Hello lovely people,
When I arrived into Schiphol Airport I resembled someone who had no idea what she was doing. My luggage was heavy, carrying 17kg on my back, 7kg on my front and a handbag, I struggled to move from the plane through the airport.
However, jetlagged, yet wide-eyed and excited to be finally landing in EUROPE, I did manage to manoeuvre my way through the airport, train system and finally to my hostel (ClinkNoord Hostel). The hostel was lovely, clean and hip – very close to the city centre; conveniently, you can take a quick ferry across the water for free in less than 5 minutes.
This was my first European destination where I only spent 2 nights in the city (to begin with, I came back to Amsterdam several times after) and I was captivated straight away. I fell in love with the beautiful colourful buildings stacked tall against one another, casting reflections upon the lovely canals. Smiling locals riding bicycles along the busy streets with grace and confidence. Willow trees moving silently in the breeze and colourful flowers sit cheerfully along bridges and doorsteps. The city radiates a sense of modern thinking and youthfulness. Not to mention happiness, I couldn’t wipe the delirious smile off my jetlagged face!
A good thing about jetlag is…
You end up waking up extremely early and get to explore the city with no busy crowds around. Here are some pretty pictures I snapped at 8.30am along the winding canals of the pretty city.
Important things to know when visiting Amsterdam…
- In July (when I first arrived) it’s peak season. This means more expensive accommodation, museum tickets etc (my bed in a shared 10 person dorm was around $50 AUD, compared to when I left in November, I had a bed in a 4 dorm room for $26AUD at the same hostel). If you are organised, unlike myself, try and book your accommodation waaaay in advance if you know how long you’re staying for – it will save you lots of $$.
- Get up early to avoid the crowds! People in Europe tend to start moving about the cities around 10am. The hustle and bustle will get to an all-time high around lunch time so to avoid all the hoards of tourists waving about their selfie sticks, make sure you set your alarm early.
- When you can, book tickets online – it will save you so much time and energy.
- To travel around the Netherlands, download the TrainlineEU app, it’s great for buying tickets in advance. Just scan your phone at the platform and your off!
- Eat a Stroopwafel, you’ll thank me later.
- Do not walk on the red paths/lanes – this is strictly for cyclists, you’ll notice straight away that there is a lot of people riding bikes in Amsterdam and they don’t particularly enjoy crashing into tourists.
Better late than never…
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I have been in Europe for some time and haven’t posted on this blog. Unfortunately, while I was travelling, the blogging fell behind slightly. The good news is – I’ve got plenty of exciting blog posts to come, so stay tuned.