8 Things to Do in Amsterdam

travel

Christmas seems like a lifetime ago now, but I can’t fail to mention that my darling boyfriend, Jack got me the most wonderful present going – my dream Gucci bag. In attempt to live up to his standards, I knew I had to pull out all of the stops for his birthday present.

With us both being desperate to escape London, England and really just daily life, I decided to book us a trip to Amsterdam for a weekend – long enough for us to have a break but not too long that we feel absolutely miserable returning to reality.

I have had a multitude of mixed reviews from people about the city however, with the majority saying they were too high to remember any of it, I went with zero expectations. Strangely enough, Amsterdam offers so much more than just weed and the Red Light District. With the beautiful buildings, canals and people riding on their bicycles, you could easily mistake it for a fairy-tale town.

Overall it was definitely a city I am glad to have seen. I wanted to recollect all of my favourite parts so I thought best to collate a list of things I think you must do when visiting this little corner of the world.

Rent a bike

img_5649_facetune_07-01-2019-14-39-15

I can’t say this was my favourite thing to do, purely because I am a nervous wreck and therefore, riding a bicycle (which please note I haven’t done in about 5 years) on the busy streets of Amsterdam was truly traumatising for me. Despite this, I think it’s a great way to see the city and act as if you’re a local!

Eat cheese fondue

In case I haven’t made it clear enough in the past, Jack is the absolute love of my life. A big part of this is because of the passion we share for cheese. Amsterdam did nothing but just add fuel to our fire with cheese shops on most street corners. Of course, we couldn’t be in the city without having at least a little bit, so we went to find a lovely little restaurant called Het Karbeel, their speciality being cheese fondue. The food was amazing, it was so super cozy and there was a little kitty strolling around to make us feel even more at home. Truly a dream come true.

Go for freakshakes in hidden cafe’s

I had wanted to go to the Corner Bakery after seeing it on the lovely @HollieMercedes page. We happened to stumble upon it whilst walking to the Van Gogh museum – which evidently didn’t make it into this post – clearly Jack and I appreciate food over art. I can confirm the freakshakes were worth every cent of the 18 euros we spent on them. They tasted amazing and the photos came out pretty good too (a win win situation in my eyes). I love stumbling across quaint backstreet cafes, I find they are always so much nicer than ones you find on busy streets.

Ice skating in front of the Rijksmuseum

No matter how bad you are at it, there is absolutely nothing like outdoor ice skating with a view. All of December I was absolutely desperate to visit the Natural History Museum in London to ice skate, but instead I got even better. Ice skating in the Museum District in front of the Rijksmuseum with my best friend was quite possibly my favourite part of the trip. Granted, Jack did have to drag me around because I am incapable of tackling the ice alone, but the cold air and giggles of people falling on the floor made me feel all warm inside.

Waffles, churros and cakes

7dda27b6-4a23-42cb-807b-643bc2bc7465

It is impossible not to gain 10lbs when going on a city break. You are literally surrounded by waffles, pastries and churros – what else is one to do? Personally, my reasoning is that it’s actually okay to eat a million calories in Amsterdam as long as you don’t do the drugs. Technically, I can still count myself as healthy, right? This photo was taken next to Polaberry, a super cute chocolate shop. We had done a lot of cycling and felt like we deserved a treat.

Markets

There are lots of shopping options in Amsterdam, instead of going to the usual high street chains we have in England, it’s definitely worth looking round the more independent owned shops to get your fix. We went to the Albert Cuyp Market which has a mixture of fashion, food and art. I picked up the cutest wool scarf for 3 euros – probably my favourite purchase to date! There are also lots of unique clothes shops which are fun to look around whilst making the boyfriend stand outside… tehe!

Heineken experience

img_5786

Perhaps not one for you if you aren’t a huge fan of beer, like myself. Jack was in luck when I gave all of mine to him. Despite not exactly liking the product the entire place is about, the Heineken Experience was fun and there are lots of things to do other than just drink beer!

Rooftop bar

img_5517

Something I love to do in every city I visit is going to a rooftop bar. I love the atmosphere and they always have the best cocktail menu. They can be pricey and they also get very busy, but it is so worth it when you are looking over the city. I would recommend booking in advance to make sure you have a table, failing that, wrap up warm and enjoy the view from outside. We went to the Sky Lounge.

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

Follow me: Instagram

Advertisements

72 Hours in Rome

World

The best kind of friends are ones you can make spontaneous plans with. Tommy and I did exactly that when we nonchalantly suggested a trip to Rome together this weekend. We spent 72 hours in the beautiful capital, meandering round the streets of Italy and soaking up its ceaseless culture.

 

Day 1

 

After arriving in Italia, we went straight to our hotel, St Peter’s Bed, a quaint little B&B located just outside of the Vatican City. The hotel was all we could have asked for and more. On a city break, I tend to think the accommodation doesn’t really matter as you spend most of the time exploring however, if it wasn’t for the characterful surroundings and our welcoming host it wouldn’t have been as charming.

As we only had 3 days in the city, we didn’t want to waste any time. The Colosseum was our first stop. I spent most of the time in sheer disbelief that we had actually made it to this iconic attraction in Rome together considering my lack of ability to even make plans for dinner. We went into the Colosseum to have a good look around which was definitely worthwhile. Tommy acted as my tour guide which may or may not have been educational – quite honestly I wouldn’t know the difference.

It’s fair to say Tommy and I aren’t the most cultured people in the world, so some of the beautiful monuments were slightly wasted on us; we had no idea what they were. Nonetheless, they were lovely to look at.

By the time we got round to eating, we were absolutely starvo so we attempted to go to the nearest place we could find. Typically, the nearest place was Subway. Determined to find some Italian cuisine, we walked and walked to find a cute little restaurant. We were hoping for heaps of pasta but much to our dismay, we were given about 6 pieces of ravioli… Anyway, we couldn’t really complain considering we were sat in Rome drinking prosecco at 1 in the afternoon.

Afterwards, we went to the Trevi Fountain. This was probably one of my favourite places, it was absolutely beautiful. Unsurprisingly it was rammed with tourists meaning you could barely move but when we did get a good view, it was breathtaking. Just a quick tip to take your own Polaroid camera when you’re there – we got charged 10 euros for 2 pictures. I personally was thrilled with them but Tommy wasn’t so impressed.

In the evening, we were ridiculously lazy and just went to McDonald’s for dinner. I did get to experience Maccas pesto pasta though which was an experience in itself.

 

Day 2

 

When in Italy it would be rude not to start your day with gelato, so that is exactly what we did – despite the fact that it was pouring with rain.

Afterwards, we headed straight to the Vatican City which was about 10 minutes away from our hotel. The queue to go inside circled the whole way around St Peter’s Square and it took us about an hour until we finally made it to the front. But it was so worth it. There aren’t many ways to make me speechless, in fact it’s actually unheard of. But the Vatican managed it. Although I couldn’t particularly relate to a lot of the religious beliefs inside, I was mesmerised by every inch of the artwork.

Another quick tip though, please don’t do an Abbie Gaunt and wear a super short (but super cute) skirt when visiting one of the most holy places in the world, it won’t be appreciated and you will have to walk around with a jacket round your legs…

For the rest of the day, we wondered the pretty streets in the rain and stumbled across even more incredible architecture. That city is literally never-ending.

 

Day 3 

 

The majority of day 3 was spent recovering from the night before. It wouldn’t have been a Tommy and Abbie trip without us getting very drunk which we accidentally did whilst attempting a civilised evening. We found some cute bars and sat drinking our fair share of cocktails and Peroni. In an attempt to spend less money and get more drunk (classy, yes) we skipped dinner. That didn’t last long when we found an amazing restaurant with possibly the best pizza I have ever eaten in my entire life; Ristorante Pizzería Imperiale, you were a dream.

Afterwards, we tried to find the Ice Bar, because is it really a city break without visiting the Ice Bar? However, instead of that we found the Pantheon (which we had accidentally missed on our tour of famous landmarks…) and a fancy club called Shari Vari. The rest of the night was a kind of blur, all I know was that it was a good one.

In the morning, we begrudgingly got up and packed to check out. We ate more ice cream for breakfast in hopes of curing our hangovers and walked the streets a little more.

With the little money we had left, we browsed the shops and I refrained from buying anything from Sephora – I amaze myself.

All in all I had the most wonderful trip with a truly good friend. I am so glad I have finally seen a small part of Italy and I can’t wait to explore more.

Next stop, Belgium!

Hugs and wishes,

Abbie x

Follow me: Instagram