Now… I know what you’re thinking. Yes I’m so behind on this series. I apologize. The past few weeks were pretty busy for me and then after that I just got lazy. LOL. But here we are with another post about my Paris – Amsterdam trip.
- Day 1: Paris
- Day 2: Paris
- Day 3: Paris
- Day 4: Paris
- Day 5: Paris to Amsterdam / Zaanse Schans
- Day 6: Amsterdam
- Day 7: Amsterdam
- Day 8: Paris to Toronto
Paris to Amsterdam
Today’s the day we’re going to Amsterdam! Now, I’m just gonna give you a heads up: I did not get to take much pictures during Day 6-8. Solely because it was raining a lot. I’d rather use my phone hahaha (I know. don’t judge)
We all woke up really early to catch our Thalys train to Amsterdam. Of course, we wouldn’t miss the chance to take pictures when nobody is around. *cue budget long-exposure pictures*
This is what a DSLR, Wallet (as tripod), and an iPhone could do. I took a lot of pictures but the other shots were not really worth posting. (it’s all blurry lol)
After our mini-photoshoot, we started heading over to Gare du Nord to catch the train.
Since it's early in the morning and we did not want to miss the train, we decided to take an Uber from our AirBNB to Gare du Nord
As planned, we arrived at the station an hour early. We pretty much stayed there and waited for the train to arrive. Unfortunately, I did not get to take much pictures as I am still half-asleep at this time. Thankfully, My dad took pictures!
Travel tip 1:
Bring your own snacks. It's best to buy snacks from convenience stores or their boulangerie (bakery) the day before.
Travel tip 2:
If you like playing or know how to play the piano, there's a piano at the station that you can play while waiting. Free of charge
Boarding the train was pretty fun. There’s an area for you to drop off your Suitcases or you can just use the overhead storage if your bags fit.
I'd just like to note that prior to even starting this whole vacation, my sister booked our train rides. Below is how much we paid to reach Amsterdam and back to Paris (Price for 1 pax)
Paris -> Amsterdam = €35
Amsterdam -> Paris = €42
During this trip I pretty much dozed off until we reached Brussels. The train stopped briefly to pick up more passengers.
*skipping the boring par- i mean fast forward to Amsterdam*
*Okay I didn’t misspell that title.*
We finally arrived at the main hub of Amsterdam where all trains, buses , trams (streetcars for my Canadian friends) meet. Sort of like the Union Station of Amsterdam. You can buy your sim card, tickets, tram/bus passes from here. Also, I don’t know if you noticed but there’s a grand piano just waiting to get played. Seems like it’s a common theme for all EU stations.
Prior to leaving Amsterdam Centraal, we already got our 2-day Bus/Tram pass and our Sprinter train ticket (Round trip) for the next destination. More on the next destination later.
Tip regarding sim card: If you're planning to go on a trip similar to what we did, try and see if you can get Amsterdam's sim card. Their cell coverage pretty much covers the whole EU. Unlike the one that we got from Paris which already lost it's coverage the moment we reached Brussels.
Tip regarding bus passes: I recommend that you get a 1 or 2 day passes that covers both bus and trams.
If you don't wanna take the bus / tram, rent a bike. There are lots of rental places all around Amsterdam
Before you leave Amsterdam Centraal, make sure you download 9292OV (iOS/ Android) and/or Google Maps. These two apps will help you go around Amsterdam like a local.
From Amsterdam Centraal-to-Hotel-to-Amsterdam Centraal
At this point, we’re carrying all of our luggage everywhere and would be really hard for us to walk around. We decided to drop by our hotel just to drop off our stuff. We had a booking with StayOkay Vondelpark but unfortunately, Check-in is not until a few more hours. The hotel is nice enough to take our luggage and keep it on their storage while we stroll around. We dropped off our stuff, and then we headed back to Amsterdam Centraal to catch our train
I just want to note that StayOkay offers this service to everyone who books with them. Your luggage will be stored with other strangers' stuff. So make sure you take all your valuables with you.
Back to Amsterdam Centraal! Wer’e refuelling at the local Starbucks inside the station. It’s worth mentioning because it’s straight-up fancy
As I’ve mentioned before this is the main hub for all things transportation. We went back because our next destination is not within Amsterdam. We are going to Zaanse Schans, A little town in Zaandam City. It’s a 30-40 minute train ride from Centraal.
After we arrived at the station (Zaandijk Zaanse Schans), we had to walk for 5-10 minutes to reach the town. Here’s the path we took: Link. You’ll know you’re heading to the right place if you smell chocolate / hot cocoa everywhere. Like I mean everywhere.
This town is super beautiful. Everywhere you look is stunning.
During the time we went, it was a windy plus a little rainy. So it’s hard to take pictures. You can pretty much just stay the whole morning/afternoon here just walking around and enjoying the scenery.
There are lots of activities you can do here like take a tour on a mini boat, go cheese tasting for free, make your own hot cocoa, try out their chocolates, shop for souvenirs, play with cheese-related items and more. They even have a petting zoo! I recommend trying out the cheese and hot cocoa!
The locals here are pretty nice and would very much like to have a conversation with you.
They have pretty nice Souvenirs here if you're planning to get one. They also have "Amsterdam" souvenirs for cheap.
Heading back to Amsterdam
After we had our fun, and after we’re filled with cheese and hot cocoa, we started walking back to the station to catch our train back to Amsterdam. By this time, we’re extremely tired so we had a quick dinner at Burger King inside Amsterdam Centraal and then we headed back to our hotel.
(Thankfully our stuff is still there 😁😁😁)