Amsterdamazing: Day 3

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Amsterdam seen from the Canal Ride

Unfortunately, our last day in Amsterdam started with an early morning. We woke up to the masculine smell of 4 guys we were sharing our dorm with. Usually, I can be a bit slow in the mornings, but we didn’t enjoy the smell at all so we hurried up a little bit and left the dorm which we were somewhat happy about. We were not so happy about leaving this city of course, but still we got some hours left until we had to head to the airport.

Since we checked out at around 10 am, and our flight was around 4 pm, we still wanted to do some things until 2pm.

Here is a mini guide on how to spend you last 4 hours in Amsterdam:

1. Canal Ride:

That day, we were lucky with the weather, since the day before the weather was a bit rainy and therefore we didn’t go on a canal ride. Because this was on top of my to-do list in Amsterdam, I was obviously quite excited to finally do it. Unfortunately, we only did a normal tour on a small boat which went through the smaller canals, but I enjoyed that a lot. We initially wanted to book one of the tours including drinks and food, but our budget wasn’t enough for those anymore :/ Next time I go, I will definitely do one of those :)

The ride took around 1 hour and I just couldn’t stop staring at those wonderful houses and buildings we passed. Best way to describe them is by showing the photos:

 

 

2. Eat raw herring:

Since my friend and me are big foodies, we were keen to try out the famous raw herring in Amsterdam. The last few days we had difficulties finding any stands or restaurants selling local food. So I looked up online and found out that there were some herring stands close to the train station. Since our canal tour ended right at the train station, we decided to walk to that herring stand described online and we were successfull:

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I really enjoyed this sandwich. Some people describe it as slimy and fishy, but it was really delicious. Maybe the first bite might be a bit different from what I was used to, but I quickly came to like the taste and wished to have a second one.

3. Visit souvenir shops:

My friend still wanted to buy some souvenirs for her mother, so we had a look at a bigger souvenir shop close to the train station as well. They had some interesting stuff and another cheese trying section where we spent a lot of time at :’D Free food d’uh!

Soon, we had to slowly get going. We shortly went back to our hostel to pick up our suitcases and said goodbye to Amazing Amsterdam.

It is a city you can visit a couple of times and won’t get enough of.

Today’s rating:

Sightseeing: 4/5
Food:  4/5
Shopping: 4/5
Nightlife: 5/5

Transportation: 4/5

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Amsterdamazing: Day 2

This was our only full 24-hours day in Amsterdam and it was packed. I will just present you a way to spend the 24 hours in this wonderful city.

1. Have breakfast: 

Amsterdam has many cafes and restaurants to offer for all the hungry stomaches, either waking up from a night full of sex and drugs or just for simple foodies like us who needed something sweet/savoury to start the day. I am more of a sweet person while my friend always needs meat and something savoury :’D

I first went to a bakery to have some waffles swimming chocolate sauce :’D My friend felt sick just from watching me eat that :’D

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I have to admit, I was a little bit sick after I finished this :’D

After that my friend had a Wantan soup at a chinese restaurants. You can find a lot of bakeries and chinese restaurants all over Amsterdam. Don’t worry about looking anything up on the internet, you will stumble upon one sooner or later.

2. Visit the Bloemenmarkt:

What better way is there than to wake up to the fresh smell of flowers! Of course, we didn’t have the luxury to order someone with flowers to our dorm, but we had the choice to walk to the flower market after having a fulfilling breakfast, and so we did. On our way there we saw Amsterdam from his many beautiful sides.

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Flowers and a canal

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Arriving at the flower market, we were surprised that it was next to a canal and a tiny pathway next to shops, cafes and cheese cellars :D

Of course, Weed and Tulips, two natural symbols of Holland. But did you know that Tulips were a gift from the Ottoman Empire to the Dutch Kingdom hundreds of years ago. Tulips only grew in the country which is now Turkey, but Holland loved these flowers so much that they kept on cultivating it so that it became their national symbol :D That is so interesting and another reason to love the dutch who give so much importance to something as simple as a flower.

3. Visit the Heineken Experience, or any other museum:

Because we aren’t huge museum fans, we weren’t interested in all those art museums you can find in Amsterdam. I really wanted to see the Anne Frank Huis, though, but all the tickets were sold out online and there was an estimated waiting hour of at least 2 hourse outside of the museum :/ But since museum has such an abundance of great museums to visit, we thought we should give at least one of them a try. One which is not so expensive and a little bit interactive. So we decided to go to the Heineken museum which was a great decision as you can see on the pictures below.

 

4. Take a photo at the I amsterdam letters:

One of the newly famous sights, especially on social network platforms like Instagram are these letters.

Unfortunately, when we got there, it was already late in the afternoon so the place was full of people, everyone climbing on the letters, crawling through the a-holes (sounds so wrong :’D) and just posing in front of the m’s and t’s. That’s also what we did.

5. Eat Poffertjes:

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What more is there to say?

6. Have dinner – only if you are decisive enough to choose the restaraunt:

We had difficulties, but because the chinese restaraunt seemed a bit expensive, and we only had limited cash, we opted for the Ramen restaraunt close to the red light district. It is called Ramenya and a good choice for quick, but good food.

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7. Have a drink above the city at the Sky Lounge:

In the evening, we met a friend who lives there and went to the Sky Lounge which we only found by accident while looking for Bitterballen online and where to eat it. Of course, we completely forgot about that dutch snack because we were too busy being awed by the view and couldn’t stop taking pictures.

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Of course the view is not as spectacular as the ones we are used from Asia, but it was still very beautiful, especially the location which was on top of the Hilton Double Tree Hotel. So if you ever go to Amsterdam and wanna have a nice night out without going to the Red Light District, this is another choice (and probably not even that much more expensive than in the RLD).

So once again, another night ended in this wonderful city. Our dorm was now filled with 4 more smelly guys, but it was the only night we had to endure them :’D

The next post will be about our last day, or rather, our last final hours in Amsterdam. We saved the most beautiful sight for that day, though, so don’t miss it!

Amsterdamazing: Day 1

Arrival, July 24th:

From the 24th to the 26th of July, my friend and me went to Amsterdam, a city I have always wanted to visit.

Our flight was on Sunday, the 24th in the afternoon. It only took around 50 minutes, luckily. We got our tickets from the self-service machines and slowly headed to the gate. We still had time, so we strolled through the duty free shops.

When we finally entered the plane, we wondered why our seats suddenly were in the Best deal of the airline, which is in the first 3 rows and includes drinks and snacks. We were confused, because we booked the Basic deal where you don’t get snacks nor drinks. Suddenly, we were sitting in the front and when the snacks were served the air host adressed us with our names :D That was a fun experience.

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When we landed in Amsterdam, we first took a train ticket to the city center. The weather was great! Sunny and warm with blue skies.

We didn’t take a long time to find out hostel. It was really close to the train station, but we had to ask locals and stop and look around the street numbers :D

Our hostel was small but cozy. Unfortunately, it didn’t have a lift so we had to carry our suitcases up the stairs to the second floor :D Luckily, we didn’t have huge bags, just carry-ons.

For the first night, we were alone in the room which was supposed to be for 6 people in total. My friend and me  were a bit tired and sweaty, so we got dressed and charged our phones before going out to explore the city in the late afternoon hours.

How to spend a night in Amsterdam:

1) Dam Square:

At first, we just wanted to stroll through the streets, look at some shops and maybe find a place to eat. In this area, you will find a lot of restaurants, especially Argentinian food seems to be really popular here. But there were also a lot of Italian and Asian restaurants.

When we were there, though, there was a gaypride concert at the Dam Square. The place was packed with people – and pidgeons, relaxing on the stairs and listening to the music.

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People listening to the music

We didn’t stay too long to listen to the music. We danced a little when the singer started to sing I can’t feel my face from The Weeknd, but after that, we continued to stroll through the streets and came across some interesting places.

Whatever you do when you go to Amsterdam, or Holland in general, don’t miss to try the cheese there. It is heavenly <3

Of course, another thing that is impossible to miss out on is a typical picture in front of the canals:

Maybe you won’t believe me when I say that I have always wanted to take such a picture on a tiny bridge. That’s why I loved Hamburg and Suzhou so much.

In the end, we were pretty hungry and a bit exhausted from walking. The weather was still nice, so we decided to try to find a restaurant next to the canals so we could observe the boats passing us on the water. We found a Burger place which had outdoor seats as well. The Burgers didn’t taste that special, but it wasn’t expensive and we had a nice view.

2) Red Light District:

Since our hostel was right behind the Red Light District, there was no way around it. So on our first evening, we saw everything from strip bars, live sex shows, prostitutes behind colorful windows, sex museums and shops. We visited one of these live sex shows since it was pretty touristy and huge groups of bachelorette party goers were standing in line, we thought to have a look as well. It is not what you imagine. It is very sketchy and weird, with music playing in the background. I enjoyed the strip and dance shows in-between more, they were quite fun and entertaining. So, even if you are not interested in this kind of stuff, it is still nice to experience that relaxed atmosphere the locals of amsterdam show towards this area. There were several people just casually walking their dogs, or going for a hike through this street, even grannies :’D

3) Coffeshops:

Amsterdam is filled with these. Since my friend and me don’t really smoke (alright, we tried it but we didn’t get addicted to it), and can’t roll a joint, we weren’t so much into spending all of our free time in coffeeshops. Still, we wanted to have a look inside one and maybe buy a space cake.

We walked into the first coffeeshop (don’t ask me their names, I can’t remember, but I guess they were both called the bulldogg) and there was a bouncer at the entrance who wanted to see our IDs. After we showed him he was embarrassed and told us that we were actually older than him :’DDD That was so hilarious! We couldn’t stop laughing and ensured him that he wasn’t the first one to estimate us younger :D

Anyway, we walked out there because we didn’t find anything on the menu for us and went the other coffeeshop which was named the same I think but had space cakes. We bought one to eat together and two iced coffees (since they don’t sell alcohol in coffeeshops there). We then walked back to the red light district, sat on a bench and munched on our cake which actually had a weedy taste to it (while my friend only tasted chocolate. But she has sensitive taste buds when it comes to sweets).

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Again, snapchat edit, but I enjoyed the filters

Anyway, if you like to take substances like these, then Amsterdam is a paradise for you (not a cheap one though). Plus, there are quite some museums about cannabis and hemp.

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Hemp Museum Gallery

So this was our first day, and we were lucky that we got so many different impressions on our first day there.

If you are interested to see what we did on our second day, which was also our only full day in Amsterdam, stay tuned.

Thanks for reading!

Travel Plans: Amsterdam

I’m sorry that I was away for longer than I planned, but things were kind of stressfull the last couple of weeks with my birthday, bayram, and all the horrifying events happening all over europe (France, Turkey, Germany). It breaks my heart to hear all of that, and it makes me wary travelling recently. My sister also flew to turkey las week saturday, one day after the coup attempt and we were worried if it was safe to go. Luckily, she is in the west of the country which was not affected so much by that.

Anyway, another thing I was busy with the past week was planning my short trip to Amsterdam. My friend’s birthday is on the 27th and she asked me if I wanted to travel somewhere with her. Since I have to work that day, I could only go somehwere before the 27th and only for 2 or 3 days. So we agreed on a short trip to Amsterdam, from sunday, 24th of July to Tuesday, 26th of July.

Amsterdam has always been a city somewhere on the top of my travel bucket list, and now I am so happy to finally tick it off.

The Netherlands, in my opinion, are one of the most successful countries in the world. I have only met a few dutch people, but I never had any negative experiences with them. They are always friendly, fun and extremely attractive – male or female. And since I had developped a severe fandom for the dutch football national team in the past, I am even more excited to explore the capitol of this wonderful country.

For that, I have created a Plan with all the things I would love to see. Here are they, sorted after priority:

1. Canal Ride

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Source: canal.nl

This is the top one must-do activity on the list when going to Amsterdam, I think. Of course, there are all these museums this city is famous for, but since the canal belt is a famous UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is the most important activity in order to get to know the city in the best way.

We plan to do a canal tour in the evening, combining it with a cocktail canal tour deal. You can find all the deals here.

2. Flower Market (Bloemenmarkt) and Singel Canal:

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Source: promptguides.com

Tulips are one of the most famous symbols of The Netherlands, therefore, it is a must to visit the flower market in this city, although I heard it to be very small and unspectacular. I found out that the tulips were actually a present from the Ottoman Empire, since they were originally grown there. Another interesting fact I would like to learn more about.

3. Heineken Experience:

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Source: Google.com

Well, it is one of the museums you can find in Amsterdam, maybe not the classiest one, but still quite interesting and a fun thing for young people. Apparently, you pay the entrance which is around 16.50 € for adults and there are two beers included which you can enjoy at the end of the tour on the rooftop terrace. If there is not a long queue I would really wanna see this place.

4. Van Gogh Museum / Anne Frank Huis:

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Source: iqimila.com
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Source: thisisamsterdam.info

I actually really wanna see the Anna Frank House, but I read not amusing things online, about how long the queue always is (over 2 hours). Thus, I checked the online tickets, but unfortunately, I had to discover that they were sold out until November or so :'( I don’t have big hopes for these museums on our trip. Maybe next time I visit Amsterdam.

5. Streetfood:

I have heard so many amazing food stories happening in Amsterdam. I have already made list of all the foods I wanna try:

Bitterballen

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Source: dutchstore.ch

Stoopwafel

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Source: iamsterdam.com

Dutch fries

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Source: confusedjulia.com

Raw Herring

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Source: intelligenttravel.nationalgeographic.com

Poffertjes

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Source: ohmydish.com

Panekoeken

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Source: Google.com

Cheese

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Source: Google.com

Snack vending machines

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Source: jonesaroundtheworld.com

If you guys have any more food recommendations, please let me know in the comments :)

6. Red Light District:

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Source: travelandleisure.com

Well, since our hostel is in the Red Light District, it is unevitable to stroll through these streets. To be honest, I don’t think it is as hazy as a red light district usually is. I heard that people are quite chill about these topics in the Netherlands. I have also been to Hamburg and saw all the prostitutes on the streets and wasn’t afraid. It is just another kind of entertainment.

7. Gay Pride:

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Source: richardtulloch.files.wordpress.com

I found out about this event on tripadvisor and it starts on the 23rd, so one day before we arrive. We really hope we can make it to the concert on the 24th which is supposed to be on the Dam Square close to the Red Light District actually. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to see this boat parade which takes place on August 7th, but I think it is an amazing event and once again shows how open-minded and fun the Netherlands are.

8. Visit a coffeeshop:

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Source: sueddeutsche.com

Even if we don’t try anything here (we might though, I mean come on, when in amsterdam, right?), I think it might be quite interesting to even only have a look inside and learn more about the dutch culture. I am really excited to see how relaxed this nation deals with drugs and doesnt make a big deal out of it (pun not intended :’D)

9. See the I amsterdam letters in front of the Rijksmuseum:

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Source: thisgirlabroad.com

These letters are famous now, and everyone who goes to this city and doesnt take a photo in front of these letters, can’t prove they were there ;D

We probably won’t visit the museum itself, because we are not really interested in art that much, and we are on a strict money and time budget so we decided to let go of most of the museums.

10. Vondelpark:

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Source: tripadvisor.com

This park looks so beautiful, but I am afraid we won’t have time to go there. I hope we can manage to squeeze a little chill-out session here, though.

These were about the Top 10 things to do on my travel list for Amsterdam. I can’t wait until Sunday now, and I already dread how fast time will past as soon as we arrive there.

I will keep you updated.

Thanks for reading!