Amsterdam has endless hotspots to spend days in: it’s possible to spend weeks there are still have things left on your bucketlist. For Day Four, I wanted to make the most of the temporary exhibitions that I know for certain won’t be there next time I visit. During Winter 2018/19, Amsterdam is hosting the Lights Festival: with neon lighting hidden in spots around the centre.
With most of the day taken up walking round taking photos with beautiful scenery in the freezing, it made sense to go somewhere even colder in the evening?
Day Four £40
12:00 Lights Festival Self-Guided Tour (£0)
The festival of lights appears to be the perfect solution to the removal of the IAMsterdam sign as it provides tourists with a place to take photographs, but on a larger scale and with a much deeper meaning. Although there are plenty of boat tours to take you around and see the sights, it’s a much more enjoyable experience on foot: get up and close with the artwork, understand its meaning from every angle.
The Festival website offers both foot and boat routes and shows what you’ll find on each street. The walk would usually take around 1.5 hours, but with so much to take in along the way, it’s possible to spend an entire afternoon on this route!
My favourite point is up by Centraal Station, where you’ll find this endearing rainbow and the ‘all you see is past’ signage. The works of art up here are more thought-provoking as well as aesthetically pleasing. Be sure to check out the website before you head out to make sure you can make the most of your afternoon and plan those all important stopping points (I’d recommend the Pancake Bakery for a lunch break)!
18:00 Xtra Cold Ice Bar, Amsterdam (£18)
The Xtra Cold Ice Bar is a must-do for anyone visiting Amsterdam, set right in the centre, you’ll embark on a journey to find new land in -20 degree temperature with the friendliest pirates you’ll ever meet! Make sure you wrap up for this one and double up on gloves, you’ll be drinking out of glasses made of pure ice. With spirits, beer and shots available inside the bar itself, you’ll be feeling the warmth of the booze in no time.
Tried & Tested: Shop around for the best deal, we found that by booking a deal on Groupon to save £5 and get an extra drink to enjoy outside of the plummeting temperatures and back in the main pirate bar.
Budgeting in the City
To Stay £18 at the Q Factory Hotel, check out Day One to see how I managed to get a 3.5* hotel with an RRP of £100 a night down to £18pp.
To See £18 for the Xtra Cold Ice Bar entrance and a free self-guided tour of the Lights Festival display.
To Eat £14 for a supermarket dinner and pancakes at the Pancake Bakery
Four out of my five days in Dam complete and under-budget! Although it is possible to look at the itineraries set out and combine them to maximise your time, there’s something inherently important about relaxing and taking things at a slower pace, for me, when treating myself to a break away from work or studying, I still want to enjoy myself and not feel like I’m on a rushed whirlwind tour that’ll tire me out more than back-to-back shifts at work.
Some people thrive on the hustle and bustle though, so feel free to mix these itineraries up and create your own: catch up on the earlier posts below!