14th of June, 2016 – Amsterdam

So after our busy morning in Haarlem, we still had a glorious afternoon and evening in Amsterdam.

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We booked into the Rijkmuseum which was pretty good and we tried to be tourists by getting pictures outside the Amsterdam sign. Amsterdam had not been busy throughout our stay but we saw more people here than anywhere else. We decided to get a quick snap because there were too many people and we didn’t want to risk being concussed by a selfie stick (or two, or a thousand). Alex got to pose next to the ‘A’ and so I didn’t miss out on the fun Alex covered half of the ‘M’ so it looked like an ‘N’!

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Magna Plaza

We popped into the Magna Plaza, not for any particular reason, but just to get a feel for a Dutch shopping mall and compare it to others we have seen around the world. I wouldn’t waste much time going there as there really weren’t that many shops and given how beautiful Amsterdam is, you’re much better off wandering the streets – near Dam Square for the chain shops and along the canals for the design and individual shops.

Before dinner we decided to find somewhere to have a drink. We went to Bleu to have a cheeky cocktail – the food looked good here as well, so it could be worth checking out.

Then for dinner we went to Vapiano. Now Alex and I aren’t really fans of going to chain restaurants when abroad (we prefer to try local restaurants) but we didn’t even realise it was a chain outside of the Netherlands until I looked it up after. It is safe to say I will be heading to the London one now I’m back in England. It is an Italian place where you go downstairs to watch the chefs make your food and customise the dishes. The prices are really good and its a totally different dining experience!

 

 

15th of June, 2016

More exploring and wandering…

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For the last lunch we decided to head back to our lunch spot on the first day for their speciality dish. It was brown bread with goats cheese and walnuts, glazed with honey. They also served it with the most delicious salad with a slightly spicy dressing. All their paninis and sandwiches are roughly €5 and for the quality and quantity that’s a lot better than your average cafe in England.

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On the last day we went to the Vincent Van Gogh Museum. I’m quite fussy about museums and the only one where I can really be entertained for hours is the Natural History Museum in London. That being said I thought this museum was really well organised with lots of text on the walls giving an insight into what was going on in Van Gogh’s life when he wrote each painting. There were also pieces donated from Vincent’s friends and colleagues which mixed things up a bit.

We got to the last day of Amsterdam and I couldn’t believe that we hadn’t tried some pancakes! Pancakes are one of my favourite foods and as a Dutch speciality, finding a pancake place was on the agenda for the day.

We found Toos en Roos on Berenstraat and popped in for an afternoon pancake (or 4) to keep us going as we had a final wander and shop for gifts.

Then it was back to our hotel to check out and head to the airport for the second leg of our summer holiday … Copenhagen, Denmark.

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The Student Hotel

We absolutely loved our stay at The Student Hotel and would really recommend it to other young travellers. Right outside the hotel is a metro and tram stop which meant that we never had to wait longer than 2 minutes to set off. To get to the main tourist/canal area, it would take us about 12-15 minutes but it was well worth being slightly out of the centre because it meant we could save a lot of money.

The rooms were pretty basic (like uni accommodation) but when you are out and about all day all you really need is a nice comfy bed and a bathroom. We spent a lot of our downtime before heading out in the evenings to dinner/night cruise/ice bar playing table tennis or pool and other students were watching the Euros in the lobby.