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Amsterdam

Airline: Easyjet

Hotel: Doubletree by Hilton Amsterdam Centraal station

Amsterdam the city of bikers, is in the north province of Holland and is the capital of the Netherlands. Winding streets, beautiful canals, museums and great eateries, it’s the place to be if you want to chill out.

The Journey

Having flown with #Easyjet before, I knew what to expect but mum was experiencing this for the very first time. As usual we started at our trusted London airport, Gatwick, but this time we chose #Wagamama’s for breakfast. Being a short-haul flight we knew there wouldn’t be much on offer on the plane.

Once boarded mum’s nerves settled (slightly) and she was happy with the comfort of the seat. Mum was all prepared for the journey ahead.

Now let me fill you in about my mum, she REALLY hates flying. So whilst I blissfully fell asleep (as usual), mum began humming and singing to herself to stay awake. I recall a moment of turbulence and her calling my name, but I also recall keeping my eyes shut tight because if she had caught me in that moment I wouldn’t have been allowed to sleep anymore.

The landing was the smoothest I’d ever experienced, hats off to the pilot. With hand-luggage only we zipped through passport control and went to fine the ‘I love Amsterdam’ shop to collect our city cards.

This card offers up to 3 days of fun with free entry to many of the attractions, a free canal cruise, discounts at shops, restaurants and free tasters along the way. Definitely a must for a whistle stop trip.

Please beware that the card is not valid from the airport, something we didn’t realise. We should have known the sound of double beeps when tapping the card meant there was a problem – palm to face moment. The card only works on GVB public transport not at central station.

The hotel experience

Mum is a #HiltonHonors club member and over the years has collected several points. This paid off as it meant barely paying anything for our 4* stay. On average this hotel is £220 per night and we got it for £40 #WINNING!

The architecture in Amsterdam is incredible and this continued through to this delightful and stylish hotel. Being surrounded by a river and canal the views from the floor to ceiling windows were sublime.

We arrived at the hotel hours before we were due to check-in. But not only did the Hilton offer us complimentary early check-in, we were also given a late checkout. A nice touch for weary travellers.

Complimentary was the word for the day as we were also offered mouth-watering warm chocolate and walnut cookies, again another nice touch.
The room was clean and nice, but a little on the small side. It was what you’d expect for a typical city break hotel. The location was perfect and central to everything you need.

Food

This was our first time staying ‘room only’. As we visited all the attractions, it ended up being a very good idea. The cost of breakfast was £30pp and I know eggs do not cost that much.

There was a small supermarket to the left of the hotel, where we stocked up on snacks, drinks and a cheese sandwiches for breakfast.
Amsterdam is also known for #stroopwafels, chips and croquettes. All of which we tried. The Amsterdam City card gives you a ‘freebie’ to try croquettes and gin, so take advantage like we did.

Stroopwafels are deliciously moreish and sickly sweet, so don’t get caught in the trap and eat too many. You’ll thank me later.

One of my favourite places to eat in London is Wagamama’s and with the Amsterdam city card you get a discount off the whole bill – we took full advantage of this great deal.

Weather

The weather wasn’t very friendly too us. The way the rain lashed us was like it was personal, but we were well equipped with our waterproof ponchos. We were so pleased with ourselves that if the wind wasn’t so strong we would have skipped around in the rain. I’m so short that the poncho also covered most of my legs, so I was always dry when we returned.

Places of interest/activities

The city card guided what we did and where we went. We visited several of the museums and took rides on the ferry’s. I really wanted to go to the Eye Film museum, which we did, but it was a really REALLy strange exhibition. It disturbs me to this day when thinking about it. We ended up exiting the exhibition via a emergency exist as it became too dark and weird for us.

The NEMO Science Museum is a must and if you have children. Plan to stay all day. I’m a grown woman and had bundles of fun here. The museum in walking distance across the bridge from the hotel.

We also went to the diamond Museum – informative, but brief.

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