Saturday, January 09, 2016

Freezing London + Amsterdam Day 5


Itinerary of today:
Hoek van Holland 
Amsterdam Central 
Breakfast @Omelegg 
Dam Square 
De Wallen (Red Light District) 
Dinner @The Butcher 
Restaurant Café in de Waag

Arrived Hoek van Holland port after a great sleep. An announcement was made at around 6ish to wake people up for breakfast. Since we didn't add onboard extras, we simply did wash up and packed our belongings. People were really well behaved queuing up for the lift down waiting for landing. It took us quite a while as there was one lift only in each wing catering for heaps of passengers. Anyway, it was a fantastic experience taking trains and ferry to Amsterdam.

Getting through the customs was easy and fast at the port in the early morning. 

Signs to catch the train were pretty clear. It took almost one and a half hour to get to Amsterdam Central. Initially, we planned to visit Rotterdam first since it is located between the port and Amsterdam. We gathering some information online finding out the fees for lockers (EUR3.85/ small and EUR5.7/ large). It was quite expensive. Another down side of doing so was the overpriced one way train ticket from Rotterdam back to Amsterdam which cost EUR15.1/ person! (Later on we were told by the Stena Line staff that the train tickets included could be used for unlimited train rides for the whole day while boarding!) For sure, we went for the Holland Pass (EUR39.5) adding EUR19 for a day train ticket and EUR4 for train heading to the airport while planning. Anyhow, if I know that the rail and sail ticket can be used for the whole day, we would definitely go for Rotterdam first.

We headed to Good Hotel right away. (HKD1636/ 2 nights) Rates of hotels in Amsterdam were really high at Christmas time. Normally they were over a thousand HK dollars. Booking was full for our stay on the last day as it was kind of inexpensive comparatively, we needed to move to another hotel without any other choices. The hotel we picked is well located within 15 minutes walk from Amsterdam Centraal overlooking the sea. We were able to see the beautiful sunrise every morning. The stylish and hip design of the hotel was kinda attractive as well.

Good Hope Hotel
Address: Westerdoksdijk 38 Amsterdam 1013BH Netherlands 
Tel: +31 20 221 1350

Some snap shots on the way to our hotel.

Got back to GWK at Amsterdam Centraal to pick our Holland Passes. There are several pass packages to choose from depending on the number of attractions you wanna visit. We were only interested in Heineken Experience (EUR18), House of Bols Cocktail and Genever Experience (EUR14.5) and the Canal Cruise (EUR18). Buying a EUR39.5 Holland Pass could save us EUR11 each.

Random coffee tasting while queuing at GWK. (EUR2.8)

After a series of stuff we gotta handle before we started to explore Amsterdam, we finally could settle for a nice breakfast. Omelegg was the one we picked for a great gastronomic experience to begin our day with. We were lucky not to have to wait for long to dine in this hidden gem in the alley. The wooden menus were perfect for the theme and feel of this cozy cafe. We ordered Billy Goat and Big Ben. (EUR19.86) The extensive menu with delicious omelettes and fresh squeezed orange juice were incredible. 

Omelegg - City Centre 
Address: Nieuwebrugsteeg 24 1012 AH Amsterdam 
Tel: 020 2332 406 
Opening hours: Mon- Fri 7am to 4pm, Sat- Sun 8am to 4pm

On the way to Oude Kerk Church, we saw a statue of Majoor Bosshardt. Even we didn't know much about her with Dutch written only, she must be contributing a lot to The Salvation Army.

A little shop selling home-brewed wine and beer, but that's way too strong for us.  

Oude Kerk was a little church located at the centre of Amsterdam. We were not keen to know about the history of it, so we didn't pop in and just took some random photos outside.

Oude Kerk
Address: Oudekerksplein 23, 1012 Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Tel: +31 20 625 8284

See how excited he was seeing this Harley motorcycle parking just in the street.

Continued to make our way to Dam Square. There were merely shops with nothing about weeds and sex. No wonder it is known by many as the city of sin and has a reputation as a place where anything crazy goes.

Dam Square should probably be a place where all the tourists must pass by visiting Amsterdam. People were busy feeding pigeonsIt was really crowded with lots of shops, performers and street artists. The National Monument is located at the centre of it. Koninklijke Paleis and Madame Tussaud were near as well.

Made our way to De Wallen since we both wanna experience the day and night of it. It is the largest and best known red-light district in Amsterdam, consisting of a network of alleys containing approximately three hundred one-room cabins rented by prostitutes who offer their sexual services from behind a window or glass door, typically illuminated with red lights. It was amazing seeing the narrow streets filled with girls who posed suggestively in their windows, beckoning passing tourists inside for some illicit pleasure even in day time. There are sex clubs, brothels and strip shows available at the same time throughout this area

Bought a big bottle of freshly made grapefruit juice on our way. (EUR4) Worth to try as it really quenched our thirst.

Walking probably is the best way to explore Amsterdam as you will never find bored seeing things around. There was always nice view, fantastic shops and great food to explore. 

Saw Patisserie Holtkamp on the way to Heineken Experience. The patisserie inside looked mouth-watering. We decided to try the famous Dutch oliebollen (EUR1.2) there. When we got out of the shop, we met a local speaking in Cantonese. We were told that it is one of the must try in Amsterdam. Many people go there and buy a lot of patisseries in one time. By then, we started to see people queuing up. How lucky we were!

Patisserie Holtkamp
Address: Vijzelgracht 15, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Tel: 0206248757
Opening hours: Mon- Fri 8:30-18:00, Sat 8:30-17:00

Finally we made it to Heineken Experience. Seeing many people lining up outside the museum, we both felt relieved as the Holland Pass holders. Simply teared out the gold tickets, we were able to get in without wasting even a second. 

We were given bands with two chips for drinks at the very first beginning. The decoration inside was very Christmassy with green colour.

A video introducing the history was used to welcome visitors. The brewery was established in Amsterdam in 1864 and today Heineken is a huge multinational company, one of the three largest beer producers in the world.

All kinds of stuff related to Heineken beer.

Heineken rich and successful history was presented in the brewery.

There is something secretive about the taste of the world’s best beers and it was well presented by the staff.

One of the exhibit was a 4D movie showing how the beer is made from a point of view of the ingredient. 

Chips were used to exchange beers. And it was kinda interactive with staffs asking questions and rewarding those who answered with extra beer. 

A personalized bottle of beer could be made with your names on.

Gadgets like photo booths and video booths were really popular. They were both entertaining and interactive. Finished products can be sent via e-mail to keep as a special memory.

Even we were both not big fans of beer in general, we enjoyed seeing the process and trying fresh beer, knowing the history and playing with different gadgets there! It is definitely a highlight of our visit in Amsterdam. 

Heineken Experience
Address: Stadhouderskade 78, 1072 AE Amsterdam, The Netherlands 
Tel: +31 20 523 9222
Opening hours: Mon- Thur 10:30–17:30, Fri- Sun 10:30–19:00

Dined at The Butcher, which is located at Albert Cuypmarket where we must pass through on the way back to the city centre. This little restaurant has only a few tables. We grabbed a seat and sat right opposite the grill where they were prepared after taking order. They looked very thick and of good quality. And they were lovely! Big, juicy burgers, a nice dollop of sauce and nice cheese were just what we needed! We ordered a big one to share (EUR9.6) was enough for us coz we wanna try some street food.

The Butcher
Address: Albert Cuypstraat 129, Amsterdam 
Tel: +31 20 470 7875 
Opening hours: Sun- Tue 12nn- 11pm, Wed- Thur 11am- 1am, Fri- Sat 11am- 3am

Christmas market on the way. A hot box of paella made us really warm and satisfied. (EUR3)

Our last photo of the day in front of Restaurant Café in de Waag. Thought that it is a castle! Unfortunately, it was closed. The interior is really gorgeous seeing online, leaving me a reason to revisit here again maybe.

Total expenses for 2 =HKD1636 + EUR165.46
Good Hotel Amsterdam           HKD1636
Holland Pass                          EUR39.5+ EUR19+ EUR4 X2 =EUR125
Coffee                                   EUR2.8
Breakfast @Omelegg              EUR19.86
Oude Kerk (Church)                /
Dam Square                           /
De Wallen (Red Light District)  /
Grapefruit juice                      EUR4
Patisserie Holtkamp                EUR1.2
Heineken Experience               /
Dinner @The Butcher              EUR9.6
Paelle                                    EUR3


  1. 間住宿算價錢算合理,我五年前去都係咁上下,但就無你間咁靚~

    1. 真係嫁? 我都搵左好耐先搵到民間叫平少少~ Haha! 你個間係咪直頭響main street嫁?