My Trip To Amsterdam

This is a somewhat delayed follow-on from my Lille post! After Lille, we hopped back on the iDBUS and drove a few hours onto Amsterdam. We got there pretty late in the afternoon but put our research about the thrifting opportunities straight into action. 

First stop was Out Of The Closet, a thrift shop which benefits the AIDS foundation. It had loads of affordable vintage/second hand clothes and er, free condoms! It's all about safe thrifting. 

 Then we stumbled upon the Waterloopleinmarkt - a market with vintage/random stalls and general piles of people's belongings like so:

Then we went in Episode vintage - there are a couple in Amsterdam and they seem to be the most popular vintage shops. It didn't seem too overpriced and there was loads of cool stock, but I'm a bit 'over' vintage really so never seem to commit to buying things these days...

 We were told we couldn't visit Amsterdam without visiting one of the FEBO chainstores - a 'vending machine' approach to fast food. You put in coins, and you can open the door and get a burger/croquette/obscure Amsterdam delicacy. We weren't really hungry so just got fries, but boy, were they good!

The Dam - hence AmsterDAM, geddit?

One of the many delightful canals. Regular readers will know I'm a bit obsessed with canalboats, so I was pretty much in heaven!

Then it rained. And rained some more. It was torrential. The cool restaurant we were told to hunt down had been turned into a weed café so we were stuck starving in the pouring rain. It truly sucked.

So we ducked into the nearest bit of dry land with affordable food - MCDONALDS. Yep, epic fail all round. Especially since they put pepper on the batter of McChicken sandwiches across the pond which is just sacrilege. Here I am drenched, bedraggled, emotionally unstable but safe at last.

The next day was glorious sunshine and I was SUPER excited because I was getting a behind the scenes glimpse at De Poezenboot - The Cat Boat. It's a floating cat sanctuary and has quite limited opening hours but they kindly tweeted me to let me know I could visit out-of-hours as I'm such a cat fan (read: twitter stalker).

It's basically a large room full of cats - some newbies in cages, and the more long-term residents out and about, who've all been rescued from the streets of Amsterdam. They warned me that they were in the middle of cleaning/tidying so it might look more bit higgledy piggledy than usual, but it still looked completely epic to me! I'm not even a cat and I wanna live there. 


Emo cat #deepthoughts:

We stayed on board for a good couple of hours, with one of the lovely volunteers, Ruth, giving us the lowdown on each cat's story and the story of the woman that founded it. It was the most amazing experience - add this firmly to your lost if you're planning a trip to Amsterdam. I spent a rather large portion of my holiday budget on donations and merch! 

After that, we stumbled upon the Rembrandt exhibition so we checked that out (Alex was enthralled, but I sometimes have a bit of a short attention span when it comes to art...)

Then we found a lovely cheap restaurant I'd read about online - Poco Loco. Yummy toasties for only a few euros!

More canal mooching. Oh yeah, bikes are a huge deal in Amsterdam. I was too chicken to rent one!

Oh how I LOVED Kitsch Kitchen. A shop of bright and fun home/gifty type things. Alex's idea of hell, my idea of paradise. He forbid me to buy some neon plastic ice cream bowls :( Y he so cruel.

This is Amsterdam's big beauty department store. I took a photo because it cracked me up that the store is called Douglas. What went on in that board meeting? Marketeer 1: 'What name exudes pure BEAUTY guys, we need to crack this...' Marketeers 2,3 & 4: 'DOUGLAS!' Whatever next? Space NK changing it's name to Nigel?

Moar catz. This one was just chilling outside a restaurant. I think it's eyes saw right into my soul.

We wandered further afield to the Jordaan district, which was less 'prozzies and weed'-centric than the centre and all felt a bit more local. Lovely walking along the canal at night en route - pretty lights!

We ate at a lovely burger place in Jordaan called Burgermeester but we ate outside so the light was AWFUL. Imagine a very delicious burger being eaten very quickly by two weary tourists. It was heaven. 

And then our whirlwind 40 hours or so were over! Can't wait to go back! 

Have you been to Amsterdam before? Feel free to gimme some recommendations for my next visit :)



  1. Looks like such a Lovely trip Gem :)


  2. I was in Amsterdam over the summer! I mostly shopped in boutiques and not vintage stores though- the shopping was great nonetheless!


  3. Wow looks like you had an amazing! Those vintage shops look epic - and that cat home, eeep!

    It seems you had a similar weather experience as when I went with a group of girlfriends.

    It threw it down and we also ended up in Maccies in a rather wet and bedraggled state... still had fun though! ;)

  4. Ohgmigosh I would love the cat boat! Looks amazing, shame about the rain we get enough of that in Britain. Also, I really relate to your latest column in Company, I'm constantly 'checking' my reflection too. I think it's a paranoia thing more of a vanity thing. I'm now trying to cut down on my mirror glancing! xx


  5. Well i definitely need to go back because i missed that cat boat by a mile. I might just spend the whole weekend on there! xx

  6. I went once when I was younger, really weird experience but would love to go again.

    Buckets & Spades

  7. Does indeed look like cat heaven. I can't wait to visit one day :)


  8. I love Amsterdam! One of the best cities in the world!

  9. If you ever go back, you definitely need to visit Wok to Walk. Gorgeous noodles!

  10. love this post going to Amsterdam next month, so this was useful :)


  11. ahhh, looks amazing. filing this post away for my next trip! x

  12. I've always wanted to visit Amsterdam, it looks so nice :) Can't quite comprehend the cat thing!
    Rosie x | Every Word Handwritten

  13. The cat boat is my spiritual home, last time we were in Amsterdam I think we spent about 4 hours there, I just didn't want to leave! I absolutely love the city, we're going again at the beginning of December. The Vondlepark area is my favourite, its really beautiful and the park is so huge you can spend a few hours getting lost and taking in the sights. Renting a bike is definitely the way forward though, makes you feel more like a local!

  14. I've just been to Amsterdam too around the end of October and experienced the same torrential rain! Visited a few of the lovely places too, although I wish I'd known about kitsch kitchen, it looks amazing! xo

  15. I have been to Amsterdam 3 times now and can't believe I haven't visited the cat boat - this is the perfect excuse I need to go back, thank you! I did visit the Kattenkabinet cat musem though - www.kattenkabinet.nl. If you go back you should check it out for sure >^.^<

  16. Lovely Post! Looks like you had a lot of fun :-)
    Had to laugh about your picture of the Douglas shop, because I never thought of the name being funny.
    It's a huge German chain, which has shops in 18 countries.
    That much I knew but the rest is from wikipedia:
    John Sharp Douglas (who was originally a scotsman) created special soaps in Hamburg, which were a huge success.
    The name was bought in 1910 by two German sisters which opened the first perfume shop in Hamburg.....and the rest is history

  17. I NEED to go to that cat boat!! Also, my boy will be very pleased to know that they named a beauty store after him. x

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  19. Fabulous post! That cat rescue boat has melted my heart. How lovely and how amazing are the people running it?! It is an amazing city, glad you had a great time x

  20. I love Amsterdam, the people and all the cats! I have never heard of the cat rescue boat, but it's an amazing thing. I wish they would do that in London. Have you seen Lady Dinah's Kitty Emporium is a cat cafe opening in East London I think? I can't wait to go.

  21. So fun to read a post about a city in the Netherlands when that person isn't from the Netherlands! I am, but rarely visit Amsterdam, so I can't really give you any recommandations. Too bad you didn't try a kroket instead of some fries at Febo though. Kroketten are my favourite type of junkfood! So maybe that's my recommandation. ;-)

  22. Wow, sounds like a lot of fun on this trip, Amsterdam is on my list of places I want to visit :) great post!



  23. Hi Gem Douglas, German cosmetics shop, everywhere across Europe but not here, boo! You call it Dooglas, love it xxx

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