Thursday, 22 July 2010

Ultimate Amsterdam on a Budget, Part Two

Read Part One First!

Where to Eat

Staying with family meant that I ate the majority of my meals in whilst in Amsterdam – but there were exceptions.

Delicious cake and pear juice in a cafe who's name I can't recall but was in none other than the red light district! I love the plates.

Bagels and Beans. We didn’t actually stop to eat here, but perused the menu and were most impressed. They do a range of tasty sweet and savoury bagels, healthy smoothies, and coffee. Prices aren’t super cheap, but reasonable, at around €5.00 for a filled bagel. Check out the menu here, the second half of it is in English.

♥ If you want to do something really special, consider breakfast at the Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky, on main 'Dam Square', which runs from 8am until 11am. This certainly isn’t cheap at €30 per person, but there is champagne, delicious waffles with stewed cherries and dark chocolate sauce, and stunning scenery. You’ll feel very posh, and that’s always nice.

♥ For a yummy snack, in the main tourist areas you’re likely to see lots of people clutching small cones of Frites (Dutch Fries) with a dollop of Mayonnaise, available at various hatch-like vendors. At €1.50, don’t knock it ‘til you try it.

Where to Play

♥ If you do want to experience Amsterdam’s ‘coffee shops’ where marijuana is sold as ‘Space Cakes’ or smoked, there’s a relaxed and friendly atmosphere at Barneys.

Vintage shops and markets. I was pleasantly surprised by the abundance of beautiful vintage clothing to be found in Amsterdam. The above was one shop that really stood out, but I don’t remember the street name. I do remember that it was on the way to Waterlooplein flea market, which was also something of an experience:

A vintage vixen's wet dream.

However, I got a hot tip that the place you really want to be is the Monday market where few things are above €5-10.00 and you can even bag some top designer garb!

Boat tours. Cheap at around €10.00, the ‘Lovers’ (not actually reserved for lovers, although my friend and I did get mistaken for a gay couple whilst in Amsterdam... but that's another story) tour leaves from just outside the Anne Frank house and takes approximately an hour and a half. There are plenty of other boat tours, but the ‘hop on/hop off’ ones can make for the best value day out.

Things to See

The Anne Frank House, Dam Square, Heineken Experience, Tulip Museum, Van Gogh Museum.

What to Take

♥ The weather in Amsterdam seemed pretty unpredictable. We were lucky and got blazing sunshine when we were expecting cold and showers, but it could go the other way, so prepare for all instances.

♥ Take plenty of cash as overseas withdrawals and card transactions can often be expensive. Budget-wise, it’s easy to do Amsterdam fairly cheaply, as long as you can avoid being tempted by the shopping! Though even that can be done on a shoestring. Trip Advisor has its own guide (scroll down and download the PDF) with a variety of eating out, entertainment, and accommodation options for varying budgets.

♥ A load of cycle chic outfits.

Have you been to Amsterdam? What was your highlight or horror? Any tips?


Krystal said...

I loved this, I hope to make it there soon so this was really helpful!

Aury said...

Really lovely post Megan! Good job!

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