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 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.
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.
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
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
Red Light District
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.