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October 26, 2016

Taking a break from the usual beauty posts today to share with you my recent trip to Amsterdam for the day! As you may know I am currently studying abroad and am trying to travel a lot so look forward to reading many more of these 'travel guide' type of posts.

Last Saturday I went with my friend on day trip to Amsterdam by coach. This was my first time visiting the city, and my first time in The Netherlands so I really wanted to see as much of it as I could and soak up the Dutch culture. As I only had 10 hours to play with in the city me and my friend decided to choose one of the 'attractions' to see and then planned to spend the rest of the day exploring. We went to one of the ticket offices and chose to buy a ticket to the Rijksmuseum Museum - a museum dedicated to Dutch history and art. Originally we were going to buy tickets to the Van Gogh Museum but the man working in the ticket office recommended choosing the Rijksmuseum as it featured some of Van Goghs work, as well as many other artists and mixes in a lot of history as well.

So we picked up a coffee and made our way down to the southern part of the city, it was about a 25-minute walk from where we got dropped off by our coach. It's so easy to catch the tram, but walking around a city is so much better when you really want to soak up the atmosphere - it was also a nice day so it was nice to be out and take pictures. 


The entrance to the museum cost €17 and as you can see it's a pretty massive building, also very pretty! The collection they had at the museum was amazing, you start with some very early artwork - very focussed on Christ at the start. And then you move through the ages and I have to say it was so interesting. I am very much a history nerd and I know next to nothing about Dutch history apart from when they were involved in English history so I was able to learn a lot. What I was most excited to see where the paintings by Van Gogh as I really love his work and it was amazing to see them in the flesh. That being said if you are into modern art then this probably won't be your favourite museum, but I have always been into old paintings and art so it was the perfect museum for me to visit. You could seriously spend all day here and I'm sure I didn't get to see everything that the museum had to offer but we were getting hungry so decided to go on the hunt for a nice place to eat.

We had been told by a friend that the 'De Pijp' area was a good place to find cafe's and restaurants so off we went to find something. We found a little Cafe called 'Lunchroom Hannibal', which I don't know if it's exactly in the De Pijp area but was close. We sat down and were greeted by some really friendly waitresses who took us through the specials and Dutch specialities. Some of the dishes sounded so good but I went for my usual Hamburger and I was not disappointed. The burger was amazing, with ketchup and (!) mayo with cheese and onions. I also got a side of fries as it was pretty obvious through walking around Amsterdam that fries are very big here - and boy were they good. Plus the burger was only €4.50! It really pays to walk out of the touristy areas to find really good food for a much better price.

After lunch we met with some friends and they showed us around the city. We found a small street market near De Pijp where we found stalls selling juices, toasties and crepes. Then we took the tram up to a more central area to walk around the shops and soak up the atmosphere. Amsterdam is such a cool place full of great independent shops, so unique that you know they are stocking products that you can't find anywhere else. When it started to get late we sat down next to one of the canals with some crisps and beer and watched the boats go past.

When it started to get a bit too chilly we went to go find somewhere to get a hot drink, we ended up in Dantes Kitchen and Bar. The atmosphere in here was great and although we didn't get anything to eat the food looked so good, with plenty of pizza options to choose from. I just got a latte which, fun fact, is translated in Dutch as 'coffee wrong' as I was told by a friend as it contains more milk than coffee. The others got tea and had the choice of picking between such a large selection, with everything from Lychee to Camomile - everything but English Breakfast! We sat talking until it was time for me and my friend to walk back to catch our coach back to France. We walked through the Christmas market which is incredible in the evenings. For the thrill seekers there were a few rides but the food was the main thing I was interested in - obviously. We walked past so many candy floss stalls selling the biggest sticks of candy floss I'd ever seen as well as the usual German sausage stall which is a given for all Christmas markets. We ended up with pancake puffs with Nutella poured over - think of these as small but super fluffy pancakes. Then we went to the pickup point, got on the coach and started the 3 and half hour journey home.

Amsterdam has definitely been one of the best places I've visited in a long time. Although I was only there for 10 hours I feel like I saw a lot and enjoyed the beautiful city. I can say for definite that I will be visiting again, hopefully for a few days so I can visit some more of the attractions and museums. If you have been thinking about taking a trip I would say book your tickets now and you won't regret it.

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