Holland Part two: Amsterdam

Oh Amsterdam, it's been quite a while since I thought about our trip there back in June but as the year is drawing to a close I thought it would be nice to have a little reminisce and share some of our favourite parts. I'd love to go back, especially at this time of year too, maybe one day!

We visited the city as part of our holiday with Eurocamp staying at Duirnell Campsite located about 40 minutes drive away from Amsterdam. You can read all about our experience of the campsite here!

Amsterdam is one of those places that I know I've wanted to visit for a long time (up there with Porto and Paris!) but looking to stay as a family of four was really expensive so it's never really been attainable for us but this is one of the main reasons we chose to go here with Eurocamp this year. It felt like it was the best of both worlds, being able to enjoy being at a campsite with great facilities and being able to travel easily and quickly to a great city and wander round exploring it.

We decided to go into the city on our third full day of the holiday after we'd had a good chance to explore the park and lots of the activities there, we didn't make too much of a plan but did ask for recommendations on instagram. We knew really we just wanted to do a bit of exploring, to take in the feel and atmosphere of the place and just have a relaxed day without too much to do or rushing around.

We drove into the outskirts of the city where we parked at the Olympic Stadium park and ride, where we could then get the tram into the city centre. It cost us only 7 euros to park all day and a return tram ticket for all four of us. You could obviously purchase extra tram trips but actually because it's so easy to walk around the centre and between the places you want to get to we didn't feel the need to. You can also get off and on the tram wherever you like, meaning we didn't have to worry about making it back to a certain point to get to the car, we just needed to make sure we could get the right tram from where we were!

After some tips from some lovely followers who live in Amsterdam (including lots of great ideas from Frankie at As the bird flies) we decided to get off the tram before we reached the centre and wandered around the De Pijp area, crossing over those famous bridges and canals that are so symbolic of this beautiful city. I was just so excited to see those picturesque houses lining the canal side, with side streets filled with blooms and bikes everywhere. We made our way through the Nine Streets  checking out lots of the lovely shops lining the streets and lusting over so many lovely things we couldn't afford! We stopped to try a Stroepwaffle, of course, before continuing our walking tour of the backstreets. It was just so entertaining walking around, taking in all of the architecture, stopping for photos and snacks. We found beautiful children's toy shops, clothes shops, cafes and vintage shops all before making our way to De Hallen in search of lunch after all of our walking!

De Hallen is an amazing space with galleries, a cinema, an indoor craft market and so many beautiful independent shops as well as what we came for, the food hall, all transforming an old tram depot. The food hall was just so impressive and we toured round trying to decide what we all wanted to eat. Theo went for a pizza, Rob had a Moroccan mezze and I had a vegan burrito. All were so delicious and writing about them now just makes me wish we could go back immediately!

After we filled up and rested a little we looked around the De Hallen a little more before heading over to the VondelPark . We were so lucky with the weather that day so it was enjoyable and easy to just walk around soaking it all up. We sat for quite a while in the park, playing a game Theo had picked up at a toy shop and people watching. I just loved how easy it was to get around everywhere, especially walking with a pushchair, being able to be close to the canals and stop to watch the passing boats, look at the interesting houses and really get a feel for the place.

After our wander around the park we walked towards the centre and watched the storm clouds forming and decided that we should make our way home after a full day of walking. We managed to stop in a few more shops for a browse, including stopping at the wonderful Bigenbelg in De Pijp on our way back.

We couldn't really believe how quickly the day had gone, but we felt now that we had a better idea of the layout and feel of the city, that coming back another day would be really easy (considering how well the park and ride worked out) to do some of the other things we wanted to see.

Part two coming soon!

Here's a little video I made of our visit to Amsterdam! Take me back!


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