Holidays in Hindsight: Amsterdam – April 2015

As we’re due to leave shortly for our round the world adventure, we thought we best pull our fingers out and finish writing about all our previous trips!

April of this year we visited Amsterdam to celebrate our first wedding anniversary.  Kelly had visited the city a number of times previously but this was Anthony’s first visit.

With an average flight time of an hour and a quarter, Amsterdam is a beautiful city for a long weekend trip especially if you’re looking for a laid back, chilled environment (ignoring the usual connotations that goes with the city of course).

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On arrival at Schiphol airport we caught a train into central Amsterdam.  It was really easy to find the right train platform, to purchase tickets and the journey took less than half an hour.  We then walked from the central station to our Air BnB apartment.  It would have been a lot easier to jump on a tram but walking allowed us to get our bearings and explore the city.

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On our first full day in the city we left early to go to Anne Frank’s house.  We thought arriving prior to the venue opening would mean we would miss out on a lot of queue time but unfortunately we still had a four hour wait!  We had tried to pre-book the tickets but they’re sold on a first come, first served basis the day before and we missed out.

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The exhibit and tour was worth the wait though; it was very moving and tear-jerking.

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We also visited the Eye Film Museum to enjoy the interactive exhibits and have a quick bite to eat before hopping on one of the “Hop on, Hop off” canal boat tours.  We purchased the tickets for the canal boat tour as a package deal with tickets for Artis Royal Zoo and the “Hop on, Hop off” bus.  The package deal worked out the most cost effective way to purchase the tickets and both the canal boat tour and bus tour allowed us to get a comprehensive tour of the city without the blisters!

The Zoo is definitely worth a visit if you have the time.  Not only do they have diverse flora and fauna but they also boast beautiful 19th century architecture and a planetarium.  One tip would be to arrive early to ensure you have the whole day to explore and pre-book your tickets to ensure you do not have to queue.

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For our anniversary celebrations we went to a “blind” restaurant called Ctaste.  The concept is that your meal is served in the pitch black simulating blindness and heightening your other senses.  It was such a fantastic experience especially trying to eat risotto when you can’t see your knife and fork, let alone your plate!

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We also visited Bourbon Street Club, which is a live music venue.  We saw Steven de Geus whose band did funk/soul covers of 70s rock classics.  It was so much fun!  Be sure to check out the club’s website for concert listings; if you arrive before 11pm it’s free to enter!

We have uploaded all our photos into an album on our Facebook page, be sure to check them out here, but in the mean time here are a couple more of our favourites.

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We have already posted a video on YouTube for both this trip and our Christmas trip to Gozo we mentioned in our previous post.  If you haven’t already checked out our channel, please do so here.

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