Amsterdam: A city full of canals, coffee shops and the Red light district.

I’ve been to Amsterdam a fair few times now. Purely because my uncles live over there and how I can’t thank them enough for introducing me to such a beautiful and historic city. The first time I ventured across the English Channel and into the Netherlands, I never knew what to expect. Of course, I was young and wasn’t able to experience all the things that the city is known for in the younger culture of England. I’m sure you can guess what that is. Getting high and the Red light district. However, I experienced a lot whilst exploring the city, ranging from antique coffee shops, the most beautiful bricked and tilted houses, restaurants to walking down the canals and seeing everything nature had to offer in the most exquisite parks.

(I also feel I should apologise for the quality of the images shown. I was young and unexperienced with a camera at this point)

The second time I visited, my uncle met us at the airport and we traveled via a double decker train – much to my surprise and amazement that double decker trains even existed – to central Amsterdam. From here, we boarded onto a tram on our way to my uncles apartment. As we got off, my mum and sister somehow managed to get themselves stuck on the tram and was left stranded without the tour guide that was my uncle. Upon realisation, my uncle, myself and my mums girlfriend sprinted after the tram – suitcases heavily trailing behind us in order to catch up with my mum. Who eventually made it off the tram and to my uncles Apartment.

If I were to tell you to explore anything. It would be everything. Explore as much as you can because everything that the city has to offer is worth seeing. Amsterdam’s world famous floating flower market, Bloemenmarkt is a must see if you’re in love with nature. It stretches along the Singel canal, Muntplein and Koningsplein square in the City’s Southern canal belt. Something you can’t miss even if you wanted too. It is such a beautiful sight. The market consists of 15 florists, garden and souvenir shops as well as some small cafes where you can sit and grab a bite to eat or a cup of coffee whilst watching the many tourists swell amongst the flowers.

As well as this, I would advise you take a boat trip down one of the city’s many canals. Upon doing this, you’re able to pack more sights into a small amount of time, alongside being able to sit back and relax as the city floats around you. On my little journey I saw a variety of boats owned by those who lived within the city. Some large, some small but all equally intriguing and unique in their own way. We floated past the Anne Frank museum. Although, I didn’t go inside I would most definitely put that on my to do list the next time I visit the city. Most spectacular – I saw a floating Chinese restaurant on Lake IJ. Again, something I never had the pleasure to experience but definitely want too in the future.

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(Again, I can’t apologise more for the quality of these images)

If you are the type of person looking for excitement and party I would definitely advise you take the trip in April where you can experience a full day of day drinking on Queens day or now known as Kings day considering ‘Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, the longest reigning Dutch monarch, announced her abdication after 33 years on the throne’. For those who haven’t heard of the event. I’ll give you a brief overview with the help of a little research. It’s a day and night event set in a carnival like setting, stretching in the depths of the city, along the canals and within the parks. The event attracts more than 700 tourists each year, and who is surprised? It’s an event fulfilled with fun, dancing and drinking! What more could you want? From my experience, it was a hectic day with people swarming the streets. Though the event was more than overfilled the atmosphere itself was chilled and relaxed and I would be more than happy to experience the event now I’m old enough to actually understand it.

If you’re thinking about visiting Amsterdam and are unsure. I would cast aside your doubt and 100% make the trip. I believe that the city is a must see for all. It has everything for everyone. Who doesn’t want cute bike rides along the canal and getting high in chilled out vintage coffee shops? It’s an experience you’d never forget. Trust me. And you can do all this on an extremely tight budget or with all the money in the world. So, students, looking for a quick trip away after your exams. Give Amsterdam ago.

 

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