I woke up early on my third day in Amsterdam because I had an early appointment booked at the Anne Frank house. Gone are the days when there were queues forming around the block to try and gain entry to the museum, nowadays you have to pre-book and these tickets sell out well in advance especially at weekends. I opted for the talk and entry ticket for 15 Euros. This meant that on arrival I was taken into a small lecture room with all the other people booked in on my timeslot and we were talked through the history and circumstances in which the Diary of Anne Frank was written. I have never actually read the diary so the information given at this talk was really useful to give some background to what I was going to be seeing in the museum.
Once we had finished the talk we went into the house itself. Here there were various artifacts for us to view before the climb up into the secret attic. The staircases are intense, this is not a place to visit for anyone who struggles with their mobility. The story of what happened is so heartbreaking and being able to see the conditions the families lived in. The museum is definitely a must visit when in Amsterdam, just remember to book it as early as you can.
After I had finished at the Anne Frank house I went out to find some breakfast just around the corner at Pluk. The décor here is adorable and the cakes looked insane, I however did not opt for one of these because of the time of day. I decided upon the poached eggs with salmon and toast and unfortunately the eggs were slightly overdone but for a naughty treat it would be ideal to come here.
Once full I set off towards Vondelpark, 47 hectares worth of lakes, paths and birds. I had read some online reviews complaining about how overcrowded and unbearable the park can become however a crisp, chilly day in February proved to be a perfect choice of time to visit. I was able to sit and watch the world go by for a while before wandering from one end of the park to the other.
By the time I had finished here I was beginning to feel hungry again and so made my way to a place called the Corner Bakery which is on Johannes Vermeerstraat for lunch. Here I was able to get a yummy toastie and strawberry hot chocolate sat out under a blanket.
Just down the road from here was the museum quarter where many of the most famous galleries and exhibitions in Amsterdam are located including the Van Gogh museum, MOCA museum, Stedelijk museum and Rijksmuseum. Although I didn’t have tickets to any of them some of them are quite impressive to look at particularly the latter which you can walk through the centre of and watch a very talented musical trio playing music for the passing tourists. The iamsterdam sign that used to be there and appear on everyone’s Instagram feed has happily been removed.
On my walk back towards the centre I came upon a flower market alongside one of the canals called Bloenmenmarkt which had lots of plants and general souvenirs on sale. I wish I could have bought some of the plants to take home and add to the small forest I seem to be collecting in my house, unfortunately they are not the most practical of keepsakes.
Before heading back across to my hostel for the Thursday karaoke night I stopped for a crepe at Mama Pancake, a healthy choice for dinner, which was located near to the red light district. This area is so surreal to walk through, especially when you’re on your own but it is actually a much smaller place than I had expected. When people mention Amsterdam, the red light district is always one of the top things mentioned and yet in reality it is only a couple of streets throughout the whole city surrounding a giant, impressive church.
Today I got to go past so many iconic areas in the West side of Amsterdam which seems to be the more touristy side of the city. This being said all the places I went really are must see locations just be aware that you will not be alone whilst exploring them.
Where are your favourite urban parks in the world? Would you be interested in visiting the Anne Frank museum when in Amsterdam?