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- Visiting Europe
Reasons To Visit AmsterDayuuum
I've always wanted to visit Amsterdam, and it feels like literally everyone I have on Instagram has been there, or is there right now. Well, it definitely didn't disappoint. My boyfriend and I went for two days and three nights, which was a pretty good amount of time to get through everything we wanted to.
We stayed in the Muse Boutique Hotel, which was pretty central and although it cost a little bit more than other venues, my boyfriend figured you'll end up spending that amount of money travelling into the city from further out hotels anyway, so might as well just go for it. A complimentary mini fridge in our room and free champagne on arrival were also nice touches to our stay there!
On our first night there we went to the Bulldog Palace in Leidseplein. The Bulldog was actually the first coffeeshop in Amsterdam, and paved the way for all the contemporary coffeeshops you see there today (there was also one in the Red Light District that we visited on our remaining two nights there!) Although it's quite expensive (6 euro a pint and 50c to use the toilet!!) it has a great 70s sort of vibe, and because it's so famous, I'd definitely recommend it, if you wanna visit a "coffeeshop" when you're over there.
We visited the Heineken Experience on our first full day - definitely a must-do. It's even better than the Guinness Factory (for anyone that's ever visited it) and we managed to spend two and a half hours at it. 3 free half-pints of the freshest Heineken you'll ever have, and there's something for everyone - rooms full of history on football, rugby, the Olympics and even music, as Heineken has sponsored every one of these in some form over the years. (We got our own personalised Heineken bottle for just 6 euros as well!)
Madame Tussauds/Amsterdam Dungeons
We also visited Madame Tussauds - we'd both been to the one in London before, but it's always guaranteed for a few laughs. You can't not be a cringey eejit in there! Tip: it's always cheaper if you book the tickets online, and if you book it hand-in-hand with another place, like the Amsterdam Dungeons which we also did! Again, it was a laugh. I was picked out of the group to be burnt at the stake as I was accused of being a witch - sure they wouldn't be wrong! (We ended up being in a group with a bunch of German students who barely understood English - probably made it even funnier to be honest).
Red Light District Surrealism
Now for the stuff that isn't that family friendly - the Red Light District, particularly the museum of prostitution; Red Light Secrets. At only 8 euros a ticket online, I'd suggest this for an informed insight into the seedier side of the city. You walk around a makeshift brothel, with an audio tour given by a woman that has worked on the Red Light District as a prostitute for 15 years. Her stories are actually bizarre - not for the squeamish! You can even sit in a window as if you were one of the prostitutes - props included. Even just seeing the women standing in their windows, in their underwear, just posing like dolls (some of them beside beds) as you walk through the street is probably the most surreal experience of my life to date. In the museum we were told that they have to pay 200 euros to even just rent the window to stand in for the night. There's peep shows for 2 euros, and live porno shows at most clubs as well. I think the strangest part of the whole Red Light District is just the normality of it there. It's definitely something you have to do when you're in Amsterdam, because of its novelty - and you certainly won't find it anywhere else!
There are so many things we didn't get doing - the Amsterdam swing, Anne Frank's house, the Van Gogh museum, the canal cruise (although we had dinner in the Hard Rock Café right beside the canal, which was an experience in itself!) It just means we'll have loads more to do when we visit again, which I definitely hope to. :)
Until next time... xxx