Thursday, January 28, 2016

Freezing London + Amsterdam Day 7


Itinerary of today:
Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Centre 
Breakfast @The Alley 
Lunch @Jacketz 
House of Bols Cocktail & Genever Experience
De Wallen (Red Light District)

Check-out the hotel room early in the morning. A city tax of EUR7.83 was needed to pay while checking out. We headed to Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Centre which cost us HKD1236/ night, which was kinda expensive for us! But we could do nothing as it was the cheapest available room in town which is located close to the train station. Of course, it was too early and we were only able to check our baggage at the concierge. 

We then made our way to the main street for breakfast. We saw The Alley. It looked like a decent place and the price of English breakfast was extremely attractive. We decided to give it a try. We ordered 2 sets of English breakfast (EUR4.95/ each) and at the same time a cup of cappuccino (EUR4.5) and an apple juice (EUR3.5) and we found the drinks a bit over-priced. The food there was just soso. We would have found a better restaurant if we could.

The Alley
Address: Damrak 35/36, 1012 LK Amsterdam 
Opening hours: Sun- Thur 0900- 0100, Fri- Sat 0900- 0300

Cheese Inn was just next door. As a cheese lover, I was so delighted to see such a museum like cheese shop, trying fairly extensive kinds of cheese. We didn't join the cheese tour, but wandering around this 2-deck building was already pleasant. I bought a slice of truffle cheese (EUR12.9) and Lawrence bought a set of souvenir for one of his colleagues. (EUR15.9)

Cheese Inn
Address: Damrak 62, 1012 JS Amsterdam 
Tel: +31 20 330 1602 

There were lots of things going on along the main street. The most famous Manneken Pis claimed to be selling fries was just a few minutes away. It was ashame that I couldn't eat too much fried food and Lawrence was way too full. We missed the chance trying the must-try item in Amsterdam. 

Body Works (EUR20/ person) seemed interesting but we didn't want to spend much money on it.

Body Works
Address: Damrak 66, 1012 LM Amsterdam 
Tel: +31 900 8411 
Opening hours: Sun- Wed 0900- 1900, Thur- Sat 0900- 2000

Saw a classic building and it was Magna Plaza. We had a quick look and nothing were our cup of tea as we are not shopping geeks except the beautiful Christmas deco.

Magna Plaza
Address: Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 182, 1012 SJ Amsterdam 
Tel: +31 20 330 9395 
Opening hours: Mon 1100- 1900, Tue- Wed 1000- 1900, Thur 1000- 2100, Fri- Sat 1000- 1900, Sun 1200- 1900

Continued to make our way to Anne Frank Huis. It took us quite a while to get there. We took a rest Vegabond Cafe. It's a lovely little cafe offering vegan food  and drinks. Lawrence had a glass of hot chocolate (EUR2.75) and I tried Green juice made with spinach, celery, apple, orange and fennel. (EUR4) It was kind fresh and it tasted better than I imagined. 

Vegabond Cafe
Address: Leliegracht 16 Amsterdam 
Tel: 0204234403 
Opening hours: Tue- Sat 1100- 1900, Sun 1200- 1700

Nice street art on the way. Initially found some information online with street art in Korte Lijnbaanssteeg and Spuistraat, but we didn't make it to get there.

Approaching Anne Frank Huis (EUR9/ person), we started to see crowds and crowds of tourists! That was the longest queue we saw in this trip! Was trying to buy tickets online to avoid the queue but by the time I did this, the tickets were already sold out. Unfortunately, we had no luck and obviously we didn't want to spend a few hours waiting under chilling weather. We skipped the part visiting here! I couldn't believe it as it is I wanna come here for long! Still remember I have read the book about Anne Frank for many times saying that I would visit the museum one day in person. Maybe it was really too cold that caused us made this decision to leave.

 The only thing we could do was to take a photo with her statue. 

Anne Frank Huis
Address: Prinsengracht 263-267, Amsterdam 
Opening hours: Nov- Mar 0900- 1900 (uuntil 2100 on Saturdays), Apr- Oct 0900- 2200

Planned to have Moeders for lunch but it was closed. How come we were so unlucky today?

Address: Rozengracht 251, Amsterdam 
Opening hour: Mon- Fri 1700- 0000, Sat- Sun 1200- 0000

Doesn't matter. A little obstacles wouldn't set us back. We had taken a long way to Jacketz. It is well-known for baked potatoes. The food here was wonderful. All we did was to get our choice of fillings for an enormous baked potato, with options that range from vegan, to vegetarian, to meat lovers. We had a whole Jacketz with chicken, cheese, bacon and garlic to share. (EUR10.05) The potatoes were served hot and perfectly mashed inside. It was truly an excellent stop to fill us up! 

Address: Kinkerstraat 56, 1053 DZ Amsterdam 
Tel: 31207740640 
Opening hours: Sun- Thur 1200- 2200, Fri- Sat 1200- 2300

Got recharged and headed to Rijksmuseum. We never felt bored walking in the street instead of taking transport. Seemed like there were always surprises around. 

Unlike other tourists, we skipped the most common attractions like Rijksmuseum (EUR17.5) and Van Gogh Museum (EUR17) due to the expensive price and limited time. We came all the way just because of the I amsterdam blocks. Anyway, still had a need to take photos in front of these two important attractions.

No matter which angle we took the photos, there were heaps of people climbing up and down.

Finally we made it to House of Bols Cocktail & Genever Experience. (EUR14.5/ person, Silver tickets with Holland Pass) This place was so much fun! We first saw a large display of Bols and read some history about it.

It was an incredible experience from the moment we walked in to the perfume-liked bar. It was very interesting to learn about how the different flavours were procured and how the smells connected to the flavours. My favorite part of this tour was sniffing the various liquors.

Some videos, photos and certificates letting us know more about Bols in between. 

The tour ends at a bar, where we stopped at a computer kiosk and determined the kinds of cocktail we like, and got suggestions with a print-out recipe of the cocktail. The bartender made them for us. The tickets also included two complimentary shots. But we had forgotten our favourite flavours we smelled at the beginning of the tour, so we just asked for the bartender's recommendations. 

The little gift shop after the tour offers a variety of Bols products. Good for cocktail lovers but not for us.

House of Bols Cocktail & Genever Experience
Address: Paulus Potterstraat 14, 1071 CZ Amsterdam 
Tel:+31 20 570 8575 
Opening hours: Sun- Thur 1200- 1830, Fri 1200- 2200, Sat 1200- 2000

After the tour, we decided to take a look at the I amsterdam blocks again. We were so lucky that the crowd disappeared at night and we were able to take a few photos with the signature blocks!

The ice rink opposite it looked stunning with different colours changing from time to time.

On our way back to the city centre. Another kind of beauty in Amsterdam.

Dropped by Pizzeria Steakhouse Amsterdam for dinner. We ordered a pizza, chicken skewers with fries, an ice tea and a bottle of beer. (EUR27.9) It was reasonably priced and the food was fine. However, as the restaurant was too busy, the staff seemed impatient and everything was in a rush. If you wanna enjoy a cozy dinner where enables you to chat and stay for longer, this probably is not a good option. Otherwise, everything is fine.

Pizzeria Steakhouse Amsterdam
Address: Damstraat 9, 1012 JL Amsterdam 
Tel: 31206228656 
Opening hours: 1200- 0000

Went for a walk after dinner. We made good use of our last night in Amsterdam exploring De Wallen again. I just couldn't keep my eyes off the beautiful prostitutes in those little houses.

Back to the hotel and finally could enjoy the most expensive stay in this trip! The room was big enough to accommodate 3 people. There was a bath tub and we both thought that taking a bath was a must to relax ourselves from walking too much for almost a week. 

Total expenses for 2 =HKD1236 +EUR99.23
City tax                                                      EUR7.83
Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Centre                   HKD1236
Breakfast @The Alley                                   EUR17.9
Cheese Inn                                                 EUR28.8
Tea @Vegabond Cafe                                   EUR6.75
Anne Frank Huis                                          /
Lunch @Jacketz                                           EUR10.05
Van Gogh Museum                                       /
Rijksmuseum                                               /
House of Bols Cocktail & Genever Experience  /
Dinner @Pizzeria Steakhouse Amsterdam       EUR27.9
De Wallen (Red Light District)                        /

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