Travel: A Weekend in Amsterdam

We decided to go to Amsterdam for an extended weekend.

It was early in September that we took our city break so the weather was mild. It was just under 20 degrees each day and we did see a couple of showers as well but that didn’t stop us from exploring the beautiful city.

It’s true what they say that Amsterdam (otherwise known as ‘the Dam’) that it’s like a place from a book, filled with wonderful canals and picturesque, tall buildings. I must say it’s similar to Venice – if you remember my post from last year. Do you agree?


Grey thermal top – Heattech | Black culottes – Debenhams

We did a few things when we were there. We visited Van Gogh’s museum, took a walking city tour and we even managed to find a zoo near our Air B&B. Read on to find out more about our experience…

Free Walking Tour in Amsterdam


I’d really recommend Sandeman’s walking tour which I booked online before we went. It’s free but the tour guide works on tips so I recommend bringing cash along with you to give to the guide at the end – around 15-20 Euros per person would probably do and it’s totally worth it as they’re on average 3 hours long! We also learnt loads and were given great recommendations in regards to cafes, bars and the like (also tourist areas to avoid if ‘that’ kind of thing isn’t up your street, if you know what I mean…)

I loved to hear about the wonky buildings and how the canals were created to run the city’s business of trading in spices hundreds of years ago. Did you know they house owners in Amsterdam paid (and pay) taxes dependant on the width of their properties? Also some houses are sinking because the land underneath is a swamp! So, every year the house owner might find themselves a millimeter more on the topsy-turvy side haha.

Amsterdam Lifestyle; the city of Cyclists


I loved the lifestyle of the people in Amsterdam. Everyone has a bike. If you don’t have a bike you’re seen as a weirdo… no joke! We were speaking to a local and she said that most people have two or three bikes in case one gets stolen and if you don’t have one at all then you’re either foreign or an outcast (or mad!)

Every street has a cycling lane next to a tram path. It’s also clear that the city infrastructure has been developed for centuries and I wish London could replicate it… if only it has enough space! That was the other thing about the city, the streets were very wideand Amsterdam in general seemed like a very flat place (not boring, but literally flat haha.)

Amsterdam City Zoo

artis-nature-zoo-in-amsterdam-city elephants-in-amsterdam-city-zoo amsterdam-city-white-wolf selfie-with-a-leema-in-amsterdam-zoo

We discovered this gem completely accidently. We had a spare morning and decided to walk around the town next to our Air B&B which was in the centre. So, we stumbled across the Amsterdam city zoo and I’m so glad we did too. Can you see my delight when I met a brown/golden leemar? (They are one of my favourite animals.)

The zoo definitely had a great selection of animals and it is bigger than it looks. We were surprised to see beautiful wolves stalking as well as the usual elephants, giraffes and lions 🙂

All in all, we loved the city experience. I don’t think you need more than a few days to do all the touristy things.

The only thing I regret is not having time for Anne Frank’s museum but the queue was more than 2 hours long! Maybe next time though…

Have you been to Amsterdam or would want to go?

Alina is the founder and writer of The Fairytale Pretty Picture blog whilst working full time as an SEO specialist at a growing online-only retailer called Amara. She owns a beautiful white Alsatian and lives in Essex with her husband.


  • October 6, 2016

    Dean of Little Steps

    Not yet! And we’ve been meaning to go. Hopefully during the first half-term break after the new year 😉 Looks like you guys had fun. Loving the photos. x

  • October 6, 2016


    Fantastic post! I’ve had a few weekends in Amsterdam and the whole place is chocked full of culture and amazing places to enjoy not matter the weather.

  • October 6, 2016

    Newcastle Family Life

    Amsterdam looks so pretty! I have never been myself but have always wanted to go, they have daily cruises from Newcastle which are really cheap and I keep meaning to go on one. xx

  • October 7, 2016


    Such a beautiful place. I have never been before but I would like to go. We are getting our passports again next year to start travelling again 🙂

  • October 7, 2016

    Lauretta Wright

    I love Amsterdam – my favourite place to visit was Anne Frank’s house but I’m sure you’ll have time to visit next time. I wish we had hired out bikes – it’s such a romantic city isn’t it?

  • October 8, 2016


    It is a beautiful place to visit. I didn’t get to see the zoo on my last visit, may be next time.

  • October 9, 2016

    Zena's Suitcase

    I have been to Amsterdam a lot of times, it’s one of my favourite cities. I’m going to Venice very soon so it will be interesting to compare them

  • October 10, 2016


    Amsterdam was always on my bucket list. Looks like a perfect getaway.

  • October 10, 2016


    I never realised that amsterdam was so beautiful, I want to visit now

  • October 11, 2016


    Amsterdam brings me warm memories. It is a beautiful city and it has so much more to offer than the touristic city centre.