It is probably the most depressing time of the year, I mean a part from the fact that it is my birthday so I get to celebrate, turning 26 has just brought me into the dark unknown of being in the late twenties. On top of that, the cold wind that harshly slaps me every morning on the way to work has just got me counting down to Summer.
So what does one do when its cold, dark and depressing? Fly away!
Ideally I would have flown to a warm, Caribbean island, but a 45 minute flight to Amsterdam had to do. Now the weather in Amsterdam isn’t exactly the winter escape, especially since its usually a few degrees colder than England but the vibe you get there makes up for it.
Let me sidetrack with a hilarious story… we actually planned our trip to Amsterdam to see Drake in concert but the dates were all pushed back a week before our flight. Without having the option to change our flights or hotels without losing money, we decided to just go anyway and make a girly trip out of it. Now here is the funny part, Drake was actually in Amsterdam that very weekend! Cheeky!
As I was saying, Amsterdam is the perfect place to visit (rain or shine) if you want a little time away from the norm and a long weekend does the trick. Here’s a few things you can get busy with.
Strolling/cycling through the city
Anyone that’s been to Amsterdam knows that it is a great city to explore either on foot or the wheels of a bicycle. It was way too cold to ride a bike when we went so we opted for our feet and public transport. However, when you get the chance just walk around without looking at your map. Cycle by the canals and the alleyways.
The nine streets are also a good option to walk along if you want to look at boutique shops instead of coffee shops and neon windows. Then of course, if you wan’t a little raunchier view on you walk, you can just scramble through the red light district.
While the party and chill out scene in Amsterdam is an attraction in itself, the city is a magnet for art enthusiasts with museums such as the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum.
Then of course there is the Anne Frank House. I really recommend you to pay a visit to this place. Most of us know the story of Anne Frank if like me, you had to read it at some point in school. The story pulls on every string in your body and being in that house moved me to tears a few times. Especially because her story is more relevant than ever in today’s world where hatred and prejudice has become more alive and where politicians today are causing a divide in their countries, instead of bringing it together. This couldn’t be more true in the UK and the USA and it is sad.
The house takes you up quite a few steep stairs so be prepared.
If you enjoy a puff of the herbal goodness, then check out some of these famous coffee shops.The majority of these are based around the red-light district. The grey area had a great variety of flavours, but expect to queue up to get in!
The bulldog is probably the more mainstream coffeeshops, with the likes of Rihanna hanging out there. It is also the more touristy one because of that but their space cakes are worth a try. If you have never had a space cake before, I would suggest trying half a cake slice first and then see how you feel 30 minutes after before finishing it.
I personally just feel lethargic after it but different people react to it differently.
Then of course there is the party scene. If you like an urban vibe, Melkweg is a must go. It usually gets busy around midnight so try not to go much later or you will end up queuing for an hour. Also check if there are any live events on as it has recently hosted shows from Rae Sremmurd (where drake made a guest appearance ) and Busy Signal.
My friends and I are going back in the Summer for the Appelsap festival so I will report on a more summer friendly party guide : -)
What are some of your favourite European destinations in the winter?