and beautiful place!

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  6. John says:

    I lived in Amsterdam for two years beside the Amstel River. It was brilliant. I would echo travelling rockhoppers suggestions and add Utrecht, Haarlem, Alkmaar and if you have a few days head down to Maastricht.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That must have been a great place to live! I’ll definitely look into those places when I (hopefully) make a return trip!

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  7. twobrownfeet says:

    We spent exactly half the time in Amsterdam. It was 24 hours (perhaps, even lesser of travel time) of back-to-back hopping on & off buses and walking. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s such a short taste! It’s great to run around and see the city but I wish we’d had more time.

      Liked by 1 person

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