My flight home from Amsterdam wasn’t until 19:30hrs so I had most of the day to do my last bit of exploring around the city. Once I had checked out of my hostel, Clink Noord, and put my luggage in their storage room I then went to get some breakfast. I chose a place called Toastable on Nieuwendijk. The menu here is all toasties with various fillings on white or wholemeal toast and my standard cheese and ham one was delicious.
I decided to follow my breakfast with one of the activities everyone prior to the trip Had told me was a must do, a canal boat tour. There are so many companies that offer this service and I’m sure a quick Google search will tell you which is the best. I went with the cheapest trip I could find which was 11 Euros for an hour tour that set off from just next to the visitor information centre opposite Centraal Station. The cruise was accompanied by a pre recorded information guide given in 3 languages, one of which was English (the others from the sound of things were Dutch and maybe German??). The tour was beautiful and very interesting and enabled me to see the sights around the canal at a gentler pace. The boat you pick will determine which canals you actually cruise along but I was more than happy with my budget option (although most others are only about 16 Euros so it wasn’t a massive difference). A lot of the museum cards also get you a boat tour as part of their package as well so if you do get one of those I would definitely take up that opportunity.
I spent my last few hours back in the West side of the city which is the area that I found myself drawn to the most. It was the most picturesque area I had seen full of cute little shops that I wandered in and out of. Perhaps my favourite that I found was a place called Van Wonderen Stroopwafels which sold the most delectable selection on stroopwafels I had ever seen. It was by no means cheap, but I couldn’t help myself buying a medium one for myself and a selection of the small ones to take home for Fraser.
When the time came I made my way back to the hostel to pick up my bags, took my last free ferry over the River Ij to Centraal Station and caught the quick and easy train back to the airport ready for my flight home to Leeds Bradford airport. Amsterdam is a beautiful city which is so easily accessible to the UK and therefore makes a great city break. I know many people go over there for hen and stag dos and the party scene (which I found was a big thing with the people I met in the hostel) but beyond that there is so much more to discover. I did notice by Friday afternoon when I was getting ready to depart the streets were beginning to get really crowded with the weekend breakers but during the week in February there were many periods when the areas I found myself in were relatively peaceful.
Which area of Amsterdam did you find you were drawn to the most? Where is your favourite city break destination?