When you think of Amsterdam, you think of their famous red-light district, canals, boathouses and museums. I have to say their canals and boathouses made a last impression on me.
We took the airport express bus and I can still vividly remember the bus came just as we were lugging our luggages towards the bus stop. Minz actually carried my latte on one hand and handled her luggage with the other hand, and ran for the bus!!! I was struggling with my 20kg-ish luggage, trailing behind her. That moment was epic and so glad we caught the bus as we would have to wait another good 20-30 mins for the next one.
We then switched to take their tram and arrived our hotel. We stayed at Apollo Musuem Hotel City Center and the location is fabulous. Just a 1-min walk away from Rjiksmuseum and accessible to central station with tram ride.
The day we arrived was King’s Day and everyone was decked in orange. We were pretty overwhelmed by the crowd and I thought Amsterdam is so happening. But actually only for that day haha.
Anne Frank Museum
As we have booked a particular time slot for Anne Frank Museum, we rushed there first.
I’ve read the book and I tried to imagine the way she described with what I saw. It came to life and I find it so hard to imagine them living in the secret annex room for years, during her teenage years. I’d highly recommend to book this online as I dont see any ticket sales there at the museum.
Thereafter, my jet lag kicked in and we went back to our hotel for a short rest. But still a mandatory shot in front of Rjiksmuseum. And few more shots during night time at 8pm when the daylight was still so, so bright.
Central Station and Red Light District
After we regained our energy, we headed to Central Station and most of the tourists were there. While we were taking photos, a group of youngsters just crowd around me and so I got photo-bombed, while they shouted Go China! Lol. Hello I’m a Singaporean.
Somehow we struggled to find cafes or other eating options and we settled for Asian food. You can’t take the Asian out of us! Dinner at this Tibet restaurant and another Hong Kong eatery. The Tibet food wasn’t as good as that of the Hong Kong eatery. You can find them along the stretch of eateries near the red light district towards the main canal.
Before we set off for Bloemenmarkt and Zaanse Schans, we went to Madam Pancake for breakfast. Their savoury scrambled egg pancakes were awesome. Well as for the Açai bowl, I would say you can’t go wrong with that.
I would say the Bloemenmarkt looked different from what I googled about it somehow. I thought it would be tulips galore but it’s more like a market place that sells tulips and mostly the bulbs. And lots of souvenir shops.
Ever since the sign “I Amsterdam” was removed from Rjiksmuseum, that will not stop us from searching this sign and taking a mandatory shot with it. We took a free ferry ride across the river to take this shot. This gigantic ferry allowed passengers to board with their bikes and it’s really amazing to see so many of them Cycling around and more bike parking lots than car lots.
We also saw A’dam Lookout which was initially in my to-go IG list but thankfully Minz talked me out of it as it’s really just another marketing gimmick after reading online reviews and seeing it for myself there.
Their acclaimed number 1 fries with Long queue. The fries was not bad and there were too many sauces/dips to choose from. I’m so glad I was sharing the sinful calories with Minz. 😀
Lo and behold… there’s Primark in Amsterdam! Minz and I got so excited and we shopped for more than 2 hours there. The last time I saw Primark was in London 6 years ago. For those who have not been to Primark, it’s like H&M but things are cheaper and more happening and more fashion forward! At some point, we decided Primark might be the highlight of our trip after all, as we were searching for traces of Primark in Belgium. Lol.
By the way, Primark in Amsterdam was better than that in Belgium, comparing the variety of clothing.
Canal ride and Boathouses
Another item on my bucket list is to take a canal ride and enjoy the scenery of Amsterdam. We took an 1-hour canal ride and we were pretty fascinated by the pretty boathouses.
Overall, Amsterdam gave me a chillax and good vibes. I remember seeing their locals eating at the porch/ledge outside their window, overlooking the canals while chatting. Oh, what a different lifestyle they have. We also realised they have a grab-and-go or to-go food culture; perhaps the locals like to takeaway and relax along the canal? I’m not sure if the takeaway and fast food culture can be something that I can adapt in the long-term. Initially we wanted to go to some IG-worthy cafes but realised they were quite scattered and far away from The Central Station. I’d prioritise visiting the places of interest rather than going to these cafes in my opinion.
What do you like about Amsterdam?