The weekend getaway to Amsterdam is one that has been thought of for a few years now and at the end of February I managed to tick off Amsterdam from my travel bucketlist. I have always wanted to go to Amsterdam and not just via transit but actually get to see the city and explore it. Granted I didn’t know much about the city (and still don’t) but it’s a city I had wanted to visit and it was emphasized when I met someone who later became a good friend of mine.
I have already shared how I planned on traveling to Amsterdam, you can check out my post on Howto plan for a 10+ hour bus ride to Amsterdam. Yes you read correctly, 10+ hours, I chose to travel via bus for 2 reasons: Adventure and affordability. I know many people don’t like bus rides and for that long not many would even consider it but for me it’s truly an adventure and one I enjoyed. Affordability, you would think living so close to Amsterdam it would be cheap(er) but it is not. If you took the Eurostar to Brussels then train to Amsterdam that is already £100+ one way, a return would be over £200+ and since all my travel are budget travels so I have to be smart with my money.
Now that is done with, here is how the weekend getaway to Amsterdam went.
We left London around 21:30 and reached the ferry in Dover just before midnight. The bus was loaded onto P&O ferries and we had chance to sit on deck where we tried to snooze but it didn’t work, 70 minutes later we were off the ferry and in France. I can’t tell you what happened between France and entering Amsterdam as we fell asleep until the morning around 6am. We arrived at Sloterdijvk station just gone 8:30 where we used the toilets to freshen up (brush teeth and wash face) and get changed. We had arranged to meet my friend around 10:30 but since we had over an hour to burn we sat down in Starbucks for some hot chocolate. We had all packed plenty of snacks but I still wanted a cake from Starbucks. Afterwards we met up with my friend who took us to a lovely pancake place somewhere near her work place. Since we were starved we wanted omelets than pancakes but my friend had some delicious pancakes.
Left to our own devices because my friend had to go to work we went about exploring Amsterdam. My girls insisted we visit Red City and I will say this once NEVER AGAIN. Red is for danger I should have remembered that as red city is dangerous and not the violence type it’s the sex district. Naked women displaying themselves in glass windows was honestly not the sight I was looking for, they had sex cinemas (yes exactly that). It was not my taste to say the least and it’s a part of Amsterdam I would be happy not to see again.
After my girls curiosity was over and done with we headed to another side of the city to see the Anne Frank museum where we stumbled upon a souvenir store which like most stores there only saw cannabis flavored EVERYTHING. It was off putting but interesting too. We managed to find the Anne Frank museum but it had the longest queue ever so we decided to walk around the town instead do our own exploration until it was time to head back to Sloterdijvk Station for our bus to Brussels, Belgium. I will be sharing my weekend getaway to Brussels shortly on the blog.
Travel tips: Navigating Amsterdam is pretty easy, just figure out where you want to go and then use the trams which are efficient and on time. The cost as little as 1.20 euros to travel on them for an hour but you have an offer to choose a 24hr travel pass or even longer.