Amsterdam is filled with some of the most amazing experiences to have in Europe; the canals, the delicious food, the architecture and of course the windmills! We’ve visited Amsterdam six times over the last five years or so, with each time opening up a new, amazing experience. Long story short, Amsterdam is great.
A Spontaneous booking at STA Travel
Last week, Yaya and I were invited to Amsterdam to work on a VERY EXCITING project with STA Travel and AirBnB. We can’t wait to share more of this with you really soon!
Now, we knew we wanted to go for away for a weekend somewhere in Europe and as we only had a short amount of time, we alos knew that long distances wouldn’t really be an option. Thankfully the kind people at STA travel helped us out massively in planning, sorting out accommodation (along with Airbnb) and even finding a few recommendations of places that we should experience.
Finding a unique experience
When we visited the city last time, we managed to see so many of the historic sites (and architecture) that Amsterdam has become so famous for, so this time we wanted a different experience of the city.
First off, we knew we wanted to be involved in some water-based experiences – stereotype or not, no visit to Amsterdam would be complete without some ‘canal’ing’ 😉 Secondly, we knew we wanted to stay somewhere quirky, unique and typically Amsterdam. With all these suggestions in mind, the STA team helped us find an amazing AirBnB home that we could stay on… Yes, you read that right – ‘stay on’. It was a boat (you have no idea how happy this made me), the pictures alone looked incredible and literally made me want to get to the train station immediately!
Getting to Amsterdam
We have always taken a plane across to Amsterdam when travelling from the UK but STA travel mentioned that it might be a great idea to take the Eurostar and high speed train to Amsterdam Central. This, by the way, is a pretty brilliant idea – not only did it mean less ‘faffing’ around at the airport, it also meant that I could sit down for just over 4hours and catch up on some of my important (/trashy) TV shows 🙂
Staying at a unique house boat
My excitement was going ‘through the roof’ as soon as we arrived into Amsterdam Central Station. It a perfect, sunny evening (sorry London for leaving you in rain) – I genuinely couldn’t wait to see our beautiful AirBnB house boat and finally meet our hosts!
After a 10 minute Uber ride, we found our boat and I swear I must have run to the door! As soon as we arrived, the boat took my breathe away. And I’m not just saying that because I’ve always wanted to stay in a boat house.
This boat was huge (much bigger than London apartments) and beautifully designed. I felt as though we had arrived on a floating palace. The boat itself was a whopping forty seven metres long (accord to Google, this is around 51.4 yards) – it was huge! Inside there were four levels; the lower levels housed a bedroom and a rain shower bathroom, while the general level housed the biggest kitchen known to man… or boats at least. The boat also had its own games room and TV centre, along with a great big dinner table where we could entertain guests. Finally, the very upper level was the driving area of the boat, surrounded by 360 degrees of glass, our hosts had turned this area of the boat into a relaxation pod where we could sit down, read and eat breakfast. It was idyllic.
Stay with the most amazing AirBnB Hosts
Our accommodation on this amazing boat was made even better (if that’s even possible) by our truly great AirBnB hosts, Paula and Gerome. From the very first moment that we set foot on board on floating palace, Paula and Gerome welcomed us with open arms – immediately we felt as though we were meeting up with old friends which is such a lovely experience to have when visiting a different county.
As soon as we arrived, Paula showed us our rooms along with where everything was while Gerome made us one of the best freshly ground coffees I have ever had. I’m not sure if it was the boat, our hosts, or just being in Amsterdam but seriously, Gerome’s coffee was the best.
During our lovely sit-down and coffees, Paula asked if we needed any help to plan what to do while we visited the city… she had no idea what she had let herself in for! 😉 I’m sure Yaya and I flooded her with questions; where should we go, how can we experience Amsterdam as a local, what are the best places for food… etc You get my drift.
One of the best things about having a friendly and welcoming host was that both Gerome and Paula passionately wanted us to have an amazing time in their city. They were so proud to show us the best that Amsterdam had to offer – which, I think, let Yaya and me truly live like a local.
There was such an added value in staying with our AirBnB hosts, Paula and Gerome. We felt as though we saw a different perspective of the city, something that we may have struggled to find if we didn’t have such amazing hosts!
We will cover more of what we got up to in Amsterdam but here are a few more photos from our Weekend in Amsterdam.
And here are more photos from the house boat after the fog descended!