Amsterdam, The city beyond the sex

Canals grid the streets around the beautiful city in the Netherlands, the streets are lined with town houses standing tall and thin, occasionally crooked, old and worn. The city famed for it’s party reputation has so much more to offer, it’s steeped deep in history from the Anne Frank house to Rembrandt and Van Gough museums. A city which inspired artists, writers and poets to produce work many of which showcases the canals which you fall upon every turn.

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A city where the old houses hold tunnels and underfloor rooms, where people lived their lives for months or years at a time, in fear for their lives. Amsterdam is so much more than a place to dance all night (although, I did enjoy it), it’s a city where history and culture live side by side.

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As I had never been to Amsterdam before Lauren and I decided that we would try and fit as much into our second day as possible, despite my mighty hangover from the night before, we were to walk the city from the flower market to the Anne Frank house. We strolled along the canals, past town houses, cobbled alleyways and monuments to a very pretty flower market, it was a lot smaller than I imagined it would be but it was very quaint.

 

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Flowers lined the stalls and ceilings creating a wall of colour and scent around us, it was a beautiful start to the morning as we ambled through the market on to the Anne Frank house. What we didn’t realise (bad visitors) was that the line to enter Anne Frank’s house would be so long, we would have waited for hours to go in, unfortunately since time wasn’t on our side we couldn’t commit. However, we sat directly outside and thought about what Anne Frank, her family and friends and all of the other people hiding in fear for their lives must have gone through; It’s an emotional place which affected me in a way I wouldn’t have expected.

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Lauren and I perused the streets of Amsterdam as the morning slipped into the afternoon before realising that we couldn’t survive on the numerous free cheese samples we consumed alone, there was only one thing my hungover state ever wants and that, my friends, is Tom Yum Soup. The soup of heroes. Luckily for us, Amsterdam has a great China Town and with it an amazing Thai restaurant where we perched for an hour or so, sipping tea and eating a wonderful lunch.

Just Chillin'

Just Chillin’

Over lunch we discussed how to spend our last few hours we came to a decision that we would visit the sex museum, when in Amsterdam and all that (plus it’s only a couple of Euros). The museum consists of mostly old photos of porn, men in chaps getting their rocks off. It was…interesting?! Honestly, there aren’t any words to describe it. The museum didn’t keep us for long, the hours were slipping away too quickly before we had to get to the airport, so we thought that we’d visit the library where standing atop the roof you can see all over the crooked rooftops of Amsterdam, it was the perfect fair well to the beautiful city.

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Our time in Amsterdam was incredibly short, but it was enough time for me to realise that it’s an absolutely stunning place to visit. It offers everything, art, history, culture, party culture, wonderful people and spectacular food. If you do visit (highly suggest you do) then I recommend you see beyond the endless party (even for a day) and look into what else ‘Dam has to offer, you won’t be disappointed.

Costings for one night and two days
Flights: London southend – Amsterdam – £118
Hostel: £40
Food and drink – £100
Transport: £10

Total: £268 and worth every penny.

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Have you been to Amsterdam? How did you enjoy it? I’d love to hear from you!

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