For my 21st birthday, I decided to celebrate in The Netherlands, specifically Amsterdam after hearing so many amazing reviews of the city.
We headed off on our travels on Saturday morning hopping across Europe on a propeller plane which took just an hour to land at Amsterdam, Schipol airport. After a short 15 minute train ride we arrived at the Westcord Fashion Hotel to be shown to our room, a large monochrome space with plenty of stylish accessories and a super large shower. The hotel itself was nice however, the front desk service was a bit shoddy and after a number of mix ups with deposits and sneakily added bills banged on to our stay, I wouldn’t stay there again.
To celebrate my birthday we headed to the hotels 10th floor where the super glamorous Sky bar looked out over thousands of twinkly lights and the black, inky sky and after a cocktail or two, it was time to head into central Amsterdam. We booked to have dinner at Jamie Oliver’s ’15’ restaurant on the dock front, I have to say Amsterdam at this time of year is bitterly cold, I don’t think we anticipated just how biting the air would be as we scrabbled with a map. Our meal at 15 was delicious, I opted for the fettuccini with truffle and a mocha cake dessert, the butterscotch ice cream was certainly the jewel of that dish. We closed the evening with a walk into Amsterdam, finding ourselves wandering down the red light district shuffling passed the windows adorned with scantily clad ladies.
On Sunday we slipped into super tourist mode, grabbing a croque monsieur from the station and taking a long walk around the freezing streets of Amsterdam, dipping over canal bridges, dodging bicycles and ambling through Dam Square. In between bubbly hot chocolates and a delicious, authentic pizza we visited Anne Frank House, a moving museum focusing on the Frank families time in the secret annexe in World War 2. To actually walk through their real life hiding place was unreal.
After a solid eight hours of understanding Amsterdam we headed back to the Sky bar for more cocktails before being too tired to keep our eyes open. Being a tourist is hard work.
We flew home on Monday after spending a little more time in the city by this time the winter chill was becoming a little over bearing, it was almost too much as you can’t amble around the streets as fluidly. I did however have an amazing city break to Amsterdam, the city itself is a cultural hit with so much rich diversity, I certainly recommend heading there yourself if you are thinking about it. I wasn’t sure if it would be the right city for me but it turned out to be even better.