Welcome to Amsterdam!
Callum and I went to Amsterdam last weekend, and it was the first time either of us had visited this amazing city. I didn’t know what to expect to be honest, as I knew it was going to be full of canals and bikes, full of history, and also speckled with coffee shops, not to mention the red light district. Having just over 48 hours to explore we managed to explore quite a chunk of the city, although I’m sure there was much more we didn’t get to see.
The very centre of the city is absolutely jam packed full of tourists and shops (most of which can be found back in England…) and I hated it. Feeling tired and irritable, this area really didn’t help my mood on the first day! However, the area by the secret garden (yes, there’s a secret garden in the middle of Amsterdam and you have to go through a door to get in!) was much more relaxed. We spent a few hours in different cafes around here just people watching, which was lovely. Our hotel was located just south west of Jordaan which offers beautiful little shops, cafes and a fantastically busy vintage market – another of my favourite areas.
Yes, there are coffee shops which sell marijuana, but we didn’t sample any! They were fascinating though and really not intimidating like I would imagine. If I think of weed in London I imagine either students or gangs, but a whole mix of people indulge in Holland. It’s really quite refreshing because as it’s legalised there is no negativity attached to the drug. Also, yes, there are prostitutes who advertise their wares in dimly lit windows, which is so so strange. When I first saw a red light and a lady in her lacy underwear, I really didn’t know where to look… and I’m not a prude at all! It was an eye opener (har har) to say the least.
If you’re thinking of visiting Amsterdam the best thing to do is just wander around and get lost within the canals of this wonderful city. The areas change from street to street, and there’s so much to see! I will have a few more posts up in the next week or so, so stay tuned!