Last month we went on a long weekend away to Amsterdam just the two of us, a kind of baby moon I guess before number 2 arrives in April. I had never been before but Mr has been loads either with friends or with work so I was glad we wouldn’t spend the few days we had there lost and no idea what to do.
We stayed at the CitizenM which we stay at a lot if we get the rare night away at home as there is one in Glasgow . It was surprisingly cheap compared to other hotels, if you sign up as a “citizen” you get it cheaper too and a free drink. Definitely not for the shy though, completely clear shower and although the loo was frosted you could still see through it haha! There is a dividing curtain in the room though. The hotel isn’t in the centre, it’s about 15/20 minutes on the tram which stops a couple of minutes walk from the hotel and is also where you get on for the airport so was really convenient!
One thing that will always stand out is when I went to ask for extra pillows for my bump when I was sleeping, the very helpful guy at reception took our details and assured me he would send some up. A few hours passed so I sent Mr back down and the poor guy was mortified they hadn’t arrived so they sent up a tray with tea and a massive muffin – pregnant Friday night sorted! In the morning we woke up to a sign on our door which I have no idea who put it there but I am assuming it was the staff – no drunk person carries washi tape! Made us smile and remained there the whole weekend lol.
We used the tram mostly to get around, you can get a ticket that lasts however many days you want and works out soooo much cheaper. They are very frequent too and stop most places you would need them to. As I mentioned there was a stop basically 5 minutes walk from our hotel so was really easy to get around and saved us a fortune. Trying to say the station names is a bit of a mission though.
If you love Italian, Argentinian steakhouses or pastry you are sorted. Walking around it does feel like everywhere is the same but there are hidden gems in there and it’s definitely worth having a look before you head out for somewhere although you won’t starve as there is restaurants EVERYWHERE.
One place we really liked was The Butcher, obviously not the place for vegetarians. Order at the til and they will bring out your order fresh, really good!
Also it kinda goes without saying you need to stop into one of the MANY waffle places. I got nutella of course.
One of our favourite meals was at a little dutch cafe where we got a dutch “stamppot” – get one.
Out and about
I spent a lot of time before we went looking at where we “should” go or where the classic tourist attractions are and to be honest we didn’t really go to any of them. I am glad though, I found that just getting lost in the maze of streets and bridges meant we found places we didn’t expect to and the places just looks amazing.
Of course being pregnant meant we had to stop for a pee, food or a drink a lot – I did treat myself to a glass of wine, there are so many lovely bars which I do feel gutted at missing out on but next time.
Worth a mention too of course since it’s what Amsterdam is well known for – the “coffee” shops. We definitely didn’t visit any of these although walking down some of the street you might as well have went in lol, some very bleary eyed tourists walking around.
Some places we did go and I would definitely recommend are…
The markets – get up early and see what you can find! It was quite amusing as well with what people were trying to flog off but we did find some lovely stuff too, the flowers are worth going to as well just to look at and get pretty pictures.
The shops – there are the usual high street shops of course but whilst getting lost in the streets there are hundreds of quirky little ones that you could spend ages (and a fortune) in.
A boat trip – this was one of the things I had looked at before and we nearly pre booked one and I am so glad we did’nt. Most wanted like 20€ each and were so busy, we got up one morning and found an older boat for 9€ each and it was lovely inside with tables rather than rows of plastic seats. They last about an hour so was a good way of seeing loads in a short amount of time.
The red light district – Don’t be a prude, go! Between the shops and the windows it is quite an experience. I did get a knock much to Mr’s amusement – at 10am on the Monday morning… lol.
Sex museum – we didn’t even notice this til the last night even though it is right in the centre on the high street. Was only like 4€ each and was actually really interesting! Lots of good picture opportunities too lol.
Hope this helps if you are planning a trip to Amsterdam or were just curious. I would say it is really family friendly too so would definitely go back with the kids.
Apart from having an amazing and rare few days just the two of us it was also a complete shock that Mr had a secret plan… yep he popped the question! So glad we went a head and booked it – I was feeling so guilty about leaving Abel but he had a ball with grandparents and we got some much needed sleep and time alone so I’m happy. Here’s hoping our next trip isn’t too far away since this was my first time away since the last time I was pregnant.