Although it seems like it with me and the number of long-haul trips I have done over the last few years, travel is not always about exploring the other side of the world or experiencing culture shocks. As it was a May Bank Holiday Weekend in London, I decided to take a city break to Amsterdam to try out somewhere a bit more on my doorstep. With a flight of just 40 minutes from London, the trip including getting to the airport, worked out to be about the same time it takes me to visit my friends in Newcastle for a night, so I was more than open to this idea when a friend suggested it.
I have always wanted to go to Amsterdam and am well aware of its reputation for stag weekends, red light districts and legal highs. But the other side of Amsterdam which I experienced really pleasantly surprised me. The first thing that strikes you is what a beautiful and clean city it is. Built on the River Amstel, it is full of canals and boats, unique Dutch townhouses, lots and lots of cobbled streets, bicycles everywhere (London really has something to learn from the cycle lanes here which makes it so much safer for both pedestrians and cyclists), trams, a fantastic cafe culture and great food! Continue reading