For my sister’s (I won’t say what age) birthday, I surprised her with a couple of mock boarding-pass tickets for a weekend in Amsterdam! We’ve both wanted to go there for years and years and as it was a bank holiday weekend and my birthday too, it seemed like the best time to get away and explore the Venice of the North!
We spent 3 days walking around, trying to avoid getting run over by a bike (they’re everywhere!), visiting the cute sell-everything shops that have amazing interior design in the Jordaan district, brunching of course (Amsterdam is big on vegan & veggie friendly cafes) visiting the Red Light District (an experience, to say the least!) and my highlight, the Anne Frank House, a place which I’ve been wanting to visit ever since reading her diary, at around 11 years old. If you’re planning a trip to Amsterdam, I definitely wouldn’t skip this one. You may find yourself in the queue for 2ish hours (try and book tickets online before to avoid this) but it is incredibly moving to see the annexe in real life, walk the steps she and her family tiptoed, trying not to get discovered by the Nazis.
I just fell in love with Amsterdam. The canal views, bike culture (maybe next time I’ll actually have the courage to ride one), the people and the buildings. I could see why New York was originally named New Amsterdam (just call me Wikipedia!) as the tall townhouses with stoops looked straight out of a Sex & the City set!