Amsterdam has become my new favourite place, it’s perfect for the weekend getaway! I flew over to complete a special challenge all in 24 hours, see what I got up to…
LOCATION: AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
It’s renowned for being one of Europe’s favourite getaway spots, and I’m not surprised why, it’s brimming with culture, colour and beautiful scenery. Almost everyone I know has raved about ‘Dam in one way or another, so I couldn’t wait to pack my bags and run off to Liverpool John Lennon Airport.
Me and a handful of bloggers, vloggers…and horse
were set for our Amsterdam adventure in the early hours of the morning back in Liverpool. Liverpool John Lennon Airport hosts some of the most diverse flight combinations including the new flight to Amsterdam which connects Liverpool to the world. Being the centre of everything happening from fashion to music, I know for sure I’ll be extending all my trips so I can enjoy an extra afternoon or two exploring the capital.
A holiday getaway is nothing without some spending money, and the safest way to travel is to get a Travelex card, no complications, no hassle and throwing about coins and notes in a foreign country, one simple Travelex card to take care of it all.
Even horses need money sometimes.
We were flying with flybe, the planes are smaller, cosier and have the best service in an air hostess, not only service with a smile but a good ol’ giggle too!
Their flights are super speedy and we touched down in Amsterdam in less than 2 hours!
We headed over to the Park Hotel, the most central part of Amsterdam, where I enjoyed a strong cup of coffee knowing my day would be full of excitement and adventure.
We were paired up for our challenges, I was with Abi and I were individually given our challenges by the flybe girls. Cringing I didn’t want to look but with one eye open I saw the words ‘no map’ and ‘landmarks’. Literally screamed.
Our challenge was to visit the top 5 landmarks in Amsterdam using no map, no guides, no phones and only speaking to local people and using signs. The thrill of the challenge that threw a twist into the mix was that we had to get a selfie with a person in each landmark.
Our locations were the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the ‘I am Amsterdam’ sign, the Anne Frank Haus and the Heineken Experience. How exciting!
We were ready to hit the ground running, and eager to dash into the distance to find our first location, we were a bit floundered and confused (perhaps a tad too eager!) but we vouched for the Rijksmuseum first, as I remembered it being somewhat close by!
OUTFIT OF THE DAY
Asos Denim Blue Shirt Dress *
Shores Quilted Leather Jacket
Long Tall Sally Leather Zip Boots *
Boden Yellow Bag *
Shores Red Suede Jacket *
Boden Red Stripe Dress *
Boden Lace Up Flats *
Ray Ban Sunglasses *
Within moments we were shocked to find how close our first landmark was, it was hard trying to stop locals or tourists for a selfie initially and we eventually got into asking. A couple from Boston agreed to help us in our adventures – you can click through to all our selfies we took at #LJLADAM24
Amsterdam is home to some of the greatest artists, the place is brimming with museums as so much history has happened here it’s just about possible to run around in 24 hours to see the lot.
Next stop was the Van Gogh Museaum and with a large queue outside it was the prime place for a selfie. The pace at which we got through our first two landmarks scared us at how fantastic we were doing – coincidentally they were two landmarks close by! I was overall a happy chappy to see so many sunflowers on posters, in shops and in the street it makes the place so bright and cheerful to walk around.
Our third landmark (didn’t get a photo of the sign oops!) was the I am Amsterdam sign, as tourist central midday on a busy afternoon I couldn’t believe how popular it was. Luckily a lovely boy helped us out in our quest for our third selfie – by this time we were right on schedule for a nibble and a pit stop.
We found a lush cafe just by the Van Gogh Museaum (literally a 30 second walk!) called Small Talk Coffee Corner, which is the perfect retreat for anyone museum trotting. Using our Travelex cards we thought we would celebrate our three found landmarks and see how everyone else was getting along – turns out we were winning by a landslide!
The other pairs had challenges like finding 5 restaurants and eating 5 cheese dishes and another being locating hidden gems in Amsterdam so we definitely were given the most difficult having no map and no clue what to say to strangers!
The rest of our afternoon we took a tad slower getting the chance to go for a wander, see the city for all its beauty, and there’s a few ways to travel round ‘Dam to see everything at a gradual pace and that’s on foot, by bike or canal.
We ended opting for a lovely canal boat ride, which you can jump on and off. On our travels we noticed the canal could take us to the Anne Frank Haus just upstream. In a heartbeat we were sailing off experiencing Amsterdam from one of the best views, I highly recommend giving this a go!
Passing beautiful locations like the Tulip museum (another must for pretty flowers smothering the streets!) and just tucked around the corner over the canal was Anne Frank’s Haus. This was the only landmark we never managed to ask properly – none the less me and Abi got our selfie but not with a stranger boo as it was so busy and hectic.
Before we knew it the day was closing and it was time to return back to see the others and ready for day two of our adventure, knowing only one more landmark was needed to be found!
Woke up fresh as a daisy in the Park Hotel, and we all hit up breakfast, some opting for the popular mode of transport (cycling) and I went for a stroll (still haven’t learnt how to ride a bike yet!)
IN THIS PHOTO
Lauren having lived in Amsterdam for 5 years highly recommended Coffee and Coconuts (what a fab name!) a boho chic, Pinterest worthy pad with hanging plants, painted white floors and large print of John Lennon – do as Liverpudlians do and be The Walrus!
I opted for scrambled egg and avocado on toast with olives and feta cheese. It’s not very Dutch but when avocado is involved little exceptions are made!
They also do pancake, egg combos and croissants that look totally delish – perhaps one of my top locations to visit in Amsterdam aside from big attractions.
Afterwards we set off on our adventures once again with our remaining time, our final quest was to find the Heineken Experience – home to one of our favourite beers in the UK.
I sneakily noticed we passed it on our way to breakfast so me and Abi ran off and within a short saunter we found ourselves outside the big factory. Huzzah we won! But not quite with a selfie still to take and a race back to the Park Hotel, so we were nearly there!
The Heineken Experience is a mad one – there’s a rollercoaster that turns you into a beer bottle rattling through the factory and rave rooms. The best bit for some was the tasting session. You were given 2 free beers and won extras if you answered questions correctly, it’s just so fun!
We asked the lady who was giving out the beers as she was so happy doing her job, she was head over heels to say yes and definitely practised her selfie skills elsewhere!
We stopped off for coffee and cake in a little pastel cafe (definitely my decision!) fully knowing we had a few hours spare, hesitant the other teams had caught up. We raced back to the park in the nick of time before 3pm we found out we won our challenge hooray!
24 hours is perfect to rush around the city and see it all, I couldn’t think of a better way to get around and my entire trip was smooth from start to finish. I was back on my flight and in Liverpool John Lennon Airport before I could blink properly I had an epic time and seen some amazing things and cannot wait to get back to ‘Dam for some more adventures!