I’m so excited to finally share with you all my trip to Amsterdam. I’ve had this on my to do list but you know how it goes, life just sometimes gets in the way! Anyway, Kevin and I arrived in Amsterdam after a quick flight out of Philadelphia. We were thinking that the flight would be an 8 hour flight, but we were blessed with a tailwind so our flight was actually only 6 hours. We anticipated getting a nice sleep on the plane but since the flight ended up being short, we hardly slept at all! So after arriving in Amsterdam in the morning, we took a quick cat nap as we were exhausted from the jet lag. We did not want to waste an entire day sleeping so we cleaned up and hit the ground running with a full day of exploring the City. We did not have a schedule but one of the most important sights I wanted to see was the Anne Frank House. Luckily, we had a fabulous concierge at the Andaz Hotel, who was able to get us tickets for that afternoon. After seeing the line wrapped around the block, we were especially grateful.
**One important tip, make sure you purchase tickets online in advance for the Anne Frank House. What we found was that tickets often sell out days in advance, so if you know the dates you will be in Amsterdam, book tickets for the Anne Frank House well in advance!
After touring the Anne Frank House, we spent the afternoon wandering the streets and wine-ing as we go! Kevin and I enjoyed soaking up the sun noshing, wining, watching the boats cruise by on the canals. It was a rare sunny day in Amsterdam. Amsterdam is known for having a relatively wet climate. The sunniest months are May to August, we were blessed with the most magnificent weather while visiting.
What I like to do when visiting any City is to tour and learn all there is to know, which most times means partaking in the Hop On- Hop Off tours. I find that these tours are extremely affordable and you are able to stop at a particular location that interests you for as long as you like and then get on the next bus to continue sight seeing. I can honestly tell you that I fell in love with the charm of Amsterdam. I love all the Royal Blue Delft, the hand painted clogs and windmills. Of course I had to buy a little bit of everything. Amsterdam is a must see city, the people are also so welcoming and friendly.
Another “must do” in Amsterdam is take a canal tour. You are able to see this charming City from the water and learn about all the different neighborhoods. Being a water sign, I’m always drawn to the water so of course the boat tour was my favorite part of the tour. You can see almost the entire City within 90 minutes. The best part if this tour is seeing all the beautiful homes and neighborhoods, I love the unique architecture.
**Tip, watch out for all the bikes or they will run you over! There are more bikes than there are cars in Amsterdam!
**If you are interested in seeing the Keukenof Gardens and Tulips, go at the end of April/ beginning of May. The Gardens close mid- May.
*** April and May offer the best deals since the majority of travelers come in the summer months.
Where to stay:
The Andaz Hotel is a five star hotel located in the Jordaan district, is within walking distance to sights such as the Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum. What I liked about this hotel is it is modern style hotel with a traditional Dutch flare. It is also a Hyatt hotel. Often times when traveling abroad, the hotels are quite different than what we are accustom to in the US. With a US based hotel, you know exactly what you are getting and this hotel lived up to the expectations. The rooms were comfortable and equipped with everything you need, even converters. The rooms were darling with traditional Dutch styled decor which consisted of clogs and decorative wallpaper mapping out the canals. The staff was most helpful, extremely friendly.
The most famous hotel in Amsterdam. This is where the who’s who stay in Amsterdam! This five star hotel is centrally located within the Old Town near the Flower Market off of the Amstel River. The location is fabulous and within walking distance to many sites. I especially loved this hotel because of all the rich history and no lie, they have the BEST beds!! Our room was amazing, we had a Junior Suite with a separate living and bath area, I felt like such a Dutch Queen!
My husband and I had the best time people watching along the canals and chatting with all the interesting hotel guests in the bar. It was a truly interesting experience because of all the elite clientele staying at the hotel. It was interesting talking to men on business and hearing about the innovation going on between Europe and the US. Try the fresh macaroons in the lobby when staying there!
***Taxi service from the airport to the hotel is approximately 70 Euros.
***Or, You can take a shared van service from Schiphol Airport for approximately 25 Euros
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