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48 Hours in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is one of my favourite Europa in cities, it has so much to offer throughout the entire year; my favourite being December. A winter weekend would be my ideal trip, the peak of the Christmas celebrations, all the bright lights, festive markets and the cheese of course. I absolutely love walking around the city with a glass of mulled wine or hot chocolate just to soaking up that winter feeling.

How to travel?

EasyJet and British Airways fly direct to Amsterdam from all major London airports, KLM also fly direct from Birmingham and Manchester. Personally I love flying from City Airport, I’m based in East London, and therefore it is the quickest and most convenient for me. Flights can vary in cost, this ranges between £50 - £300 return, I would always recommend booking as far in advance as possible, travel at off peak times if you can and try to avoid school holidays, if you manage to do this, I am sure you will find some great deals.

Alternatively, if flying isn’t your thing, catching the Eurostar from London St Pancras can also be just as fun. A little more pricy and longer travel time, the train takes about 4 hours compared to flying, which takes a little over an hour from take-off to landing.

For a weekend getaway, I would definitely recommend traveling on the Friday, catch a late flight after work and head straight to the hotel to drop your bags off before heading out.

How to get around?

Cycling is the most popular way to get around, both for tourist and locals, this is a must do activity while in Amsterdam. The city is pretty flat and made up of a network of cancels, this makes its easy and simple to get around. During the summer months the cycle paths and roads can get pretty hectic so you must pay attention at all times. Hiring bikes is very easy, plenty of rental shops scattered around. I would also check with your hotel or hostel first, as they might have bike deals or even free bikes included in your stay.

Walking is another popular option for exploring, great for taking photographs and finding those hidden gems. The city is pretty big so if you are tight for time I would suggest hiring bikes.

Where to eat?

This is one of the most important aspects of a city break, I would always recommend booking ahead of time, especially for the evening.

Located on the top floor of the W hotel, on one side you have the W Lounge, with an extensive cocktail menu, and then Mr Porters Steak House on the other. With views across the city you couldn’t ask for a better set up.


Pretty in pink is what they say. In terms of décor, I’m sure you can guess…Pink. Pink. Pink. If you like Sketch in London, this is the place for you. Slightly further out of the city but with a second site to open very soon. Here you can enjoy the simplicity of Chicken or lobster, choosing quality over quantity.

‘Bail Beans coffee is grown by local Balinesse farmers who practice the ‘Subak Abian’ method of farming, which means they work together in a local co-operative, to support one another, to share knowledge and resources.’ Not only does this place have a great philosophy but also amazing breakfast and lunch from coconut pancakes to a Brisket Sandwich. Really chilled atmosphere and a great way to fuel your body.


Giant indoor food market with a social hangout, great place to try a variety of dishes, also really good for large groups as they have something for everyone. Grab your food and then reconvene at the communal benches.

Dutch pancakes, this is a must especially during the winter months. We ventured to the Carousel Pancake House, as the name suggests, this is restaurant is located in a former fairground carousel. Here you can try the traditional ‘poffertjes’, sweet or savoury little pancake puffs.

Great for pre-dinner cocktails with stunning views across the city. Located at the DoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam Central Station.

Where to shop?

Amsterdam is known for its vintage boutiques, so you can’t go wrong as you will find something different every time.

One of my favourite vintage boutiques. I re-visit every time, previously I purchased a vintage night blue suede Mulberry clutch.

De Bijenkorf Amsterdam

The largest department store in the city, always worth a visit.

Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat

This is the street that has it all, luxury shopping, from Chanel to Tiffany’s, Dior to Dolce.

Where to visit / Things to do?

1. Museums

Van Gogh Museum - one of the largest Gogh collections in the world, this is definitely worth a visit to soak up some culture.

Anna Frank House - recommend pre-booking.

Sex Museum

2. Parks - Relax and take an afternoon cycle in Vondelpark, great to do in both the summer and winter. Grab a coffee or a pint at Proeflokaal’t Blauwe Theehuis microbrewery.

3. Take a photo with the famous IAmsterdam letters

4. Exploring the canals is a must, whether it’s walking, cycling, on a group tour, or my favourite option for a unique experience…rent a boat. There are many companies that offer this such as they offer both private and shared experiences.

5. Coffee shops - The place to be day and night, now I’m not talking about your typical coffee shop. Amsterdam has a large hash consumption, but you probably already know this. It’s one of the most popular tourist attractions as you can legally buy and smoke in the designated ‘Coffee Shops’, you can find these all over the city. The Bulldog coffee shop is probably the most famous, they have a number of shop around the city, and you can't miss them.

6. Red Light District (& blue) Another feature to the city of Amsterdam, whether you want to be a part of this or not, it defiantly worth an evening stroll. Just remember you cannot take photos of the ladies and gentleman in the lit up doors and windows (it’s forbidden and strictly enforced).

Where to stay?


For those special trips and occasions, you could treat yourself to the very stylish W Hotel. ‘Wake up to a new Amsterdam where design, fashion, and music connect to create an extraordinary dynamic for the city of canals.’

Luxury / Mid-range

The vibe is Dutch classic with a modern twist: from the seriously cool emerald green cocktail bar to minimalist Dutch-style rooms and Pinterest worthy greenery, this hotel is an interiors lover’s dream. Something to take home ‘Wine Hour’, held every day from 5-6pm, complimentary wine available for all guests , a great way to mix and mingle with other hotel guests.


World known to have a relaxed atmosphere just like the city of Amsterdam. ‘The Pig bars are the best place in town to have a drink or an unforgettable party, meet other guests and staff or have a smoke together’. Hostelworld is an amazing website to finding places to stay and honest reviews.

I hope this guide has been helpful ready for your next trip to Amsterdam.



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