Adventures in Amsterdam!
The second leg of our travels took us to the charming city of Amsterdam! A very quick and easy flight from Heathrow on British Airways landed us at Schipol Airport, which is amazingly convenient for getting into the city. Our taxi took us to our hotel, The Albus Hotel, which had amazing staff, a great location, but was a bit tight on space. Depending on your situation definitely a good option given the price! Given the amount of luggage and the stroller maybe not ideal for those with young children, but we made it work!
We set off to exploring this wonderful city, known for its canals and beautiful architecture. Honestly for some of the reputation that precedes it, the city is very pleasant, the biggest danger is getting hit by a bicycle. Just look both ways a few times before crossing!! Lots of the market stalls sell tulip seeds and fake tulips, very much targeting the tourist market, but search around and you can find amazing fresh bunches of flowers for amazingly good value! Back to the canals, they are beautiful & get even better the further away from the tourist traps you walk, so take a few side streets and see what you can find :) We really loved the Keizersgracht area for its charm, so definitely check that out :)
These awesome milkshakes we found at ReeAmsterdam-- they were so yummy :P
Food in the city is a bit hit or miss-- luckily for me Amsterdam had AMAZING dessert basically everywhere you turn! I became obsessed with Stroopwafels and our favorite spot was the well known van Wonderen Stroopwafels --ahhhh SO fresh & delicious!!!
We really loved The Avocado Show, a restaurant as the name suggests dedicated to the wonderful green ball of goodness! Café Blond was awesome with great snacks and delicious drinks, as well lovely pink quirky atmosphere! We had a great dinner at the Hard Rock Café who have really nailed a great cauliflower burger-- as well many items on the menu we delicious!! The rest of our food picks in Amsterdam were a bit pricey for the quality so hit up TripAdvisor and avoid anything that looks aimed at tourists.
We did rent a car from Sixt and ventured off to Lisse and the tulip fields!!!! Honestly this has been on my bucket list for awhile and it was for sure a DREAM! They are only out for a matter of weeks in Spring before being harvested so if this is a bucket list item for you as well be sure to TIME it wisely as we were right on the cusp of harvest time!
Fun fact: Most of the field were literally harvested the day before we went and we found this out on the way to the fields -- of course we were like UH OH, but were determined to find some remaining fields--luckily we did (read on for the best advice for finding tulip fields)
The traffic and parking at Keukenhof was insane and although it provides a more structured way to see tulips and set your children free, the best advice is just to drive around and if you find a pretty field, pull over and ask the farmer nicely if you can spend some time there. If they say no (only 1 said no) then move on as there are millions of tulips in this area! From the tulip fields we ventured to Harleem which with more time to spare could easily be an overnight stop as it really is beautiful, but alas we were on the clock for the rental car return!
Simply, we really LOVED Amsterdam and will absolutely be going back! It is a great spot for a long weekend, but if you’re anything like us then you’ll be left with the feeling 3 days wasn’t long enough, but maybe that is all part of the magic. Next time we visit, museums are top of the list along with the zoo, which is meant to be amazing! Maybe we will be back sooner rather than later! Fingers crossed!!
Care + Tom