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A Day In Amsterdam

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Time To Get Our Ferry On

Arriving in Hull at around 4pm, after coach swapping, ticket collecting and the usual customs checks, we boarded the P&O Pride of Hull. We dropped our luggage in the room and headed to the bar. Two gin and tonics ordered we made our way out onto the deck to watch the sunset. The weather was warm, and we were hoping this was going to carry over into the next day. Dinner was from the buffet, with an excellent selection of dishes on offer. This would be our second trip over to Amsterdam, and we couldn’t wait to arrive.

P&O ferry terminal, Hull.
P&O ferry terminal, Hull.
The Pride of Bruges, leaving Hull dock.
The Pride of Bruges, leaving Hull dock.

Up nice and early, we went for breakfast, coffee and a croissant for Vicky, coffee and the sweet Dutch breakfast treat Hagelslag (candy sprinkles and bread) for me. My sweet tooth was in heaven! If you’ve never heard of that or ever eaten it, you’re missing out, no seriously, you are!

We docked at Europoort in Rotterdam at 8.30am. Our journey into Amsterdam took around 2 hours through towns. passed windmills and through tulip fields and under the runway of Schiphol airport. There was always something interesting to see. Our drop off and pick up point was outside the Basilica of St. Nicholas, just down from the Damrak in the centre of the city.

Taking A Canal Cruise, Shopping & Food

First up a canal cruise. There are plenty of places you can catch a boat from in the city. One place you can do this is just around the corner where the coach set us down. There are plenty of companies offering different trips for different prices. Ours cost €11 each and lasted an hour. Our trip took us past the oldest cafe in Amsterdam, Café Chris founded in 1624. We drifted along via Westerkerk, the church where famous painter Rembrandt was layed to rest. We sailed down Brewers Canal, Emperors Canal, Golden Bend, Gentleman’s Canal and passed Amsterdam’s smallest door. Yes, you read that right!

If you love cheese as much as we do, then Amsterdam is the city for you. We made sure we bought some delicious cheese and ate plenty of samples. For research, of course. We indulged in more shopping and had a wander around the De Bijenkorf department store located on Dam Square. Our next stop would be Febo for a tasty traditional Dutch Kroket. There are several self-serve shops dotted around the city. The Dutch are famous for their delicious croquettes and this place doesn’t disappoint. Freshly cooked and placed in coin-operated slot walls. You place your €2 in the machine and help yourself. Ragout filled deep-fried treats. All different flavours with meat and vegetarian options. Try one next time you are there.

Febo, delicious fast food, the Dutch way. Amsterdam.
Febo, delicious fast food, the Dutch way.
Febo 'kroket' machine.
Febo ‘kroket’ machine.
The canals of Amsterdam.

Travel Smarter With An Amsterdam City Card

The ‘Iamsterdam’ city card is the most convenient and affordable way to experience Amsterdam. Visit world-class museums, take a cruise through the charming canals and sample the local delicacies. All for free or with a significant discount! The City Card gives you unlimited access to Amsterdam’s public transport system for 24, 48, 72 or 96 hours. Click on the link below and check it out.

The Best Apple Pie In Amsterdam

Vicky had promised a friend that we would take her some Spring flower bulbs home. We looked around and ended up in the Tulip Museum. After a few purchases and a nosy round, we headed to our next stop, Café Winkel 43. Doing our research as usual, we already knew about this place. Famous for its apple cake, we just had to try it. Two pieces of cake and two cappuccinos ordered they arrived at our table.

Winkel 43. The best apple cake in Amsterdam.
Winkel 43. The best apple cake in Amsterdam.

We were not disappointed. The base was crunchy and biscuit like and the filling was incredible, deep, with lots of apple, juicy sultanas and cinnamon. The top was nice and spongy and topped off with lots of freshly whipped cream. It definitely earns its title as “Best apple cake in Amsterdam”. Highly recommended and just short of €15 with the drinks.

The Royal Palace of Amsterdam.
The Royal Palace of Amsterdam.

The Royal Palace of Amsterdam on Dam Square. Looking incredible against the bright blue Autumnal sky. Busy with locals and tourists. During the Spring they hold incredible flower festivals here, carpets of tulips and other flowers, a multitude of colours and fragrances. If this is your thing, then don’t forget to visit the Tulip gardens of Keukenhof and the many Tulip museums in the centre of Amsterdam.

Amsterdam tulip museum.
Amsterdam tulip museum.

The Jewish Quarter

Deciding to avoid the red-light district and surrounding areas, we opted for the streets behind the palace and around the Jewish Quarter (The Jodenbuurt). A beautiful area of the city. Full of interesting little shops, cafes and lots to see. You will find this between Nieuwmarkt and Plantage. Here you will find the National Holocaust Memorial, The National Holocaust Museum and the Jewish Historical Museum.

Delicious Dutch fries & mayo from Mannekenpis, Amsterdam.
Delicious Dutch fries & mayo from Mannekenpis, Amsterdam.

We loved our day in Amsterdam and will visit again one day for sure. I’d like to stay over and spend a few more days exploring to see and experience it at night. We’d like to explore more of The Netherlands and I am sure one day we will.

Back on the ferry and our 10 hour journey back home begins. We are really excited about our final getaway in 2018. Barcelona in November, bring it on.

Since writing this post, we took another trip over the North Sea to Belgium, specifically Bruges. You can read all about this trip by clicking on this link A Trip To Bruges.

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