One of my best college friends came to Amsterdam for a work conference this past week. I was able to find a reasonably priced flight so I made my way over for a long weekend.
With my flight delayed by an hour and 25 minutes, my Thursday night arrival was pushed back to 9:30pm. Unfortunately missing dinner, I was able to grab some beers at a bar called Louis with my friend and some of her associates. An earlier bedtime allowed for a Friday morning breakfast and 5 miles run around the city.
Words of advice, running around Amsterdam is hard. You’re constantly having to watch out for cars, trams, bikes, and people on very narrow sidewalks. My first two miles from the train station to the Rijksmuseum took closer to 30 minutes instead of 20. My suggestion is to be an early riser and get your run out of the way to avoid people in general.
Once I got to the museum there were hundreds of tourists moving about to get into and out of the museum and to see the I Amsterdam sign. Not quite the same midweek view my dad, sister and I got back when we visited the sign in April when the sign was by city hall.
By the museum I did get some breathing room as parks opened up a bit however I knew my return home would be just as shot as the way there, so I took my time back taking photos along the way. Although you can’t get a speedy run in, the architecture, canals, and characters you pass along the way make sightseeing worth it.
Friday evening we were recommended to go to the area Leidseplein to have dinner and drinks. We ate at BarBQ Castell, a dark but warm and cozy steak house, with super friendly servers and delicious pieces of meat. Fortunately, within walking distance of plenty of coffee shops and bars, we enjoyed the rest of our evening living it up with locals and tourists alike partying at a piano bar and ending at a club at 5am playing only music by 50 cent, extremely appropriate as it was one of our favorite artists back during our Northeastern University days.
Saturday didn’t start until about 2pm, which was no problem as we had both been to Amsterdam before and we had no real touristy plans to accomplish (for instance the Heineken Museum or Anne Frank House, although Katie would have liked to have gone if there wasn’t a two-hour line), but we did make our way over to Winkle 43 for their famous Dutch Apple Pie. After walking through a market and having our dessert first, we decided to people watch at an outdoor cafe with unknowingly crappy service and unfortunately even worse food.
At this point, we were lazy but were able to find an unlimited drink canal cruise for 15€. It was really quite lovely as we took it at dusk and was able to drink and cover ourselves with blankets on the hour tour.
We made it back to the hotel around 8pm and asked for a restaurant in a similar style as BarBQ Castell but within walking distance and ended up at Van Speyk. Another wonderful suggestion by the hotel concierge as we were not disappointed with the meal, wine or decent pricing.
Sunday was our departure and we left with weekends full of laughable memories and teaching Katie how to use Snapchat 😂