Last week I was in Amsterdam for five days having a relaxing girls weekend with my best friend. I haven’t seen her since her wedding and we had a blast getting ready and listening to music, finding British dating shows on TV, getting in a few workouts, grabbing cocktails, eating delicious food, exploring the great city of Amsterdam and dancing the night away.
It was lovely to have time to chat, have no agenda and just spend quality time with my best friend. And Amsterdam was the perfect choice. We originally wanted to go to London but with all of the recent terror attacks, we decided to give Amsterdam a try. Megan had never been and we’ll go anywhere the housewives go! (Beverly Hills goes to Amsterdam in season 5). I thought I’d share what we did, where we went and why Amsterdam is the perfect place for a girls weekend.
We stayed at the W Amsterdam, which is in the most perfect location. It’s right smack dab in the middle of everything and we could walk everywhere we wanted to go. Our room was fantastic and we definitely utilized the on-site gym quite a few times. The products in the room were fantastic, like the in-room Nespresso machine. And we really appreciated the free water bottles and fruit. We did order some room service, which was just okay, so I would eat other places.
We chatted beforehand about all the things we wanted to do while we were there. We didn’t want to have too specific plans, we knew we wanted to hit the major sites. We visited the Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum, both of which I highly recommend. The museum was great and surprisingly small and it’s where the iAmsterdam sign is, so you definitely have to get that iconic picture. Although, getting that picture is really difficult and you just have to jump in there and hope for the best, even if that means there’s lots of children in there.
A canal tour is also a must-do. We did the Friendship Amsterdam tour, which takes off in the Red Light District, because you can drink on that boat. The boat ride lasted an hour and it went by really quickly. We got to see amazing things like the skinny bridge, the leaning houses and the 7 bridges. It’s only 15 Euro and definitely worth it.
A note on the Red Light District. Vinn and I didn’t go see it when we went to Amsterdam last year, so I definitely wanted to see it this time. It’s not exactly what I pictured, like the oldest church in Amsterdam is across from the “working ladies” rooms, but it was also like I imagined. There really are women in the windows and there are a bunch of stores and clubs around, but overall it’s just another area of town. There were little kids and families eating lunch at the restaurants even. I would recommend a quick stroll through and definitely see the Old Church, it’s spectacular.
Of course shopping is a must on any girls weekend. The Jordaan district has some great trendy, boutique shops where we found some great jewelry, scarves and clothes. We also wondered through Hudson Bay, the Amsterdam department store. It’s really cool and huge!
We pretty much just woke up, ate breakfast, did a tour, worked out and then grabbed drinks before dinner. Aimlessly walking around Amsterdam is so worth it, too. Everywhere you turn is a picture-worthy moment.
Girl talk just can’t exist without some cocktails. The perfect place for this is Bubbles & Wine. It’s dark, has small plates and is known for wine and champagne flights. It’s great for a pre-dinner drink and to chat about what’s happening in life.
After dinner one night, we wanted to drink and dance, so we headed to Cafe de Paris. It’s on the main street and played the most amazing music. We had some Heinekens (for 3 Euro each!) and danced our faces off! It reminded me of college and was so much fun.
The food in Amsterdam is just amazing. (Did you see my post on the Eating Amsterdam Food Tour?) It’s a great way to try all the Dutch dishes in one day. Megan and I both love food and visiting different restaurants so we had quite a list of places we wanted to visit. Megan found a Michelin starred restaurant, Bord’eau, and we had reservations for Saturday night.
This restaurant is stunning and the service was top-notch. We chose the pre-set five course meal and just ate and ate and ate. While the food was delicious, it was definitely more about the experience than the actual dishes, which are quite fancy. It was expensive, so if you do visit, be prepared for a hefty bill.
Breakfast cafes are everywhere in Amsterdam and have some of the best food around. We visited Pluk, which had the most stunning bakery bar, and had lattes and avocado toast. And no trip to Amsterdam would be complete without some pancakes! We managed to get a reservation at Upstairs Pancakes, which the housewives visited when they went to Amsterdam, for some sweet and savory pancakes.
These pancakes were divine. And the restaurant is super small and up a flight of very steep stairs. There are only four tables, so you definitely will want to get a reservation for fear of being turned away. We downed our strawberry and cream and bacon and cheese pancakes and had to walk around for hours before getting another meal.
Stroopwaffels are also a must, I’ve shared my love for them before, and we found a little bakery that sold waffles covered in chocolate and other toppings. So yummy. A Nutella waffle is also a great snack while you’re strolling the canals.
Other dinner places to mention are: Moeders for authentic Dutch food, Mappa for Italian, De Luwte for great wine and beef and La Perla for pizza. The restaurants are absolutely amazing in Amsterdam, you will not go hungry, that’s for sure.
Amsterdam was the absolute perfect choice for a girls weekend. There’s culture, great food, great drinks and bars, plenty of things outside of the thing you normally think of when you think of Amsterdam. Thanks to Megan for taking the extremely long travel time to come hang out with me for a few days. It was so wonderful to see you, catch up and just be friends. I am so lucky to have a friend like you!
Where would you love to go on a girls trip?