I’ve passed through Amsterdam in transit at least 6 times over the past 5 years, only venturing away from the airport grounds and into the city once on an 8 hour layover in transit to Dubai in June 2015 (blog post coming soon).
When booking my trip to Lagos, Nigeria for one of my longest friend’s (more like sister) traditional wedding, I decided to do things differently and extend my layover in Amsterdam this time around.
For months I had anticipated my arrival to warm Spring weather and had been curating imaginary photos of me holding fully blossomed tulips as photo props in front of the canals. Instead, I was met with dull, wet and very chilly climates forcing me to swap out the idea of holding blooming tulips with a warm cup of tea!
Where I Stayed
I booked my last minute stay at Hotel Amsterdam De Roode Leeuw, which turned out to be perfectly located in historical Dam Square. It was in walking distance to food stalls, restaurants and trendy shopping stores like Bijenkorf and the Magna Plaza.
Where I Ate
I had lunch at The Grasshopper after checking into my hotel.
Tired and a bit under the weather, I chose to have dinner at the hotel’s restaurant on the first night.
Warned not to leave Amsterdam without trying the infamous Dutch pancake, I made my way to The Pancake Bakery for Brunch the following day to engage my non-existent sweet tooth. One of the waitresses made several failed attempts to convince me to order pancakes with cheese (yuck! that just sounds so weird and unappealing) which was on the savoury menu. Of course I declined and ended up going with a classic pancake on their sweet menu called The Dutch Pancake.
Conclusion? The pancake was HUGE so I couldn’t finish it. I actually only ate a quarter of it.
Not bad but nothing to enthusiastically rave about.
To burn off the calories, I wandered the narrow canals and streets of the trendy Jordaan neighbourhood by foot. I walked by the Anne Frank house but had not purchased tickets prior and didn’t really feel like waiting around for entry. Oh well.
The next morning, I woke up pretty early to conduct a self-contained photoshoot in Dam Square before it got overly crowded with tourists.
Thanks for the memories, Amsterdam.