{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

Flying with Qatar Airways








                                                                                              ph. Jelena, me


Okay, what happens when you receive a call and the voice from the other side asks you "would you like to visit Kuala Lumpur?" You say yes, hang up, pinch yourself, then you check your phone again, call a friend, get the confirmation that it's not a prank and eventually sit down to think about the whole thing once again. And at some point you realize that you are going to Malaysia.
You take a deep breath. Start freaking out inside cause you never traveled more than four hours by plane. Say f word for several times. Read all the quotes from Pinterest: "you only live once." Or nine if you are a cat. And suddenly you start remembering the conversation and you figure out that you are traveling in business class with Qatar Airways. So you completely forget about your previous  lunatic behavior. Why?
It's no secret that traveling by air can be a hassle. From arriving at the gate on time to waiting for hours before the plane takes off. Catch your connecting flight. Feel comfortable during the 12 hours of flight. And with the carrier who has won World’s Best Business Class in 2016, all your worries can be on hold cause you will experience the five-star hotel in the sky.
My route was from Belgrade to Kuala Lumpur, via Doha. Four flights and a consistent quality experience. After an express check-in and a short visit to lounge before our first flight, we were welcomed by name once we boarded and taken to our seats. First five hours of our journey were all about chatting. Little bit of Vogue, little bit of cheese plate, little bit of shyly exploring all of the buttons and we were right there: at Doha Hamad International airport, assisted by Meet&greet staff upon our arrival, skipping the queues again so we can board to our next flight. Eight hours long flight. The one that bothers me earlier. How wrong I was?
We were greeted with champagne and fine wine upon boarding the plane. They introduced themselves to each passenger, to ensure we knew their names too. As it was an overnight flight we were given pyjamas and a bag full of Giorgio Armani finest amenities. The seats were spacious, quite wide and you could transformed into a bed with a button. How cool is that?
It's some sort of a high-tech private nest where you can enjoy up to 3,000 in-flight entertainment options. Oryx One’s innovative system features an intuitive touch screen, to quickly find an array of movies, games and music. That's how I ended up watching a few new movies and listening to Bieber's latest album before catching up on sleep. Yeah, Justin, do not judge. And don't worry, advanced LED lighting will help you adjust to changing time zones, so you arrive at your destination as refreshed as possible. Smart!
And that's not even a half of the perks that you will get, cause there are delicious dine-on-demand cuisine,  with a la carte menu, so you can order whenever you like, when you like. Sample signature dishes designed exclusively for Qatar Airways. Mouth-watering flavors, artful presentation, luxurious table linen and deluxe cutlery. Remember when I told you: "the five-star hotel in the sky"? Well, it's beyond that cause you will experience Qatar Airways legendary hospitality. The staff takes endless care to anticipate the needs of all passengers, so prepare to be pampered! Tucked in bed, refreshed with scented hot towels, treated with some extra chocolates or whatever your need is. I woke up in Kuala Lumpur with pouty lips and a smile on my face after a good sleep.
And then I completely understood how Qatar Airways nabbed second place in 2016 thanks to the airline's "quality performance" by the Skytrax which took everything from in-flight amenities to on-time departures into consideration for the rankings.
So do not even ask would I fly Qatar Airways business class again? The right one is, how can I travel differently when they spoiled me?!

Huge thanks to Qatar Airways for this incredible in-flight experience and for the opportunity to explore a new destination. Stay tuned, cause Kuala Lumpur post is coming soon!

p.s. For many destinations, airfare is the most affordable in the first month of the year. Hotels are competing to fill their empty rooms while the temperatures are low so take advantage by booking one of the Qatar Airways  travel deals - check it here!