This will be a nice short and sweet post because I really wasn’t in Amsterdam long enough to write a lot and I had a bit of a mare while I was there and I lost my map…oops! I had actually a really good map of all the record stores which sadly fell out of my pocket when I was sitting in Vondelpark.
Having not been in Amsterdam for very long I done a lot of walking to make sure I took in a lot of the views and buildings, Amsterdam has very pretty buildings and all the rivers are a great touch too! I pulled into Amsterdam Central from the airport and walked around from there, walking towards the Van Gogh museum. I avoided the red light district semi on purpose because to be honest I thought it would kind of depress me. I don’t want to see women standing in windows and then men judging them, not what I look for in a trip away! If that’s your thing then each to their own but there’s much more to Amsterdam than the red light district and weed.
I only had the chance to visit the Van Gogh museum by the time I had walked up there and had a nice omelette for lunch. I didn’t realise that I had to purchase my ticket for the museum either online or in the box office, but if you purchase them from the box office the times are much later so I done mine online whilst I was outside which meant I then had an hour and a half to kill until my time slot. The weather was so nice I went to Vondelpark and sat by the pond to enjoy the sun, a bit of some much needed vitamin D! Years ago this use to be a park that only posh people were able to visit its great that its open to the public now however I saw a lot of rubbish laying around which was upsetting as I would have expected it to be kept in nicer condition.
The Van Gogh museum was very impressive, I wasn’t too sure what to expect and to be honest I didn’t have much knowledge of the artist other than the ‘sun flowers’ painting and a few self-portraits before I went in there. I never knew that he was 27 years old when he decided to become a painter after working in a gallery for many years (that’s much later than I thought) and a lot of his early paintings are of poor people and are much darker in colour too compared to what his known for. There were many paintings I absolutely loved of his which I’d never seen before including pencil drawings which you hardly ever see.
I’m very happy I went there as the choice of museum I visited in such a short space of time however I would say its much busier than any museum I’ve ever been to including the Vatican!! But you won’t be disappointed with it and you’ll be surprised of his talent. My favourite part of my trip and the reason I went there in the first place was to see my boyfriend play, his currently drumming in a Ska band called Buster Shuffle, definitely check them out and see what shows they’re playing next!! They’re a great band to dance to and great fun to watch, they were playing at the Melkweg which is a fabulous little venue and I am so glad I made the effort to go and watch them in Europe.
My top tips for Amsterdam;
1. Spend more than 24 hours there! Or don’t loose your map so you can really enjoy the city more and visit more places I’d suggest a minimum of two days to really see enough to make it worth your while.
2. Everything is on car! Almost…but the Van Gogh museum was, the bus and the train was too. So make sure you have a card which can work in European countries otherwise you’re stuffed!
3. Go and see a band! I loved seeing Buster Shuffle while I was there not just because my boyfriend is in the band lol but I love watching live music and especially in other countries.
4. Walk don’t bike! For me my favourite part of Amsterdam was walking around and taking everything in. I would opt for walking over bikes any day its much slower and nicer, stopping to take pictures is much easier too!
5. Cafe’s over coffee shops any day! It might be because I’m past caring but I’m just not interested in getting stoned. My advise is find a nice café (there’s plenty of them) and enjoy a nice coffee, some food and a book!
Much love x