Monday, November 10, 2014

Amsterdam, the capital of The Netherlands ; The City of bicycles, The City of Freedom, The City of Canals
Whatever you call it. 
To me, Amsterdam is a city of all the above, simply put, it is a crazy city that is both filled with lots of fun and has an incredibly long and rich history.
I was very blessed to be able to visit Amsterdam on a short weekend trip last week and I know many of you are probably planning to visit Europe during the upcoming december holidays, I hope my posts will be of help!
I would definitely recommend around 3-4 days for Amsterdam, longer if you would bother with all the museums and like to take your time while travelling :)

*Do take note that ticket prices for Thaly trains are very costly, and you will have to fork up a substantial amount on top of your Eurail Global Pass if you bought one*

So here are some of the places I went, that I would recommend : 
A really cute and interactive tour on Heineken, and it's roots. 
From how this brand first started in the early days in The Netherlands, to their success in today's world.
I would recommend you guys to set aside at least 3 hours for this tour, and do go early in the day, or in the evening to avoid the crowd! 
One tip is to download the Heineken Experience app on the appstore and purchase your tickets from there to avoid having to queue, the queue is mad!

For 16Euros each, you will be entitled to 2 small quarter-pints of heineken beers and also a few more glasses of beer along the tour. It is pretty worth it I must say!
Closed on sundays
Next, we hopped over to the Albert Cuyp market that was just along the bent from Heineken Experience.
A bustling market that sells just about everything. Food, clothes, snacks, preserved foods, flowers, fruits etc. I thoroughly enjoyed myself at the Albert Cuyp Market because prices there were much lower than elsewhere! 
Not everything was thatttt cheap though, but well..
Take these waffles for example, 1 would cost you a minimum of 2.75Euros and it can even go up to 4 Euros!
That said.. I couldnt resist it and got one for myself.. hahhahaa
Chocolates *thumbs up if you can spot the kinky ones >< *
We then stopped by a stall selling roasted chicken and had our lunch. I dont know the name of the stall, but they were selling these chickens for 2 for 6 Euros.
We opted for the Free Range ones, that were slightly bigger and a little pricier at 2 for 8 Euros, but trust me they are so worth it.
1 Chicken can fill 1 guy up and perhaps 2-3 girls! Hahahaa the meat was so tender and juicy, plus free flow sriracha sauce at the side!
For those that don't know, Sriracha Sauce is pretty much the European substitute for our chilli sauce.
I cant tell you guys how thankful I am for this sauce because it is not that rare in Europe. If you're a fan of chilli like myself, give Sriracha a try! 
It is a hot sauce made from hot peppers. 
Compared to chilli sauce, Sriracha has a slightly more salty and sour taste to it. Of course, I love Singaporean Chilli sauce the most but this will do for now till I get back in 2 more months :D
Credits: Google
Apart from all the above, Amsterdam is also famous for their Red Light District. *Ahem*
It was truly an eye opening experience walking through the district. I've always wondered how they looked like, people said women stood by red windows and men would just stand outside to take their pick.
Well.. that saying is kinda true but not entirely. Women do stand by red windows for everyone to watch, but its nothing really "skanky", imo. They've gotta be the most beautiful ones i've seen in my life, and i've seen a few even rejecting some male customers because they "weren't good enough" actually! HAHA
Its amusing how everyone in Amsterdam are so open about such things.
Im sorry I dont have any photos of the place because you're apparently not supposed to take photos of the ladies and they get quite aggro when you do so.. #kiasi singaporean here.

Oh and the vending machine thingy on top was one of Amsterdam's famous fast-food concept. Put a coin in there, open the little glass compartments and grab a freshly made burger on the go!
Its funny because I watched this concept on National Geographic Channel a few months ago :)

We then had dinner at a famous thai restaurant called Bird Restaurant along one of the streets in the Red Light district.
The locals and tourists all love this thai restaurant, so be prepared to queue! My friends had to queue for about 30 mins or more to get a table.
Unfortunately, being a thai-food lover myself, I thought the thai food served in Europe is a fry cry from the ones we have in Singapore, much less Thailand. 

One tip: Lower your expectations especially when they tell you the dish is REALLY spicy... most of the time it will not even be 10% of the spicy-ness you're used to in Singapore. HAHA!

Thats it for the first part of Amsterdam guys, didn't want to drown you all with lots of photos and words so.. till next time <3

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