16 Nov Amsterdam – The third time’s a charm
Amsterdam is definitely one of those places that you can visit time and time again and never get bored of. The beautiful architecture of the canal-side houses, the quaint corner coffee shops (actual coffee) and the vibrant atmosphere can’t be found anywhere else quite the same as it is in Amsterdam. Where else could be a better place to visit for the third time? Only this time was much different.
Every other time that I have visited Amsterdam it has only ever been with one other person, but this time was with a group of close friends, staying in a top floor apartment in the centre of the city. It felt like we were living the Amsterdam lifestyle, and I couldn’t recommend it more. Staying in an apartment as opposed to a hotel or hostel really allows you to capture what living in the city is truly like. We were on the top floor with three flights of stairs and two doors between us and the roadside. I would definitely suggest tackling these stairs with caution after a night out in the city.
We were all there to celebrate a 21st Birthday, which made the trip all that more special. The five of us visited The Hard Rock Cafe for dinner on the night of my boyfriend’s 21st birthday. And if there’s one tip that I can give about visiting a Hard Rock Cafe restaurant especially in Amsterdam is to book way in advance. The year before when Charlie and I visited Amsterdam for his 20th birthday we attempted to eat there, but there were no reservations or tables available on the night. So like many things book ahead as soon as you know when you would like to visit.
There is such a different vibe when you visit somewhere with a group of people, as opposed to there just being two of you. There’s definitely more to think about, like where everyone wants to eat and visit. But if you all take it turns to choose somewhere then this won’t be an issue. Also don’t worry if the group separate for a couple of hours to do different things. This will just make your time together afterwards more refreshing.
We didn’t really do anything differently during the day to what I have done on previous visits to Amsterdam. It was mainly at night where there were differences. Throughout the holiday we had a mixture of nights and really got to experience everything that Amsterdam has to offer. One night we spent our time drinking beer and jägerbombs, talking about the world whilst watching the hustle of the Red Light District pass us by outside. The next night we found ourselves in a coffee shop. Rick’s Coffeeshop isn’t like the traditional Bulldog Coffeeshops that most tourists visit, it’s much quieter and less commercialised. We even spent a night on our apartment’s balcony drinking beers from a shop down the road, playing card games and laughing. The moral of the story is that you don’t have to spend every night you’re in Amsterdam, drinking and smoking in all the tourist spots to truly experience this strange but beautiful city.
By day we did all the things that you would usually do and see when in Amsterdam. Although this was my third time, it was some of the other’s first time and there are things you just have to do when you visit. The Sex Museum, Prostitute Museum, Vondell Park, I Amsterdam sign, Heineken factory were all visited for this first, second and third time between us. However, one place that really stood out during this particular trip was the sitting around the edge of the water lagoon in front of the Rijksmuseum and I Amsterdam sign. It was extremely hot throughout our time away but particularly so at this point on our last full day, and we sat with our feet in the water taking in everything and everyone around us. Its so easy to be constantly on your feet and walking around when you’re in Amsterdam, that sometimes you forget to just stop and take it all in. Only then do you really appreciate this city.
A special thanks to Charlie, Alex, Ali and Lauren for this unforgettable trip…
The moral of this story is that great friends, make a great place that even more special. Despite the fact that this was my third time visiting Amsterdam, with friends it felt like a whole new place.