Canal
Europe Travel

Amsterdam Pit Stop

Last week, I hopped on a ship at the London Cruise Terminal and sailed away to Amsterdam & Antwerp for a long weekend for my nanna’s birthday. If you’ve read my blog before, you might know that last year I went on my first cruise to Norway and had an incredible time so I was excited to set off again. We went with the same cruise company, Cruise and Maritime Voyages but a different ship which was brand new to their fleet.

With just 2 days in port and 3 nights at sea, the time passed by so quickly. Amsterdam was our first stop off and I was excited as the city always has good reviews and regular recommendations from fellow travellers.

Amsterdam canal

Amsterdam is a huge city with different vibes around every corner. Obviously it’s impossible to explore the city centre in one day but we have it a good shot to cover the main points. There are plenty of other sites around the city centre as Holland has some beautiful countryside and the Tulip fields not too far away.

Amsterdam museum

For our day trip we decided to use the sight seeing hop on hop off bus that takes you to 11 different sites around the city for you to get off and explore as much as you like. The sight seeing bus allows you to buy a 24 hour ticket to use as much as you like; it takes around 90 minutes to travel the entire circuit depending on the traffic. Our bus ticket kets cost €18 each and we purchased them from the tourist desk at the cruise terminal in Amsterdam. The first bus stop is around a 10 minute walk from the centre.

Amsterdam city bus

The top sites you can see on the sight seeing bus and popular tourist spots in Amsterdam are:
Ann Franks House – extremely popular with a huge queue outside so if you want to get in and have a look around then be prepared to wait around a lot
Heineken Experience
I Am Amsterdam Sign – you’ll never get a photo on your own with that sign as the place is rammed with people taking photos
Museum Square
Red Light District

Amsterdam canal

My favourite part of Amsterdam was visiting the Red Light District as I was honestly baffled that there actually were ladies standing in the windows.

Whilst Amsterdam felt very safe to walk around in and had a lot of activity to do, I personally didn’t enjoy visiting the city. Perhaps it would be different if I had spent longer there but for me, Amsterdam is too busy and crowded and much like London, which I also do not enjoy. But I can definitely understand why it’s a popular destination for stags weekends or a girls holiday. I’d love to visit further outside of Amsterdam into the countryside of Holland as the Dutch people are incredibly friendly and welcoming.

if you are interested in more cruise stories, you can read about my trip to Norway where we visited the Fjords.

  • Kirsty Leanne

    I can’t’ imagine how hard it was to do as much as you did in a day! We struggled with two and a half days, so I will definitely be going back to explore more. Glad to hear you had a good time, despite the busyness!

    Kirsty Leanne xx
    http://www.kirstyleanne.com

  • Pingback: Antwerp Day Trip – With Love, Lottie()

  • Lily Mae

    How did you manage to do so much in just a day?? I’m so incredibly jealous of your trip! Amsterdam looks incredible!

  • I really enjoyed amsterdam, but we did stay longer so got to explore at a much slower pace. The red light district really is strange isn’t it?!

  • Amsterdam really is a great place to visit. One thing I did like was the roads are so flat!! no bumps at all 🙂 x

  • Amsterdam is one place I would love to visit one day, it has so much history and so many amazing places to visit. It sounds like you had an amazing time.

  • Mellissa Williams

    I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy visiting the city, I can totally understand why – it can be SO busy can’t it?

  • Samantha Bye

    I went to Amsterdam last year. I loved it during the day as there’s so many cool things to do, but I really didn’t enjoy it at night. Too busy, the red light district made me feel uneasy, just a whole different vibe there when the sun goes down!

  • Jennifer Eastwell

    Aww how lovely! I’ve always wanted to visit Amsterdam. I would want to visit Anne Frank’s house. It looks like you had a lovely time even if it did go quickly!

  • Claire St Hillaire

    I’ve always wanted to visit the Red Light District? Did you see anything else there besides ladies in windows?

  • Gareth Torrance

    I think one of my favourite memories of Amsterdam was getting off the train from Doetinchem, walking out of the station, and having my mind blown at the multi-storey bike park!

  • Amsterdam is such a great place, would love to go back soon! 🙂

  • It’s a shame that you didn’t like the feel of the city as I loved it when I went back earlier this year, and if you wake up early enough you can get a solo picture on the Amsterdam sign, it was well worth it x

  • Baby Isabella

    Sounds like a good stop over! We’d love to go on a cruise one day and its a great way to see the world!

  • Anosa Malanga VA

    Amsterdam is a beautiful place to go to. Definitely agree that the people are very friendly.

  • It’s a shame you didn’t love the city, it is definitely one of my favourite places! I love the random quirky graffiti on each street and really enjoyed the museums. I would love to do a boat trip next time I visit 🙂

    Dani x

  • That’s a shame you didn’t like Amsterdam, personally I love the vibe of the city x