A Chilly Day by the Canals
On arrival, we took the train from the airport to the heart of the Amsterdam, where we checked into Hotel Ben. Our tiny room was, in fact, situated at the top of the very tall, narrow building. Luckily, it was well-heated as it was freezing outside. As a matter of fact, it had even begun to snow. With this in mind, we purchased some thick woolly gloves in a shop opposite and set off to explore.
Firstly, we headed to Dam Square, followed by a wander through the city’s famous red-light district. We also checked out the funky shops along the canal, but managed to resist making any purchases despite the many temptations. When it began to get dark and the snow became heavier, we sought shelter in a pub where we drunk wine and sampled some tasty Dutch snacks.
The Van Gogh Museum
The next day we walked along the canals to the Van Gogh Museum which housed an extensive collection of the celebrated artist’s work. It was fascinating to read about his life as we perused the paintings. We walked back through peaceful Vogel park and stopped for lunch at an Irish pub.
Anne Frank’s House
On our final day, we paid a visit to Anne Frank’s house, one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. As a matter of fact it’s so popular, that it’s not always possible to get tickets on the door. Luckily, we had booked online a few days before.
Part of the museum is a modern building attached to the original house. The jam factory where the people who helped hide the family worked was at ground level. Upstairs was the annex where Anne spent two years of her life in hiding. There are, in fact, still pictures and postcards that she had attached to the wall. Visiting the house was a very moving experience and gave us an insight into the conditions that Anne and her family had to tolerate.
An Easy City to Explore on Foot
Amsterdam is an intriguing combination of historical buildings, coffee shops, flower stalls, scenic canals, bicycles and brothels. Additionally, it’s quite compact and easy to get around on foot, and as a result, we didn’t need to take any public transportation except from and to the airport.
From the UK, Amsterdam is ideal for a city break. Indeed, we thoroughly enjoyed our forty-eight hours in one of Europe’s most vibrant and quirky cities. Hopefully, we will return again one day, maybe in the summer next time!