Birthday in Amsterdam

Travelling is my forte, I have visited many different countries but The Netherlands has never been one of them – unless you count a brief transfer in Schiphol airport. The trip was organised for my birthday by my samboer (which means ‘partner you live with’ in Norwegian) and so we wanted to make it a romantic city trip, see the sights of Amsterdam and have an alternative visit that would be different to the stories you may hear of most people that visit for none other than the ‘local produce’.

We stayed at the IBIS Stopera hotel located just outside of the city centre, the price was very reasonable for a double room which also included buffet breakfast which we took full advantage of. The staff were very helpful and the walk into town was about 10-15 minutes which wasn’t a problem for athletes like us – especially when you get to walk along the canal occupied streets.

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Taken on the walk into town from our hotel

So, what did we do? Well we visited the Van Gogh museum, The Banksy / Dali exhibit at the Moco Museum, the ARTIS zoo and had a quick look in the Cheese museum. We only had one full day to spend doing things so had to manage our time wisely – with the help of a few Uber taxis.

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Ducks can be elegant and exotic too

Despite having less than two whole days in Amsterdam, we still managed to eat our way through a few restuarants, a couple of cafΓ©s and multiple fast food spots in the city. We visited Burger Fabriek on the first night followed by a cosy Italian (I forgot the name) the following night. During the second day we stopped by for lunch at Palladium, there I had to try a local traditional food – Bitterballen. A deep-fried ball of pork served with mustard, they were right up my street and something I’d order again if I revisit The Netherlands.

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Bitterballen @ Palladium, Amsterdam

So we arrived midday Tuesday and left Thursday afternoon, yet still managed to cram in a weeks worth of activities and sights. We recently visited Nuremberg, Germany for the same amount of time and found that we managed to get everything we wanted to do completed in the short amount of time and were unsure if we could do the same in a much larger city like Amsterdam but thanks to the interlinking streets and easy to use public transport, our trip was stress free and exactly what I wanted for my birthday getaway.

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Penguins are there in the background somewhere

I would recommend visiting for anyone that has never been no matter what the purpose of your visit, there will be something there for everyone and you will leave wanting to come back!

– Jack

 

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