Travelling Amsterdam – A Winter Break in the Netherlands
Earlier this month I was able to spend a few days exploring the beautiful city of Amsterdam on a little winter break. It has always been on my travel bucket list as the adorable rows of townhouses along the canals looked so pretty, and more recently (thanks, Pinterest), I developed an intense need to visit Wildernis plant & coffee shop. When my favourite artist Novo Amor announced dates for a small European tour on which he was playing in Amsterdam, I decided there was no better time to visit, so I recruited a friend and we hopped on a plane to the chilly Netherlands.
HOUSES ALONG THE CANAL
The houses in Amsterdam look like something out of a painting, all lined up with thoughtfully decorated facades in an assortment of muted colours. They reminded me somewhat of a chocolate box, and I was excited to create this cinemagraph upon seeing the little boat floating by the door outside one of the buildings.
As we wandered through the narrow streets (crossing over many canals and jumping out of the way of hundreds of super-speedy cyclists), we came across dozens of beautiful bridges like this one (yes, the birds were actually there). I imagine these scenes would look even lovelier in the spring time when all of the trees come in to bloom – I’m very tempted to come back to Holland for the tulip season!
We had lots of fun exploring the city, and arriving without much of a plan meant that we were free to make spontaneous decisions (and buy nutella macarons, yum). Although it was quite cold, we were pretty lucky with the weather overall, and it even snowed a little bit on our last night in the city. It was especially gorgeous on this evening during golden hour when the sun peeked out from beneath the clouds, drenching the streets in a dreamy winter haze.
We stayed at a lovely little AirBnB apartment whilst we were in Amsterdam called Vondel Flowers Studio – I obviously chose it initially because of the flowery theme, but it also turned out to be one of my favourite AirBnB stays so far. I would highly recommend it if you’re looking for a warm, cosy place to call home for your time in the city, as it has everything you’d need and the bed is so giant and comfy it’s like sleeping on a cloud whilst being cuddled by a big fluffy bunny. If you haven’t used AirBnB before, I have a code here for you so that you can get £30 off your first adventure 🙂
In addition to the countless canals and cool architecture, Amsterdam is also home to the absolutely stunning Wildernis plant shop & cafe – yes, it’s that one you’ve seen on Pinterest dozens of times and pondered over if anything this perfect could truly exist. I can confirm that it is a real place and it actually looks like this! In fact, I loved it so much that I’m actually going to do a separate post just for those photos, because there were simply too many to fit in here.
So the main reason for the trip was to see Novo Amor at Paradiso Amsterdam and it was certainly more than worth the journey. He was performing with Ed Tullett and the venue was small and cosy, so it was the perfect place to listen to all of my favourite songs (and hear a sneaky preview of some new stuff coming later on this year…) If you haven’t heard his music yet, please listen and fall in love here (you are welcome, my friends):
AMSTERDAM LIGHT FESTIVAL
Little did we know that the Amsterdam Light Festival was also on during our trip, so that was a nice surprise to stumble upon when we arrived. I was browsing through hashtags for inspiration on Instagram (#amstergrams, possibly my favourite tag I have ever used), and I kept coming across photos of a giant doily, beautifully illuminated against the classic townhouses and hanging right above one of the many canals which wind through the city centre. Intrigued, we hopped on a little boat one evening and toured all of the light festival, floating right underneath the giant piece of lace. It has made me want to make one of my own for my bedroom.
There are also loads of other things to do and see if you’re heading to Amsterdam, these were just a few of my favourites that I felt like mentioning! If we had been there for a few more days, I would have loved to take the time to properly explore some of the art galleries and the Rijksmuseum Research Library – maybe next time! That’s all for now, keep an eye out for that Wildernis post coming next if you love plants as much as I do..
Love Marie x