I feel alive when I allow myself to do things last-minute. The plan was to spend a quiet Christmas in London eating delicious food and watching movies. I don’t think I was 100% happy with that plan. Not this year. Which meant that we would end up in Amsterdam for Christmas.
Flights and hotel booked on the mobile apps. A vague idea about what to do after a couple of Google searches. No real planning involved. Everything done within 10 days of flying.
It was not our first time in Amsterdam but we had not stayed in the city last time. We thought it would be a slow one as shops and attractions might be closed on some days during our stay. We were wrong. Amsterdam didn’t stop for Christmas. Public transport worked really well and most things were open throughout the festive period. This was a very pleasant surprise.
Christmas Eve Eve
On the day we left London we woke up at 4am to get the 8am flight from Luton. Thankfully the airport is just an easy train ride away from home. Carrying just two backpacks made our journey easier than usual.
On arrival we got a train ticket to Amsterdam Centraal and once we got there we looked for a place to eat and warm up. 9 degrees Celsius in Amsterdam feels a lot colder than the same temperature in London. A couple of delicious pancakes after we were ready to go explore the city.
The first stop was the museum of prostitution. It gave us a good insight of the prostitution business in Amsterdam and the prostitutes’ life. It is worth the 10 Euros ticket.
Back at the train station we bought a 3 day travel pass and then headed to the hotel for the check in. Super tired as the day had started early we decided to go chill in the hot tubs on the hotel roof top. It was freezing outside but the water was really hot and felt amazing to get all wrinkly in there.
Showered and ready to head out we Googled places to eat. Budget ones as Amsterdam is not a cheap city. We ended up at Café-restaurant Kerkwijk. It was very busy but we decided to wait at the bar for a table. There was no menu available (we were told the menu) so we had no clue about the prices. The food was delicious, the service super friendly but the bill at 60 Euros did not really match my Google search!
Even though we were dead from all the travelling and waking up at 4am we had energy left for a stroll along the red light district.
After a night of over 8 hours’ sleep we were ready for a full day in Amsterdam.
Breakfast was at The Breakfast Club down the street from our hotel. Eggs benedict fueled our visit to Foam, the photography museum. There we found two of the exhibitions to be really good and worth the entry fee. Their apple crumble and coffee were really good too!
In the afternoon we strolled along the canals, bought a night cruise ticket and headed back to the hotel to rest for a little while.
We had sushi as an afternoon snack in our room before making our way to board the cruise. Over an hour watching the houses by the canals, pretty bridges and light installations along the way. It was a great way to spend our Christmas Eve.
It was freezing outside and we were not able to find a good place to eat in the city center so decided to try the hotel restaurant. Turned out to be the perfect choice as the food was delicious.
Most attractions seemed to be open on this day so we had no trouble finding something to do. Also the public transports were working as in any other day. We were super pleased with this.
Our attraction of choice for this day was the Artis, the Amsterdam Zoo. It did not disappoint. With plenty of different animals to see and most of them in good enclosures or free roaming amongst the public we really enjoyed our visit. It did take longer than we expected and our feet were hurting by the time we left.
Still we decided to walk around the canals to take pictures with just a brief stop for pancakes. It was super cold outside so after a few hours we gave in and headed back to the hotel to rest and for me to start writing this post.
Dinner was at the hotel again.
Our final day in Amsterdam. Sad times. Breakfast was at the usual spot.
We visited Vondelpark and were not impressed. Guess it is difficult to impress someone that lives in London when it comes to city parks.
The final meal in Amsterdam was at the same place we ate pancakes at when we arrived. After that we ran around in between train platforms until we found the right one to the airport. Luton welcomed us with heavy rain and no train service. Thankful for Uber (even though the ride was more expensive than usual).
Amsterdam Final Thoughts
Amsterdam is a very welcoming city and is super easy to get around (at least when you have Google maps on your phone). Surprisingly it did not stop for Christmas making it the ideal Christmas European city getaway.
If you missed my Instagram stories while I was away…