Sunday, 17 December 2017

48 Hours in Amsterdam

Last October, Rachel and I flew to Amsterdam for Mayday Parade's tenth anniversary Lesson in Romantics tour. Neither of us had even been to the Netherlands before, so we spent our 48 hours there squeezing in as many sights as we could.

We stayed in the Leidsplein district of the city, in the Backstage Hotel - a rock 'n' roll inspired spot filled with cool guitars and piles upon piles of iconic vinyls. Our room even came stocked with a bunch of artsy books on music legends of every genre. The hotel was right around the corner from the Melkweg venue, and a minute's walk from the nearest shopping streets and tram stops.

On our first day we hit up the museum quarter, which houses the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh museum (among others) and those infamous iamsterdam signs (let's not talk about how long it took us to find the Rijksmuseum despite being a ten minute walk from our hotel...). Later, we took a tram to the other side of the city and wandered around the busy Dam Square, home to the Madame Tussaud's museum and the biggest Penneys I have ever seen (you can take the girls out of Ireland...).

Our night was occupied by the Mayday Parade show in the Melkweg - a former milk-factory-turned-music-venue, Melkweg meaning Milky Way- who played an intensely nostalgic set, preceeded by Australian pop punk outfit With Confidence and Texan trio Waterparks.

On day two we spent our morning searching for the bench from The Fault in Our Stars, only to find it already occupied by two old guys drinking cans... We also made a brief stop to the Vondelpark, and narrowly avoided being hit by cyclists a few dozen times. That afternoon, we hopped on a boat and took a trip round the city's canal routes - stopping only to check out the Anne Frank museum in Prinsengracht (if you ever want a hope of getting in there book your tickets weeks in advance - we didn't). Although Amsterdam's not a big city by any means, the canal tours are a handy way of seeing all the sights in a few hours - plus if you're as tired as we were, it saves a lot of walking.

It's a gorgeous little city, and we're already planning another two day trip back there next spring. If you've been before, I'd love to hear your recommendations of what to do or see, or where to eat or stay, for the next time!
Ciara Pollock © . Design by FCD.