So last week myself, Aaron, my mum and brother all travelled to Amsterdam for a couple of days. We booked through P&O Cruises, which involves travelling overnight to Amsterdam, having around 6-7 hours in Holland, before sailing back overnight. We decided to pay for a hotel for the night, so we could have an extra day in the capital. Which i'm so glad we decided to do!
Firstly, the ferry we travelled on was literally like a mini cruise ship, nothing like the ferry I remember from being a child and going to the Isle of White. It had cinemas, casinos, bars, restaurants and a few duty free shops as well. It was huge. The cabins weren't huge but you literally went in there to sleep and that was it. We opted for the all-you-could-eat buffet at night, as we hadn't had a great deal to eat that day and the food was great. They have different themes each night, so on the way there it was Indian, and on the way home it was Chinese. They had other dishes on incase you weren't a fan of the themed menu, but we all did so that was a bonus! Drinks were also included, soft and hot drinks. Alcoholic drinks were extra.
One thing I was not a fan of was being woken up at 6A.M by a loud speaker phone announcing that we would be arriving in Rotterdam shortly. I literally threw myself out of bed and got ready, before heading to the on-board starbucks and ordering a large hot chocolate and croissant to wake myself up. I did nod off for on the coach from Rotterdam to Amsterdam (which is included in the price) which was inevitable really..I am NOT a morning person.
Once we arrived in Amsterdam we headed straight to our hotel to drop off our bags, We decided to walk to our hotel, which was only about a 25 minute walk, as to get our first proper look at the city. I never realised how many canals where actually in Amsterdam! I knew it had them, I just wasn't expecting so many. The buildings and surrounding areas were lovely, so many gorgeous houses overlooking the canals.
Our first stop was the Anne Frank House. I've wanted to visit there for ages, so I was determined to go. The que was HUGE, but we got to the front pretty quickly. I can't describe the feeling walking through the house, there were diary entries written on the walls and pictures of how the house will have looked, and in what was Annes bedroom there were still pictures up that she had stuck there, from magazines! It was completely surreal and you can't believe that it actually happened. I know we did about it in school, but actually being there was a whole other world. It is definitely an emotional experience. I can't recommend it enough!
After finishing in the museum, we booked to go on a Canal Cruise, which is something my mum was really excited for. We nipped to the supermarket before stocking up on treats and a bottle of summin' special ;)
We were given a tour of all the historic sights in Amsterdam, e.g. the world's narrowest house which is actually only 2m wide! How you would fit furniture in, is beyond me! We then were shown the Red Light District which was..an experience! If we had more time in Amsterdam I definitely would have explored this area more. People believe it to be quite a seedy area, when it actual fact it was just as stunning as the rest of the City.
On our second day we just explored the City a little more, stopping off for breakfast and a warm drink. It was freezing, i'm so glad I decided to take warm jumpers and my scarf. I would definitely recommend walking around Amsterdam, nothing is that far away that you can't walk there. You could also travel around by bike, which is how pretty much everyone gets around! The bike riders there are crazy so be careful. Stay out of the bike lanes and stay alert, some of them wouldn't think twice about clipping you! After stopping off in some tourist shops, which has to be done, we got back onto the coach which picked us up at 5p.m.
I'd definitely recommend Amsterdam as a place to see! There are so many bars, restaurants and museums to see. I will definitely go back and hope to visit a few more places.
We arrived back home on Friday morning at about 9, which wasn't such a shock to the system. Not great, but hey, an improvement on 6!
I would definitely recommend the P&O Cruises as a way of travelling to Amsterdam, a lot less stressful than the airport and you can have a wander about the bars and duty free, without being restricted to a plane.
There is currently an offer on at P&O for buy one get one free. So two of you can travel for just £75!! A complete bargain if you ask me. If you'd like to do the same as us and stay an extra night in Amsterdam, just find yourself a hotel for the night and voila. It doesn't cost any extra to come back on the ferry a day later.
Have you been to Amsterdam? Did you enjoy it?