Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Amsterdam Travel Diary

Hey guys! If you follow me on Snapchat or Instagram you would have known I was away in Amsterdam last week with my group of friends. Whenever I'm planning a trip I search blogposts about the place to find out where people stayed, what they did etc and that's why I tend to do them when I'm home to give any nuggets of information to anyone going or share any amazing places we went to or ate. 
Since I have so many food places that were amazing I'm actually going to do a separate 'Where We Ate In Amsterdam' blogpost that will be up later this week. 

I amsterdam sign outside Rijksmuseum
First on the agenda when you book your flights is to find somewhere to stay. We got cheap flights with Ryanair and then we got a train into Amsterdam Centraal which runs every 15 minutes or so and costs €5. 
We decided to stay in a hostel called ClinkNOORD which you had to get a ferry out to from Amsterdam Centraal. The ferry ran every five minutes and was completely free and ran 24 hours. The hostel was more affordable in comparison to the more central hostels and it only took about 15/20 minutes to get  into the city centre with the ferry which was perfect. 
ClinkNOORD hostel 
ClinkNOORD was an old laboratory building and keeps up that theme throughout. I have no photos of our dorm but it was simple and clean with two USB ports and a light at every bed. They have all the photos on their website of the room and the communal areas (I couldn't take any pics of them as there were people there and didn't want to take photos of them!)
Indoor garden @ ClinkNOORD 
They had events on every day and night so we did karaoke one night and it's a perfect way to meet other travellers. The staff were so friendly and helpful, we had a problem with our air conditioning in the room and they sorted us out straight away with a fan. They have a bar downstairs as well as a restaurant and guest kitchen where you can cook yourselves. There was a gorgeous indoor garden as well and there was just such a great atmosphere around the place, we all loved our stay there and would definitely be recommending it to people and go back ourselves. 
Those Dam Boat Guys Canal Tour 
The first night we went on a canal tour by Those Dam Boat Guys and it was so unreal. So the usual canal tours are in big covered over boats with a recorded voice telling you about things (I was on one when I was in Amsterdam in fourth year). But Those Dam Boat Guys do tours in a small boat with around 10 people on the tour and the guide just chats away. It's very interactive and personalised to the people on the boat, we had a guide called Blake from New Zealand and it was such craic, he gave us loads of recommendations for the rest of our trip. You can bring your own food and drink on board as well which is fab. If you're going to be in Amsterdam I highly recommend booking a tour it was so so good. 
Those Dam Boat Guys Canal Tour 
Moco Museum
Day 2 we started off by going to Moco Museum to see the Banksy exhibition. It was €11 for a student and so worth it if you like Banksy's art. The exhibition is there until January 2019 and definitely a must if you're around Amsterdam, especially since it's so affordable.
That evening we went to the Ice Bar which we booked online and was around €20 but includes 3 free  drinks so it kind of pays for itself really. You're given a coat and gloves so it's not as cold as you think but I would suggest wearing long pants so you're not frozen, Definitely somewhere cool to go for a few drinks instead of going to a normal pub. The staff in there were really friendly and helpful as was everywhere really, everyone we came across when we were over there were so lovely. 
Day 3 was fairly chilled in comparison to the other days, we went shopping for the morning and then that evening we went for an amazing Italian (more on that in Friday's food blogpost). The shopping in Amsterdam is so so good, their Primark is huge and the shopping streets are around Dam square so very easy to find and central. 

We started off day 4 by going to Nemo which is a science museum but as our canal tour guide told us, you can go to the roof for free and get a fab view from there instead of paying €11 to get to the top of the A'dam lookout. Theres also a really cool cafe on the roof, you can get to it by the lift just inside the door of Nemo or else by the steps at the side of the museum. Going up to the roof is free and not ticketed but to get into the science museum part you do need a ticket. 
Because the weather wasn't the greatest while we were there we left Vondel park to the sunniest day which was our last day. We walked there and then rented bikes from a place just around the corner from the entrance to the park. We rented them for 3 hours which was €10 and we're all so glad we did this. The park is gorgeous and cycling around it is so chill and so much fun, a perfect place to chill out and like we did, have a picnic. I think the canal tour and cycling around Vondelpark are absolute musts if you're in Amsterdam. 
So there we have it, my Amsterdam travel diary. Make sure to come back on Friday to hear all about the unreal food we ate. I hope this helps anyone planning to go to Amsterdam soon or else you had a good nose at what we got up to, 
Ailbhe x 

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