Saturday, 23 November 2013

Life: Amsterdam Mini Break November 2013

We have just come back from a four day visit to the lovely Amsterdam. It was our first time visiting the city and we both loved it! We stayed at the NH Amsterdam Centre Hotel, which was perfectly located opposite the Leidseplein and close to the Vondelpark.

We did most of our exploring on foot, which we always tend to do on city breaks (sore feet!!) but Amsterdam and Holland as a whole is very much a bicycle city. We found out a great fact in that there are 550,000 bikes in Amsterdam and 10% of them are stolen annually. I can fully believe it too as there were loads that weren't chained up.

We arrived around lunchtime on our first day and had a wander. Our hotel and the Leidseplein are at the end of the main shopping area so we had a slow mooch round the shops before heading back to the hotel to check in and decide on somewhere for dinner.

After deciding to venture up the Spuistraat we popped into Lion Noir for a quiet drink en route, which was a really cool bar and restaurant. It reminded me a little of The Alchemist in Manchester, but a lot less pretentious. For dinner we ended up at Humphrey's Restaurant, which is a Holland-based chain but the set, three-course menu was delicious and really well priced.

On our second night we ate at the lovely restaurant in the Dikker & Thijs Fenice Hotel, which also had a set menu. The food here was incredible but the service was a little slow. We had visited the Anne Frank Haus that day, which was unexpectedly emotional so we needed some good sustenance!

On our third day we ate a tasty brunch at Greenwoods, which came highly recommended both in our guide book and on Trip Advisor. I had the eggs florentine and the boy had a full English. Both were excellent and the choice of tea was a nice surprise.

After brunch we bought a 24 hour hop-on, hop-off ticket for the tour boat, which was 20euro each. This was a lovely and relaxing way to see the city after all of the walking we had done on the previous days. We took both the red and orange routes, which covered all of the main sites, including the Albert Cuyp Market in De Pijp. We decided to walk back down to this area for dinner on our final night and ended up at the Chocolate Bar, where we were joined for dinner by the house cat! I ordered fondue, which was an obscene amount of food and the boy had a perfectly cooked burger. The bar sits in the middle of a group of other bars and restaurants at the edge of the Albert CuypStraat so you should be spoilt for choice.

Have you been to Amsterdam?

Katie xx

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