48 Hours in Amsterdam – Canals, Boats & Windmills

I must admit I didn’t really know a great deal about Amsterdam myself, I’d only heard stories about red lights and coffee shops but we knew there must be more to the city than that. I hit YouTube straight away and watched a great video by the Vagabrothers aka Alex & Marco. They have a wealth of short top 10 city guides and I’d highly recommend checking out thier channel at youtube.com/vagabrothers. I also fired up TripAdvisor and saved a few places in Google maps.

Once in the city we checked in to our hotel, the Hotel Rembrandt is a great place and is just outside of the busier areas but within walking distance so suited us perfectly.

After quickly freshening up we walked over to the Anne Frank House to see if we could get in. Tickets for the house sell out months in advance and as this was a last minute trip we didn’t have a chance of getting any beforehand. If you arrive after a certain time in the evening you can join a queue to enter once all the timed tickets have gone in. We arrived at around 17:00 and waited about an hour to get but it was well worth it. The Anne Frank story is one that is known the world over and it was great to visit the place where it happened. If you would like to find out more you can do so on the website at AnneFrank.org.

Amsterdam is a stunning city, we took a cruise along the canals, drank Heineken and went for the obligatory walk around the Red Light area to see what it’s all about. We even went in the Museum of Prostitution which was both eye opening and thought provoking.

Me attempting to do a Derek Zoolander ‘Blue Steel’ in the window at the Museum of Prostitution

We went up to the viewing deck at the A’DAM Lookout, having caught the ferry across the river from central station. The views from the top were excellent and you can really see how busy the waterways are from up there.

It really was a whirlwind 24 hours in Amsterdam and we managed to fit in lots of different things. We ate lots of great food, walked many miles and soaked in the sights. On the final day before heading to the airport we decided we would rent a car and go via the windmills at Zaanse Schans.

The windmills we fascinating, you can go inside a number of them and we chose to go in the sawmill. The staff there we great and they took the time to explain the mechanics of how it all works, it was truly fascinating. The other windmills looked very busy, we chose the best one as it was away from the crowds.

After the windmills we had a quick drive to the coast which was a bit of a waste of time as all the carparks were overflowing. The traffic was terrible but we managed to make it back to the airport in good time for our flight home…. In summary, Amsterdam is a great city and I’d definitely like to return to explore more. I’d love to revisit the Netherlands on a bike too as it seems perfectly equipped for cyclists, it would be nice to do some gentle cycle touring as it’s all so flat 🙂

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All music by Dean Read. Footage shot with a Canon 7D with a 17-40mm lens, an iPhone 6 Plus and it was edited in iMovie.

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