Amsterdam in just 13 hours!

Hayley Bass on 19 September 2022
Yes you read it right I spent just 13 hours in Amsterdam and most of that was spent sleeping in my hotel room. I'll forgive you for thinking that I sound a bit mad as only 8 of those 13 hours were spent exploring. The main reason for my short visit to Amsterdam was to board an NCL Cruise from Amsterdam Passenger Terminal but I'll tell you more about that another time.

I took an EasyJet flight from Birmingham Airport to Amsterdam and I was delighted at how nice Birmingham Airport is. I've not flown from there before, although I do have lots of customers travel from there so it's good to have some first hand experience. I would 100% fly from Birmingham again.

Amsterdam arrivals was very smooth with a fairly prompt luggage collection and quick passport control despite the queue looking long it went down very fast. The signs walking out of the airport are very clear, written in English and it's easy to get a train or a taxi. There are hotel shuttles, however I didn't understand the signage for these. I would normally take the train into Amsterdam, however my hotel was nowhere near the station and I was in the Leidseplein area around the corner from the Rijksmuseum and in my opinion a very lovely area of Amsterdam. I chose to take a taxi and this cost me 43 Euros direct to my hotel. I stayed at the 3 star Hotel Cornelisz situated on Hooftstraat where you'll find some lovely boutique shops. The hotel itself was boutique style, small and exactly what I needed for an overnight stay. It would be perfect for a couple of nights in Amsterdam with comfortable beds, clean bathroom, all fairly basic but was fine for what I needed. I landed at 6.20pm and by the time I go to the hotel it was 7.50pm. I had a corner room with windows on two walls (my top tip would be to ask for a high up room as I was on the first floor and I could hear the traffic). I did have breakfast here the following morning but I think next time I'd give that a miss if I was to stay here again as it was not good value in my opinion and the choice for breakfast was very small indeed.

I've been to Amsterdam before so I'd already visited many of the attractions on offer so I squeezed in something new instead. I had planned ahead by booking myself onto an evening canal cruise. Booked via Travel Counsellors of course so I had a pre-paid voucher with instructions of where to go. This was a time saver as it gave me a plan for my evening. The Blue Boat Canal cruise starting point was just a 3 minute walk from my hotel so it was perfect. There was a small ticket booth/shop where you can purchase drinks or snacks ready to take on board the canal boat. Inside the boat it had tables to accommodate 4 - 6 people and they provided headphones to listen to the commentary in the language of your choice if you wish. I was with a few friends so we chose to chat and enjoy the sights out of the window and what we saw was beautiful. Each arched bridge we went under was lined with lights, we saw loads of unique house boats and the buildings either side of us were really pretty. 90 minutes cruising the canals was such a lovely way to spend my evening.

The next day I was due to go to the Passenger Terminal ready for my cruise embarkation, however I had a few hours spare to explore in daylight hours on foot. I checked out of my hotel and left my luggage in their secure luggage room so it was just me, my back pack and my friend Donna ready to venture into Amsterdam with the help of Google Maps. It took about 30 minutes to take a relaxing stroll to Dam Square, passing the canals and pretty buildings along the way. To get back to the hotel I purchased a tram ticket and managed to get back to a stop about 5 minutes walk from my hotel so that worked out perfect and although it was a whistle stop tour, I felt like I'd managed to see Amsterdam even if very briefly.

Moto of this story is, if you ever wonder if a place is worth visiting even if for a very short time, I'd always say go for it as any experience can be worthwhile.

Look out for my next blog where I will tell you all about the next part of my journey when I board the new Norwegian Prima (NCL) for a 3 night cruise experience.