48 hours in Utrecht and Amsterdam

Last weekend my girl from ‘I dream, Live, Inspire’  and I went on a little road trip together. And who doesn’t love a good road trip?

We wanted to go somewhere in Europe, but not too far as we only had 48 hours to spare.

So we came up with Amsterdam, which is 3 1/2 drives from Calais.

I live close to Dover, which has the ferry port serving both Calais and Dunkirk. Services run frequently throughout the day and almost all night. I used ‘A Ferry’ to find the best deal – and there we go, a 3 day ticket for £70 return. Can’t complain.

The other option would have been to use the Eurotunnel which runs from Folkestone to Calais and only takes 30min! But being more expensive we opted for the ferry.

The drive itself was great. We left on Friday after work and made our way to the port. It was busier than usual and it didn’t help that we were late – oops. We missed our ferry but were put on the next one. Thanks P&O!

Dover departure

After a smooth crossing of 90min we arrived in Calais. So off we went on our 3 1/2 journey….the playlist was playing and the Red Bull was flowing – it was a long day after all.

The roads in Europe are incredible and so easy to drive. I can only recommend using your car when trying to get around Europe short distance, so convenient.

We opted for a little stop over in beautiful Utrecht which I visited a few months ago and fell in love with. So I sneakily suggested the stop-over.

After a short night at the Holiday Inn Express Papendorp we made our way into Utrecht town. And here is tipp number one from me: Avoid dutch parking houses! I am mean 11 euros for two hours parking. Wow. So where possible use public transport – or do as the dutch do and cycle. Utrecht is a very, very bike friendly city. I mean look at all those bikes:

I may write a post about Utrecht soon, as I simply love this town.

We spent the morning in Utrecht walking around town and having coffee.

Unfortunately the weather wasn’t our friend so we soon departed to Amsterdam. It was a short 40min drive and we arrived at the Hampton By Hilton Amsterdam Centre East. The hotel is ideally located, just three stops from the city center on the metro.

So after we arrived and freshened up we hit town. We strolled around by the canals and visited Albert Cuyp Street Market, claiming to be the largest market in Europe. We then stopped in the nearby cafe, called Het Paardje for some beer and bitterballen. And I looove bitterballen.

 

They are little balls of goodness made out of beef (sometimes veal), beef broth, flour, parsley and salt & pepper. Fry them up and you have the yummiest snack to have with your dutch beer.

After some more strolling around town, we were hungry and opted for a rather unhealthy snack: frites. The most famous frites in town are from Manneken Pis. I mean look at these fries! You can also choose from 22 different sauces to go with them. I opted for the traditional durch mayonnaise….it was so good. Give me fries all day, every day!

After finishing our snack we headed back to the hotel where we got ready for the night.

Our first stop that evening was the Skylounge conveniently situated near the main station. The bar and the views are stunning. Due to the good weather we were able to sit outside and take in the hustle and bustle of the streets below us.  And while we admired the beautiful sunset we enjoyed some delicious, but rather expensive, cocktails. It’s definitely worth coming up for a drink, but really not a location you want to spend all night.

We continued the night and stopped off at a few more bars. Amsterdam is great for a night out and offers everything from chilled cafe’s and bars to busy clubs and the ever so famous red light district.

We finished in the early hours of the next day and made our way back to Calais a couple hours later. To say I was tired by the end of Sunday is an understatement, but it was so worth seeing this beautiful city and culture.

So where is your next short-trip to? Tell me your hidden gems for a little road trip!

Isabella.

 

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