13 December 2018

48 Hours is Too Little for Amsterdam | Cëe the World

Amsterdam is one city that I was really looking forward to. When I was on exchange, my room mate and another friend we met were Dutch, so I've heard quite a bit about The Netherlands. Stories about cyclists being everywhere, how as tourists we have to be careful to walk on the correct path and not the cycling lane. I guess I was not prepared to see how many cyclists there actually were until I was in Amsterdam.

If you've followed along my previous post, you would know that our train from Frankfurt to Amsterdam broke down therefore, we had to travel to Cologne and take the next train out. We were really lucky to be able to grab the last 4 seats available on the next best timing. We arrived only after 11am, instead of 9am as planned. It wasn't that bad thankfully, though this meant that we had even lesser time for Amsterdam. As soon as we arrived at Amsterdam Centraal station, we plotted a course to our hotel, but it was not without hiccups (of course). We were trapped within the gantries as we didn't have tickets until some kind souls offered to help.

(Take a closer look at this photo, can you guess how many bicycles are parked here?)


Finally, we checked into our sweet little hotel, Hotel2Stay, about 8 minutes walk away from a bus station and train station Amsterdam Sloterdijk. Apart from seeing 4 students trying to smoke something in a lift, the area seemed pretty safe. The hotel also had a cute little rooftop space that look gorgeous at night with the fairy lights.


These are the various tickets that travellers can get, 1-day (€16), 2-day (€21) and 3-day (€26), which gives you unlimited travel on the public transports (train, bus and tram included) within Amsterdam. Depending on how many trips you make a day, tickets that give you unlimited travel usually makes the most sense.


Despite arriving later than scheduled, we decided to go ahead with our plans and head to Zaanse Schans a neighbourhood within Zaandam, just north of Amsterdam. We took the train and alighted at Zaandijk Zaanse Schans station, then walked about 10-15 minutes. You'll know that you're near when the aroma of cocoa fills the air and windmills are in sight.

I recommend spending a little over 3 hours when you're here! There's so much to see from traditional houses, to many cute windmills, workshops, and farm animals. We settled for lunch at a random spot, everything was good except that we tried to be adventurous and ordered some soup that we didn't know of.

Unfortunately, we couldn't stay long as we had other places to be. I would love to be back and explore deeper into the area. I did pick up some stroopwafels when I was there though ;)

For dinner, we headed back to Amsterdam and of course, had to pay Mama Kelly a visit. So many of you recommended this place, I suppose more for the interior than the food but nonetheless, happy to report that the food looks as good as the place! However, a few of the staff made us felt uncomfortable, and the one serving us was a little pushy and kept trying to make us order more food. We're small eaters and had already ordered half a chicken and steak. The total bill came to about €35  for the two of us, which was not too bad honestly.

Mama Kelly Amsterdam
Since this is such an instagrammable spot, and many of you might be thinking of visiting, I thought I would give my verdict on whether it's worth visiting: the answer is no. Unless the service of the staff is improved I really don't see why you should visit. I'm pretty sure you can find affordable and delicious food elsewhere. Also, I want to make a disclaimer that apart from the service here, everyone else we met in Amsterdam was the sweetest! How's everyone literally so nice and helpful?

We had an early night after dinner as we had to be up early the next morning for our canal cruise!


Day 2 was a little more laidback, we weren't rushing to places, instead we took our own time to explore within the city centre.

We had booked a morning canal cruise, when it was least busy, so we could enjoy more sights of the city. Though it was drizzling and cold during our ride, it's sheltered so you don't have to worry. After our 40 minutes canal cruise, we headed off for breakfast.

For breakfast, we stopped by Mook Pancakes. I had The Chocolate Sensation, which came with homemade chocolate sauce, fresh fruits and grated coconut. I enjoyed their pancakes, and the prices were also pretty decent. Ranging from €8.50 to €14, you can add on additional toppings if you like.

Mook Pancakes – De Clercqstraat 34H, 1052 NG, Amsterdam

Feeling contented with our breakfast, we headed to Bloemenmarkt for a look before our guided tour of Anne Frank's House. I would say that from Bloemenmarkt, shops such as Zara, HM/HM Home, Monki are within walking distance. We had more stroopwafels from van Wonderen Stroopwafels, which were freshly made and had different flavours/toppings you could choose from. Unfortunately though, we didn't get to try any of the frites :(
After our tour of Anne Frank's house, we headed off to the I Amsterdam Sign (which was removed at time of posting due to overcrowding what???), and Van Gogh Museum. We spent a good 2 hours at the museum, after which we went back into the city centre for dinner at Blauw aan de Wal, which serves mediterranean-inspired dishes.

A 3 course meal set us back about €45-50, but the food was delicious, fresh, and a very lovely ambience to get together with your friends. The restaurant's located within the red light district, hidden off a path, so in the dark it was a little hard to notice.

Overall, I find that regular food and groceries in Amsterdam aren't that expensive unless of course you're having a full course meal. The weather was perfect, despite the drizzle and strong winds, it wasn't blistering cold yet and the Sun didn't set till about 8pm. Would I go back to Amsterdam again? Yes, Y E S. Was it too short of a stay? Yes.

Stay gold, xx

No comments

Post a Comment

© Between the Lenses. All rights reserved.