How to Spend 24 Hours in Amsterdam

Our little bonus stop on the way home was in Amsterdam! We only had a day there so it was a bit of a whirlwind visit but it was fantastic to get a little taste of the city. So I thought I’d share how I spent one day in Amsterdam and my tips.

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Culture

Amsterdam has multiple museums and cultural sites to go and visit and with one day I would say stick to one, max two so you can really enjoy them instead of just rushing around. We went to the Van Gogh exhibition which I would highly recommend!

There were massive lines at all the museums which we were lucky enough to avoid with pre-booked tickets. We made the mistake of not looking into tickets early enough and missed out on the Anne Frank House which you have to book for two months in advance. So if you don’t want to spend your entire day in lines, I recommend looking into what you want to do early and book!

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Shopping

We were very lucky and happened to be in Amsterdam on Thursday – their late night shopping day! Everything closed at 9 leaving plenty of time to walk around and do some good shopping.

There are a bunch of different areas in Amsterdam that cater for different styles of fashion. There are beautiful little boutique stores on ‘The Nine Streets’. If you’re looking for the classic H&M and Zara-like stores, head to Kalverstraat. For slightly pricier brands like All Saints and & Other Stories, Heiligeweg has you covered. And for the big spenders Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat has brands like Sandro, Maje, and the classic designers like Dior. There are also a bunch of department stores around like Magna Plaza and de Bijenkorf. Lastly, a little bonus stop was the streetwear/hype store Concrete on Spuistraat that is definitely worth a visit.

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Food

Amsterdam has fantastic food and coffee and we definitely made the most of it. My favourite place was a cafe around the corner from our hotel (Le Pain Quotidien on Spuistraat) that had the most beautiful smoked salmon and ricotta breakfast.

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I had an absolute blast in Amsterdam and will definitely be returning next time I’m in Europe. One thing I loved was just walking around the city through the canals. And with that the Europe trip was over – I can’t wait for the next time I can travel!

I’d love to know your favourite travel destination you’ve been to or want to go to in the comments!

Leah x

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Tokyo | Japan

Our last stop of the Japan trip was Tokyo! We spent a few days here and tried to cover as many areas as we could while fitting in a lot of shopping.

Tokyo was crazy busy with people, lights and noise. It was exactly what I imagined Japan to be like.

 

Taito

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We visited Ueno Park towards the end of cherry blossom season so there weren’t many left around. It is a beautiful park to walk around and we even went to the lake and took a swan boat out!

 

Harajuku

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Harajuku was my favourite area of Tokyo. The shopping and food were amazing – we spent most days in Harajuku walking along the streets shopping and eating.

Laforet was an amazing department store with really interesting styles. I also liked walking the streets around one of my favourite cafes, Bio Ojiyan. Other cafes and restaurants to visit in Harajuku are Cafe Na for green tea lattes, and Harajuku Gyoza for fantastic gyoza!

 

Chiyoda

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We visited Chiyoda for a spa treatment at Mandarin Oriental, which was phenomenal, and walked around the area. This was very different to Harajuku and Shibuya – I would say it is a good deal quieter.

 

Shibuya

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Shibuya was another area we spent a fair amount of time in. I visited Shibuya 101 quickly but found it to be overhyped – Laforet was much more my style. It was still fantastic to walk around and there was so much going on – there are also quite a few nice bars to visit. Coins Bar is a fun foreigners bar and the club Womb is really fun for great music and dancing.

If you’re like me and struggle to find allergy-friendly food or are vegan, check out Little Bird Cafe. They make fantastic gluten free food and also have quite a few vegan options.

 

 

My final, overall tips for travelling in Japan would be to get the JR train pass if you’re travelling to different cities. We had to travel from Okayama to Tokyo on the Shinkansen and if we didn’t have the rail pass, we would have had to spend a few hundred dollars to get there. There are different areas you can cover for different periods of time so look up the one that suits your trip the best!

Another important thing to note is not to rely on people knowing English, especially if you’re travelling outside of Tokyo! Learn the basics: arigato (thank you) and sumimasen (excuse me). Also download google translate so you can use it offline. Something that saved us on this trip was using the camera on google translate to translate Japanese writing – it was an absolute lifesaver to read menus and signs, even though it wasn’t always 100% accurate!

Finally, if you can, get pocket wifi. It is portable wifi you can carry around and is super useful to find your way in Japan, which can be a bit difficult!

 

It’s an incredibly fun and busy country with so much tradition and advancement all in the same cities. Overall, it was a fantastic experience!

 

Leah x

 

Osaka | Nara | Kyoto | Naoshima | Toyko