A day out in Amsterdam – Twenty years together

The 15th May is when we celebrated being together for 20 years, and the day we went on our crazy adventure. Rewind to a month before, and I was racking my brains as to how we could celebrate. The husband had booked the day off work, and it was my job to think of something that would encapsulate our 20 years together. And of course travel has always been at the forefront of our relationship, so how about going to Amsterdam FOR THE DAY.

Flying to Amsterdam with easyJet

If you are going to do a European city in a day, you need to factor in a few things before you start planning your trip.

Flights that leave early and return as late as possible

Our easyJet flight out of Manchester was 7.05am, and we returned at 9.55pm, giving us as much time as possible for a day trip. We paid £155 for the two of us return, and I booked it 3 weeks before.

A short flight time

When I booked, the flight time was showing as 1 hour and 20 minutes, but it only took an hour getting over to Amsterdam. The great thing is that you won’t have any hold luggage, so once you are through passport control, it’s time to make your way into the city.

Good transport links

Good links into the city are a must, as time is precious when you only have the day there. The train station is underneath Schipol airport, and we paid 11 euros return each to get us into the city. Trains are frequent, and in just 20 minutes you will be in the centre of Amsterdam.

It also helps that you live near your local airport. We are lucky that we live really close to Liverpool and Manchester, and on this occasion we flew from Manchester. It was only 50 minutes from leaving our house, parking the car in the Meet and Greet, going through security, to enjoying that 5.30am alcoholic beverage… well we were celebrating.

Manchester Airport

Amsterdam for the day – What we did

We arrived into Amsterdam at 10.45am, and we had a plan of all the things we wanted to see and do. I would highly recommend you do this. It worked out really well for us, and we weren’t wasting valuable minutes discussing what we would do next.

Taking a canal cruise

We thought it would be a good idea to start our day in Amsterdam with a canal cruise, and as it was our first visit to the city, a good way of getting our bearings. We took the 100 highlights cruise which departed opposite the station, and was 18 euros each for an hour of cruising. With the abundance of canals in Amsterdam, cruising is big business, and you can take a pizza cruise, cocktail cruise, and even a smoke boat cruise (I will leave that up to your imagination what goes on during that cruise, only in Amsterdam lol).

Amsterdam canal cruise

Wandering the streets and canals

One thing we wanted to do was take in the atmosphere of Amsterdam, and WOW this city totally exceeded my expectations. What a beautiful city it is, with stunning buildings, beautiful canals, and let’s not forget the bikes that are everywhere you turn. There were parts of the city that were so peaceful, with just the sounds of the birds for company, as we strolled the pavements of Amsterdam.

Amsterdam for the day


A day in Amsterdam

Stopping for a beer in Amsterdam

One of the things that I wanted to do in Amsterdam, was have lunch in a cafe, alongside the canal. Well we did one better, as our cafe had tables that were on one of the bridges overlooking the canal. We stopped for toasties, and that all important glass of Dutch lager.

Beer in Amsterdam

Later in the day we stumbled upon a gorgeous seating area, again overlooking the canal, and stopped to refuel again. Little did we know that the seating area belonged to a really fancy hotel, the De ‘Leurope which was stunning inside, and I think we unknowingly visited Amsterdam’s poshest toilets.

Canal view in Amsterdam

Toilets in Amsterdam

Visiting Dam Square

This is a bustling town square which is surrounded by amazing buildings, and is also where you can find tourist attractions such as Ripleys and Madame Tuassards.  We spent about half an hour taking in the atmosphere of the square.

Dam Square - Amsterdam

Walking through the Red Light District

No trip to Amsterdam is complete without a walk through this famous district, and we wandered through it around 5pm. It was fairly quiet, and I saw 2 girls stood in the famous windows, though I can imagine it’s a different atmosphere at night. And even in this famous district you still find a beautiful canal.

The Red Light District

Putting our love lock in Amsterdam

After the success of putting our love lock in Liverpool for our 15 year wedding anniversary, I wanted to get another one to celebrate our 20 years together. Well it nearly never happened, as the council have removed the love locks from the bridge where they were meant to be. I honestly thought we would be going back home with our lock, but then Hywel spotted a railing, which had about 20 locks on. So now we are keeping Mike and Nicola company, on a railing in the red light district.

Love Locks

Love Lock in Amsterdam

Dutch Pancakes and Primark

You can’t come to Amsterdam without having pancakes, so we found a lovely pancake house and indulged, and even managed a quick look around Primark before it was time to head back to the airport. Little tip… there are some pretty impressive views from the top floor of Primark.

View from Primark Amsterdam

Dutch pancakes

We arrived back at the airport around 8pm for our 9.55pm flight back to Manchester, and just about had the energy to eat our McDonald’s. We had been out of the house from 4.15am till 11.15pm, we walked 24k steps, we laughed, ate, drank, fell in love with the city, and we definitely achieved our crazy day out to celebrate 20 years together.

Schipol Airport - McDonalds

easyJet flight to Manchester

Would we return to Amsterdam ? You bet we will, and we are already counting down the days till we go back. Next time will be slightly different as we are going for 3 days, and we are taking the kids this time. Roll on the summer.

What we spent in Amsterdam for the day

Flights – £155

Spends – £150

One day travel insurance – £5

Meet and Greet parking at Manchester – £45

Total – £355

We could have got the flights cheaper if we had booked more in advance, and also kept our spends down. But this was our celebration day out, and we weren’t budgeting. Our crazy day in Amsterdam was definitely worth every penny.

If you are going for longer you might want to purchase the I Amsterdam card. You can read my blog post all about the I Amsterdam card and using it as a family.

20 thoughts on “A day out in Amsterdam – Twenty years together”

  1. What a lovely post about a lovely day out! You crammed so much in and your photos brought back lots of lovely memories for me. There are definitely days when it’s nice to forget thebudget and just really enjoy yourselves. Here’s to the next 20 years! X

    • Aw thank you Sarah. I am still smiling about the day and what a beautiful city Amsterdam is. We have totally fallen in love with it, and even though we were only there for the day, it felt like we were never pushed for time x

  2. Sounds like a brilliant day – I definitely fancy doing this when the kids are a little older and don’t need babysitters. I bet if you book really fair in advance it would be cheaper than a lot of days out in the UK x

    • Yes I reckon you could get a good price on the flights as soon as they are released. That was the reason we went, as we didn’t need any sitters for the kids. I just called them before we got on the plane to make sure they were up, and they cooked themselves a simple tea when they got back from school, Everything worked out perfectly x

  3. It sounds like such a great way to celebrate your 20 year anniversary, one to remember for sure. I have never been to Amsterdam but really want to visit someday, especially as I can get the boat over from Newcastle very cheap. It looks like a beautiful city x

    • Yes the boat over would be a brilliant idea for you, and I think you can catch the train into the centre of Amsterdam. It’s a wonderful city and totally exceeded our expectations x

    • Oh a great excuse to visit the country Sarah. Our first time and I totally fell in love with it. Would love to go back one day and explore more of The Netherlands x

    • The great thing is that you don’t even need them overnight if you were planning to do it in a day. This was the perfect compromise for us as the kids were ok until we got back just after 11pm x

  4. ooh how funny! I went to Amsterdam for the day about 6 weeks ago too. My boyfriend had to go for a work thing, flights were cheap so we just did it and had the best time. We did very similar things to you too.

    • Aw I love that you did it too Natalie, I thought we might be the only crazy ones to do such a thing lol. But it’s amazing how much you can pack in when just visiting for the day x

  5. Oh wow! What an adventure this was. I love seeing your travels and going somewhere like this for just a day sounds like such a fun thing to do – you crammed in so much as well! x

    • Thanks Donna for saying that. I was really surprised we got to see so much of the city considering we were only there for the day. It still makes me smile thinking back to our crazy day out x

    • I would definitely do it again for the day Laura as it was so much fun. I am thinking Copenhagen might be our next city break in a day x

  6. It’s such an awesome way to celebrate – I’d never have considered going for a day! I went for 3 days 20 years ago (coincidentally) and had an amazing time – the red light district definitely gets more impressive at night. They rent those rooms by the hour and the day shift do not earn as much as the night shift, so they don’t go to the same effort 🙂

    • It’s such a brilliant city isn’t it, and I can definitely see that the red light district would get more interesting as the day turns to night. We are going back in the summer and taking the kids so it will be a totally different experience again x


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