{Travel Tuesday: Amsterdam}

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{The city flag: by coincidence it is a triple X, the three Saint Andrew's crosses were meant to ward off fire, floods and the black plague}
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{People use to have different signs on their houses, which symbolized their job. I found my sisters!}
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I visited the dutch capital in late November, and I have to admit, I loved it so much. I had mixed feelings when I arrived because as soon as the train door opened, the strong weed smell hit me. People smoking on every single corner, a 16-year-old guy puking next to the picturesque purple sunset, busy streets that needed a serious tidying, me trying not to lose my luggage while looking at the map on my phone. It was hectic. But in the next days, I realised, this city changes radically after sunset. During day, you can explore the city to its fullest, walk along the canals, go to museums, have a free city tour or why not a bike tour. As soon as the sun goes down, everyone goes insane. 

HOW TO GET THERE:
Most people arrive to Amsterdam with an airplane, but because I bought super cheap tickets to Brussels, I decided to take Flixbus. It takes less than 3 hours, and if you book it on time, you can find reasonable priced tickets. I payed around 30 euros for return ticket.

WHERE TO SLEEP:
I kind of screwed up on the sleeping department because I kept on postponing the booking. I wanted to go with Couchsurfing, but only guys would respond and since I was traveling alone, I didn't want to take the risk. So I stayed at Generator Hostel which was quite expensive since it was also weekend. For 100 euros/ 2 nights I didn't get breakfast, towels, padlocks and I had to pay for leaving my bag there for a few hours after I checked out. But it was the nicest place I ever stayed at, really comfy and clean. Also, at night there were big parties and in the rooms you couldn't hear anything. I could sleep like a baby!

WHAT TO SEE:
Well, there are so many amazing places you can visit in Amsterdam! I am only gonna tell you about the ones I managed to tick off my list, but hopefully will get the chance to go back and visit everything!
1. Van Gogh Museum: This was on the top of my list, but to be honest, I was a tiny bit disappointed. The ticket was around 17 euros, and only a few of his famous paintings were exposed. 
2. Free walking tour - whenever I am in a city alone, I go to a free walking tour because it is the best way to meet other people and explore the city. I went with Sandemans, and there are so many amazing tours like bike tours, red light district tour or alternative Amsterdam tour, which I really wanted to go to but didn't have time. Maybe next time!!
3. Coffee shop - this is a weird one, I know. I don't do drugs, but that doesn't stop me from entering a coffee shop and see others use it. I honestly saw things I never knew existed or only saw it in movies, I also saw a 70 year old guy fell off a bar chair because he was stoned, haha. 
4. Iamsterdam sign at the Rijksmuseum - Didn't have time for the museum, and honestly there were so many people at the sign, I didn't get a proper photo, haha. But if you go in winter time, you can borrow skates and go ice skating! 
If you have more time you can visit the Anne Frank house (be sure to book the ticket in advance!), Vondelpark or if you are interested in science/microbiology you can find the only Microbe museum in the world here: Micropia! 

WHERE TO EAT:
I met two girls, and we were craving Mexican food, so we went to El Vino Restaurant. It was sooooo yummmmy, best Mexican food I ate!! If you want to grab a morning coffee, I suggest you go to the 't Hotel and grab a coffee, it costs less than a Starbucks and the place is so instagrammable! But also, if you go with a friend/bf you can check out this place as your place to stay as well, saw their rooms look so unique!

Hope you enjoyed this blogpost! Next week I will move to Turkey, don't forget to follow me on Instagram @saci_cfc (or follow #myturkishdiary) to see more pictures!



Have an amazing week!
xoxo,
Saci

{Travel Tuesday: Amsterdam}

1


2
3
4
5
6.1
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
{The city flag: by coincidence it is a triple X, the three Saint Andrew's crosses were meant to ward off fire, floods and the black plague}
13
14
15
{People use to have different signs on their houses, which symbolized their job. I found my sisters!}
16
17
18
19

I visited the dutch capital in late November, and I have to admit, I loved it so much. I had mixed feelings when I arrived because as soon as the train door opened, the strong weed smell hit me. People smoking on every single corner, a 16-year-old guy puking next to the picturesque purple sunset, busy streets that needed a serious tidying, me trying not to lose my luggage while looking at the map on my phone. It was hectic. But in the next days, I realised, this city changes radically after sunset. During day, you can explore the city to its fullest, walk along the canals, go to museums, have a free city tour or why not a bike tour. As soon as the sun goes down, everyone goes insane. 

HOW TO GET THERE:
Most people arrive to Amsterdam with an airplane, but because I bought super cheap tickets to Brussels, I decided to take Flixbus. It takes less than 3 hours, and if you book it on time, you can find reasonable priced tickets. I payed around 30 euros for return ticket.

WHERE TO SLEEP:
I kind of screwed up on the sleeping department because I kept on postponing the booking. I wanted to go with Couchsurfing, but only guys would respond and since I was traveling alone, I didn't want to take the risk. So I stayed at Generator Hostel which was quite expensive since it was also weekend. For 100 euros/ 2 nights I didn't get breakfast, towels, padlocks and I had to pay for leaving my bag there for a few hours after I checked out. But it was the nicest place I ever stayed at, really comfy and clean. Also, at night there were big parties and in the rooms you couldn't hear anything. I could sleep like a baby!

WHAT TO SEE:
Well, there are so many amazing places you can visit in Amsterdam! I am only gonna tell you about the ones I managed to tick off my list, but hopefully will get the chance to go back and visit everything!
1. Van Gogh Museum: This was on the top of my list, but to be honest, I was a tiny bit disappointed. The ticket was around 17 euros, and only a few of his famous paintings were exposed. 
2. Free walking tour - whenever I am in a city alone, I go to a free walking tour because it is the best way to meet other people and explore the city. I went with Sandemans, and there are so many amazing tours like bike tours, red light district tour or alternative Amsterdam tour, which I really wanted to go to but didn't have time. Maybe next time!!
3. Coffee shop - this is a weird one, I know. I don't do drugs, but that doesn't stop me from entering a coffee shop and see others use it. I honestly saw things I never knew existed or only saw it in movies, I also saw a 70 year old guy fell off a bar chair because he was stoned, haha. 
4. Iamsterdam sign at the Rijksmuseum - Didn't have time for the museum, and honestly there were so many people at the sign, I didn't get a proper photo, haha. But if you go in winter time, you can borrow skates and go ice skating! 
If you have more time you can visit the Anne Frank house (be sure to book the ticket in advance!), Vondelpark or if you are interested in science/microbiology you can find the only Microbe museum in the world here: Micropia! 

WHERE TO EAT:
I met two girls, and we were craving Mexican food, so we went to El Vino Restaurant. It was sooooo yummmmy, best Mexican food I ate!! If you want to grab a morning coffee, I suggest you go to the 't Hotel and grab a coffee, it costs less than a Starbucks and the place is so instagrammable! But also, if you go with a friend/bf you can check out this place as your place to stay as well, saw their rooms look so unique!

Hope you enjoyed this blogpost! Next week I will move to Turkey, don't forget to follow me on Instagram @saci_cfc (or follow #myturkishdiary) to see more pictures!



Have an amazing week!
xoxo,
Saci

Amsterdam / Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky














                                                                                                ph. Jelena, me


If you're eyeing Europe for some fun, Amsterdam is the right place for you! With world-class museums, festivals, live music, great concept stores, laid-back bars and amazing restaurants, there's never a shortage of things to do in Amsterdam! Especially in the winter months with a festive atmosphere, cozy pubs and plenty of events to enjoy as the nights draw in. And if you wanna explore the city in the right way, hotel's location and amenities will be very important to you. Amsterdam is overflowing with accommodation choices for every type of trip, so I'm bringing you my first choice as a great recommendation - Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky.
As a part of the NH Hotel Group’s new premium brand, NH Collection, Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky satisfies the needs of a guest profile that is looking for ‘that little bit extra’ from their trips, whether for business or leisure.
Located on the bustling Dam Square in the heart of Amsterdam, the NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky is a luxury five-star conference hotel and it is surrounded by department stores, boutiques and varied shopping streets. Numerous sights, museums and theaters in the historic city center are all within walking distance. And with quality guaranteed, you'll enjoy a luxurious and unforgettable stay.

Highlights
- a magnificent historic building dates back to 1855
- situated on the main square, and enjoys spectacular views of the Royal Palace
- very easy to reach, the hotel is a short stroll from Amsterdam Central Station, while bus and tram stops are just around the corner
-  the authentic 19th-century architecture of Winter garden makes this a unique venue for any memorable event
- the rooms showcase contemporary style, using a palette of warm, natural colors
- the hotel even has an indoor parking garage and a boat jetty at its disposal, ensuring direct access to all that Amsterdam has to offer

Food and drinks
- for coffee or casual all-day dining, try the Grand Café Krasnapolsky, which offers beautiful views over Dam Square. Classic dishes and traditional favorites, like traditional Dutch salted meat and local smoked salmon, are on the menu
- in the mornings you can enjoy a healthy breakfast in the fabulous 19th-century Winter Garden, which is full of natural light thanks to its unique glass ceiling (it's more than just fabulous, trust me)
- when the sun goes down enjoy a drink or a tailor made cocktail at brand new bar The Tailor, under the guidance of the World’s Best Female Bartender, Tess Posthumus (you go girl!)
- or you can experience superlative cooking at the White Room, the hotel’s brand-new dining experience, open from April 2016. Heading the kitchen is Jacob Jan Boerma, one of only two chefs in the Netherlands to hold three Michelin stars. And all of this at your hotel? Yes, please!

People
- friendly and helpful staff
- guests: every kind of groups (single, couples, businessman, family, etc.)

Price
You can check the rates directly on the NH collection website.

Experience 
The location will make the best memory of your trip cause you will be able to explore the soul of the place you are staying in which is an iconic building with exquisite interior design.
With memorable gastronomic experiences inspired by world renowned Star Chefs it is more than just a place to stay. It's a place to experience the outstanding service.

p.s. thank you Nikita!