I have not long since returned from my 7th visit to Amsterdam, this City holds a very special place in my heart. I love nothing more than exploring all the neighbourhoods and Amsterdam has become one of Europe’s most Vegan friendly Cities. I have a full post coming next week all about the incredible Vegan places we ate & let me tell you we found some pretty special places.
We have visited most of the tourist places & done the main museums although we like to revisit our favourite spots like the rijksmuseum, Vondelpark, Dam Square and you can’t visit Amsterdam without going on a boat tour especially a champagne one. This time top of our list of places we wanted to see was the National Holocaust Memorial & National Holocaust Museum which opened last year. I wanted to visit after reading the novel called Girl in the Blue Coat as some of the book is set on the site of the Museum in the Hollandsche Schouwburg Theatre and also across the street in the crèche. The Nazi’s turned the theatre into a prison and a deportation centre and it survives today as a memorial to the 80,000 Jews who were held there ahead of being deported. I highly recommend visiting if you get the chance, the museum’s exhibitions are so well curated!
The weather was a little hit & miss much like the UK, but armed with our umbrellas we walked miles & miles each day along the stunning canals and historic neighbourhoods. I always tell people that Amsterdam is so much more beautiful that they could imagine. It is more that just stag parties, red light district and coffee shops. It is rich in history architecture and culture. Being one of the Europe’s biggest, oldest ports means its past is so interesting and Amsterdam has so many Museums to tell the story.
I have a few more photos to share along with my Amsterdam Vegan Food Guide so keep an eye out for that. If you have visited Amsterdam let me know what you love about this City.
If you want to see what I got up to on previous visits just click here or check out the recommended the posts below.
I have visited Berlin a few times & I lived in Germany for 14+ years so Germany holds a very special place in my heart, the last time I previously visited Berlin almost 6 years ago and have been eager to go back for a while now. I wasn’t planning on booking a European trip but after browsing trips in the UK & realising I could go abroad for less I thought what the heck lets go to Berlin.
I got such a great deal & went from Monday – Friday flying from Liverpool to Berlin Schoenefeld (which is without doubt THE worst airport I have ever been to). We stayed at a relatively new hotel called Titanic Chaussee – they have a pool and spa facilities as well as a lovely restaurant, bar and lounge area. I would stay there again in a heartbeat. We found it very well situated for public transport and also it is walking distance to a lot of the major tourist attractions like Alexanderplatz, Checkpoint Charlie & Brandenburg Gate.
We had previously visited most of the major sites so we spent most of the trip just taking our time and exploring, walking around the side streets and popping in and out of cafes. It was beyond freezing, I know it can be cold there as we last went in March and that was bitterly cold but I thought going at the end of April we would be a little more lucky with the weather but it snowed and the temperature was -2, I just used this as an excuse to drink lots of warm drinks in cute coffee shops.
Alot of the major attractions are quite close to each other so we spent the first day walking to Alexanderplatz, Museum Island, Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag. We have been inside the Reichstag already so didn’t need to revisit but this is one spectacular building and always worth seeing. I remember when I lived in Germany I visited in 1995 and the glass dome was not finished, it looked very different.
There are quite a few streetside memorials and galleries throughout Berlin dedicated to the thousands of people who lost their lives during Nazi Germany and quite honestly the whole city has such a rich history so you will never run out of things to do. The architecture in Berlin is imposing but beautiful and so many of the buildings still have bullet holes and very visual reminders of a violent past.
Berliner Dom – This is the beautiful Berlin Cathedral and is on Museum Island
Street Art – Berlin is full of street art
Titanic Chaussee Hotel – This is the hotel lobby
Titanic Chaussee Hotel – This was our double room & I loved the pops of yellow
Memorial to the Murdered Members of the Reichstag – This is in front of the Reichstag
The Fernsehturm – This is the famous Berlin TV Tower also St Mary’s Church which is one of the oldest churches in Berlin
Rotes Rathaus – Berlin Town Hall
Humboldt University in Berlin
The Equestrian Statue of Frederick the Great
Memorial to the Sinti and Roma Victims of National Socialism
If you didn’t catch Part 1 of my Amsterdam photo diary just click here to take a look. I only got back from my trip a month ago and it feels like forever, I need to book another trip ASAP so I have something to look forward too.
As I said in my previous post I have visited Amsterdam quite a few times now so I have managed to do most of the big tourist things like Anne Frank’s House (which is an absolute must visit!), Rijksmuseum, Museum Van Loon, Red Light District and such like. So when we visit now we just relax and enjoy the beautiful canal streets. We walk so many miles in a day just exploring all the back streets and visiting our favourite restaurants and cafe’s, of which there are so many!
One lovely cafe / shop I must recommend to you is PLUK – there is usually a wait for a table but it is well worth it because they ave the most delicious smoothies, lunches and sweet treats. You can take away if you don’t have time to sit in but its such a welcoming, instagramable space & they have a shop selling stationery and the cutest homewares, if you are able to resist buying something then you have a lot more willpower than me!
Oh & if you want somewhere really nice to go for dinner or just a few drinks then The Hoxton Hotel is pretty damn cool and the food is amazing!
Let me know where you love to visit when you’re in Amsterdam.
October saw me turn 38 and to celebrate my lovely husband took me to Amsterdam. If you have been a long time reader of my blog, then you will know we have visited Amsterdam quite a few times over the years. We just can’t help going back, its incredibly beautiful, inspiring and vibrant. I always return home feeling refreshed and with a promise to myself that I will live there one day & I am still working towards that dream (6 visits later).
Amsterdam is such a short flight from the UK and you can always get a cheap deal. I know most people associate it with Stag Parties and the Red Light District – which is a part of it and of course what is a visit without visiting the oldest part of the City. That aside there is so much more to see and do there, when people ask me for suggestions I always tell them just to explore the canals, walk, walk and walk some more. You can’t fail but to stumble across lovely independent shops (Amsterdam has very few chain shops, although more are opening each year) there is an abundance of incredible places to eat and drink and the scenery is always breathtaking. The tree lined canals, houseboats and bridges are so romantic especially at night when they’re all lit up. We have covered so many miles just wandering the streets romanticising about living in one of the crooked canal houses.
I would say seeing the city by boat is a really nice way to spend a few hours, I like to use the smaller eco boats that sit 6 – 8 people and have a local guide. You learn so much about the history of the city and about the canals themselves. Its so nice to see everything from a different perspective.
A picnic in Vondelpark is a relaxing way to spend a warm afternoon, I love to people watch in there. It’s such a mix of locals and tourists all having fun.
I could go on & on about this European gem but I know most of you have been before but if you haven’t you must visit you won’t be disappointed, I promise you that. It’s one of the most friendly, beautiful and vibrant cities I have ever visited.