Amsterdam (Aug 2019). By Judy Chicangana-Matthews

I won’t lie, planning your activities takes a lot of time and frustration, but I think it is worthwhile. Especially when you don’t have much time to spend on your holidays and additionally, you want to be smart with your finances. For example, I read on many websites that buying a Transport Card for Amsterdam for the whole of my stay was highly recommended. However, after reading some blogs and checking my final agenda, I didn’t think it was necessary. Effectively, I used a day travel card just one day!. (I saved a few bucks there!)

By the way, the day travel card costs €8 and it works for the metro, bus and tram but not the train.

I stayed at the Radisson Park Inn. I consider myself a loyal Radisson customer since I had a fantastic experience when I travelled to Romania, and I have chosen the Radisson on my trips to Germany and Scotland.

The Radisson Park Inn is a 4 star hotel that had good reviews for its breakfast. We wanted to try this hotel because the one in Berlin is an impressive building. However, we found some positives and negatives that are shown in the following figure.

I highly recommend looking for a hotel that is closer to the Central Station in Amsterdam. That way, you can enjoy night life more as you won’t be worrying about catching the last train. Also, most of the tours and activities start close to the Central Station. As we stayed at the Radisson hotel named Park Inn, every train ticket to Amsterdam’s Central Station cost €4.8.

About the Weather

We travelled in August, and the weather was mainly cold. I remember many blogs anticipating rain throughout the year and warning always to be prepared for rain and they were right!. I bought a raincoat to use on top of my normal coat and I still got wet. Also, a week before my trip I started to get a cold so, I tried to keep it under control with medicine and by taking good care of myself as I didn’t want to be sick on my holiday. But when Amsterdam’s weather hit me, my body just gave up! By the third day, I had completely lost my voice, and by the last day, I just wanted to go home. Very sad if you ask me!.

Activities:

  1. Sex Museum: I had high expectations for this museum. It is not that good if you ask me. It was fun and made me change my perspective on how I see sex. For me, this museum was a symbol of degradation and sadness. Positive bits: It is cheap and there are no queues!. The ticket costs €5.
  2. Amazing street chips / fries!: After the museum, we walked down the road a few minutes and everyone (I’m not kidding), everyone was eating chips / fries. So, we had to try them!. €3,50 bought a significant portion of fries with cheese sauce! Just lovely.
  3. Red Light District: We walked for these streets and to be honest with you, I had never seen anything like that. Beautiful and charismatic women selling themselves in a giant showcase just waiting to be bought and putting on their best face to attract clients. No further comments on this.
  4. In the Red Light District, we run into a “theatre” that was showing live strippers for €2. I was shocked about how cheap and popular this was. No further comments on this.
  5. Heineken Tour: This tour was educational and inspiring. It was better than I expected. In one hour, they basically teach you both how to make beer and about Heineken’s history. At the end of the tour, you can personalise your own Heineken bottle for €6,50. How incredible is that!. Also, they have a small bar at the end where you can have a few beers included in the price of the ticket! Highly recommended.
  6. City Cruise: Highly recommended!. You can get onto the boat right in front of the Heineken building!. It was just relaxing and obviously we drank a few more Heinekens! A typical bottle measuring 300 ml costs €2,50. Wicked!
  7. Look Out: I mean, I was scared to death with this!. The view is incredible, and you have an excellent tour of the building to take a couple of good pictures. For €5 you can ride the big swing on the top of the building. I did it, but to be honest with you, I had my eyes closed the whole time! It is so scary!. But you have to do it, it was impressive in a good way! My husband was ok because he had had 5 beers before that! I could not drink because I was taking medication to control the flu!. (How sad! Hahaha)
  8. This is Holland: This is a 5-star experience!. You literally feel that you are flying. It is inexplicable, and you definitely have to do it. It is a 5D experience that takes you through Holland’s beautiful landscapes and history. The best ride ever!
  9. Tour: We usually take the City Bus when travelling to big cities but this time we decided to go on the “Hop On Hop Off Bus to Zaanse Schans, Edam & Volendam” tour. The journey takes all day, and you manage your time at each stop. It costs €28 per person and it is worth every cent. We ate cheese and visited many exciting places. Also, you can buy your souvenirs.

Well, that was our trip, we just went for 4 days, and we will definitely go back as there just wasn’t enough time. Amsterdam is a fantastic place to visit!

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