‘Just because I don’t drink coffee. ‘Doesn’t mean I can’t have coffee culture with hot chocolate, in Vienna!

‘Just because I don’t drink coffee. ‘Doesn’t mean I can’t have coffee culture with hot chocolate, in Vienna!

As you know, a few weeks ago, I went to Austria.

And of course, I didn’t just go to Austria, but I decided to visit Vienna!

Visiting Vienna is exciting!

Having a hotdog and beer, on a rainy day in Vienna, is more exciting than you think!

If you’re just joining, and obviously, you’re not, ‘cos you would be following my blog so that you can get weekly updates of what The British Berliner is up to, wouldn’t you?

Wouldn’t you!

However, let’s not quibble, just look to the side of the page and you’ll see a few ways which you can follow this wonderful blog. You can either click on You are following this blog or if you’re a WordPress nerd, just clink on the WordPress symbol followed by Following the British Berliner.

At the Vienna Opera Ball.
@ WienTourismus / Peter Rigaud/Couture Vivienne Westwood

Meanwhile, here’s what you missed:

Phew!

Make sure that you get travel insurance before you actually travel!

Now, to be frank, I hate being out of the loop, and I generally prefer to be in the centre of things, and that usually includes staying in the Old Town, or the trendier part of town!

And Vienna didn’t disappoint.

We stayed at a brilliant place called the 25hours Hotel Vienna at MuseumsQuartier, which I found with the help of the Vienna Tourist Board.

We stayed at a brilliant place in Vienna – the 25hours Hotel Vienna at MuseumsQuartier.
Photograph ©Frank Böster

Thanks so much everyone!

Book your hotel here!

Vienna is an imperial beauty. You’re welcome!

I’ve already written about the history of Vienna, but it really does bear to be repeated.

Vienna is an imperial beauty!

It’s the capital of Austria and the cultural. economic, and political centre of Austria.

With a population of just 1.8 million, Vienna is the second (2nd) largest German-speaking city in the world, after Berlin!

Vienna is located in the eastern part of Austria and is close to the borders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. In fact, Prague, Bratislava, and Budapest, are but a few cheap hours away!

TAKE ME THERE?

Myself looking glum at the airport. Leaving Vienna!
Photograph ©Frank Böster

As you know, I’m a great believer in train travel, but Vienna is rather far from Berlin, so we flew!

Our non-stop journey from Berlin Schoenefeld (SXF) to Vienna (VIE) took just 1 hour and 25 minutes via EasyJet, but of course, you can easily fly into Vienna International Airport, otherwise known as the Flughafen Wien, a destination flown by many major airlines, from many parts of the world!

If you’re flying from Europe, it usually takes between 1 to 2 hours, and is pretty much an easy ride!

IS IT GOING TO BE CROWDED?

I didn’t find it crowded in Vienna. And neither did they!

It depends!

I didn’t find it to be necessarily so, as we went in March.

It’s been some time since I had last been to Vienna, so we booked a walking tour. But the tour guide didn’t show up!

We were all sort of hanging around, and (ahem), I’m quite bossy and so at one point, everyone thought that I was the tour guide.

If only!

Mind you, if we were in Berlin and that happened, I would happily take the tourists with me, and do the tour myself!

Me in front of a piece of the Berlin Wall & Street Art!

However, Vienna is a place that everyone would like to go to at least once, as it’s rather nice and serene!

Who wouldn’t want to visit?

‘Best to book early!

WHAT IS VIENNA LIKE?

Mozart & Vienna are adorable!

It’s adorable!

I’ve been there a few times over the years!

Having said that, the last time that I was in Vienna, “The Tall Young Gentleman” had just been born twelve (12) months prior!

My mother-in-law had decided to give me a weekend break, so I was in Vienna and literally, still breast-feeding!!!

A Viennese speciality of a glass of beer mixed with fanta orange, was not a very good idea!

I had tried a Viennese speciality of a glass of beer mixed with fanta orange. A sort of shandy.

It was a mistake.

We went to the Prater.

The Prater is one of Vienna’s most popular amusement park, and it’s star is the Giant Ferris Wheel!

The Prater is one of Vienna’s most popular leisure areas with a world-famous amusement park opened in 1766!

One of the highlights of the Prater is the Giant Ferris Wheel – a masterpiece of 19th century technology – and one of the largest wheels in the world!

Did we go on the Giant Ferris Wheel back in 2003?

Nope!

We went on the wheel called the Blumenrad, otherwise known as the Flower Wheel!
Photograph ©Frank Böster

We went on the wheel called the Blumenrad, otherwise known as the Flower Wheel!

The seats are shaped like huge teacups which were twirled around.

And around.

And around.

I turned a ghastly shade of green!

I turned a ghastly shade of green.

Let’s just say that it took a huge amount of effort for me to keep things together.

We got off the Blumenrad, and I vomited the wheat beer and fanta orange concoction.

Everywhere!

We went on the Blumenrad / Flower Wheel, but we really should have gone on the Giant Ferris Wheel instead!
Photograph ©Frank Böster

I’ve never had a mixed beer since!

I DON’T SPEAK AUSTRIAN GERMAN or GERMAN AT ALL.

Singing will do just as well!
©WienTourismus Lukas Beck: Vienna Boys’ Choir

Not. A. Problem.

Lots of people speak English. Or High German, otherwise known as Hochdeutsche!

AM I GOING TO LIVE IN A HUT?

Living in a hut, is not at all the done thing. In Vienna!

Ha! Ha! Not unless you want to!

I’M ON A BUDGET. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

If you’re on a budget in Vienna. Let them eat cake!

I’ll be honest with you. Vienna isn’t known as a cheap destination.

Quite the opposite in fact!

I can’t give you any details but for the more budget conscious traveller, there are plenty of hostels and other moderately priced accommodation to be had. Book ahead to get good prices.

Book your hotel here!

I’M LOOKING FOR SOMETHING A BIT DIFFERENT. ANY IDEAS?

I got into contact with a quirky boutique hotel group called 25 Hours Hotels!

Certainly!

You know how much I like boutique  or art design hotels.

Well, on doing some research, I got into contact with a quirky boutique hotel group called 25hours Hotels.

The 25hours Hotels is a young hotel concept which seeks contemporary answers to the requirements of an urban, cosmopolitan clientele, boasting an unconventional mix of contemporary services, coupled with dynamism, surprise and a touch of adventure!

The 25hours brand is currently focused on Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

We went to the 25hours Hotel Vienna at MuseumsQuartier.

The 25hours Hotel Vienna at MuseumsQuartier, is an art design circus-themed boutique hotel!

Just like the hotel in Amsterdam Zaandam, the 25hours Hotels’ quirkiness is plain to see.

Practically every single room had some sort of association with the circus!

And with one of the hotel motto’s being – We Are All Mad Here – is it any wonder that it was pretty much my type of place!

And surely, there wouldn’t be any looking at the ceiling in boredom, here!

We Are All Mad Here!
The 25hours Hotel Vienna at MuseumsQuartier.
©Stephan Lemke for 25hours Hotels

As we were in Vienna to celebrate my husband – The Music Producers’ – birthday, we were upgraded to one of the xl rooms, with a colourful circus theme on the wall!

The room was huge!

It also had a flat screen TV, a free-standing closet place to hang up clothes with long shelves, an imac workstation writing table, a cool vintage sound system bluetooth speaker, an iPod docking station, some leather pouffles, a private terrace with a wooden garden table and chairs, and lots of plug outlets.

My husband was very pleased!

We were upgraded to one of the xl rooms, with a colourful circus theme on the wall!

There was a small fridge, and an extra toilet, so that I could do my make up in peace. Yay!

The bathroom was a sort of internal interior space with a huge sink, a really nice rainshower compartment that had a glass panel, which also had a curtain that could be drawn.

If you so wished!

I very much liked the orange and lemon infused sustainable organic bath gels, shampoo, conditioner and body moisturiser, which all had hilarious save-the-environment instructions on the bottles! And at the end of a long day were awfully welcoming, as well as plenty of fluffy towels, and free hi-speed WiFi!

I did miss my fluffy dressing gowns and fluffy slippers though!

‘Notice the save-the-environment inscription on the bottle at the 25hours Hotel Vienna at MuseumsQuartier!
©Stephan Lemke for 25hours Hotels

The 25hours Hotel Vienna at MuseumsQuartier also had a “mermaid’s cave” which consisted of a sauna, a spa centre, and fitness equipment, free of charge to guests.

You could also have access to a free mini car and bike rental, as well as free bottled water and towels, if you wanted to go jogging!

The view on the rooftop bar of the 25hours Hotel Vienna at MuseumsQuartier, is pretty amazing!
©Stephan Lemke for 25hours Hotels

The lobby was very nice with comfy leather sofas, crisp daily newspapers and glossy magazines. There was also a hotel food truck in the garden.

Being that the hotel is actually located in the Museum Quartier part of the city, the view on the rooftop bar, was pretty amazing!

Breakfast in Vienna was quite marvellous!

For breakfast, we had marvellous cold cuts, bacon, sausages, eggs, and baked beans, a variety of sea-food, vegetables, sauces, and cream. As well as a wide stock of cereal, fruit, cake, pastries, pots of tea, coffee local champagne, and juices.

They also had a wonderful array of crunchy Germanic and French home-made bread, and a variety of jams and pickles! Yum!

It was very nice indeed!

The Music Producer helping himself to morning refreshment, at the 25hours Hotel Vienna at MuseumsQuartier.

The 25hours Hotel at MuseumsQuartier (depending on the room), can be booked from €97.00 per night, which for two (2) people would be €48.50 a pop, and an absolute Vienna bargain!

The buffet breakfast is €21.00 per person. Children up to 6 years old are free of charge. Children from 7 to 11 years old get a 50% discount. Guests can also buy a Grab & Go breakfast from the lobby for €7.00 per person.

Book your hotel here!

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?

Take the tram in Vienna!

Transport in Vienna is excellent.

The trams and horses are romantic, and the trains are easy to use, and very efficient.

You can also walk around quite easily, as Vienna is pretty small!

Once again, don’t forget to buy a public transport Vienna card. However, for ease of transport and discounts to attractions, museums, and restaurants, we used the Vienna City Card for 72 hours. Tickets can be bought everywhere that tourists go to, tourist information  points, and on-line!

However, just like in Berlin, and in many European cities, there are no barriers, and we all want to keep it that way, so please buy your ticket!

ANYTHING ELSE?

Apple strudel is a very important part of Viennese coffee culture!

Apple strudel is king!

MY VERDICT:

Vienna Tourist Board. Now. Forever.

I absolutely adore Vienna.

It’s classy.

It’s European.

It’s got art and culture and has a vibrant history.

And even though Vienna is considered to be expensive. It’s not as expensive as you think!

WOULD I COME AGAIN?

‘Just because I don’t drink coffee. ‘Doesn’t mean I can’t have coffee culture with hot chocolate, in Vienna!

You bet!

Vienna is charming.

I really can’t wait to visit again.

Let’s do it!

JUST BECAUSE I DON’T DRINK COFFEE. ‘DOESN’T MEAN I CAN’T HAVE COFFEE CULTURE WITH HOT CHOCOLATE, IN VIENNA!

‘Just because I don’t drink coffee. ‘Doesn’t mean I can’t have coffee culture with hot chocolate, in Vienna!

This article is part – sponsored by the Vienna Tourist Board and I received a press discount from the 25 Hours Hotels but all opinions and the wonderful hot chocolate and delightful Austrian food I happily consumed, are my very own! Thanks so much!

It’s almost Easter!

In April & May, I’ll be visiting Croatia, Sweden & Finland!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin in April, you won’t get any Easter eggs!

'Just because I don't drink coffee. 'Doesn't mean I can't have coffee culture with hot chocolate, in Vienna!
‘Just because I don’t drink coffee. ‘Doesn’t mean I can’t have coffee culture with hot chocolate, in Vienna!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

‘Just because I don’t drink coffee. ‘Doesn’t mean I can’t have coffee culture with hot chocolate, in Vienna!

Are you a coffee drinker? Or are you like me, a person who can’t bear the sight of it! Spill the beans!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

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How to visit Austria: Introducing Vienna – the most civilised city. Ever!

One of the best types of sausages in Austria – A most wonderful hotdog. In Vienna!

My! My!

I’m doing rather well!

So far this year, I’ve been to Amsterdam, I’ve been to Zaandam, I went skiing in the Czech Republic, and I’ve just got back from Vienna.

In Austria!

You know the one!

The hills are alive with music n’ all that….!

Visiting Vienna is quite delightful!

I’ve been to Austria before of course, and I’ll be telling you soon enough all about it!

Myself on the balcony of our room at the 25 Hours Hotels, Vienna!

This time however, the reason that I decided to choose Vienna was to celebrate the “0” birthday of my husbandThe Music Producer.

I wanted somewhere “nice.”

And I wanted somewhere connected to music.

Voila!

Austria!

Let’s get a little bit of history.

AUSTRIA

A horse & carriage in Vienna!

Austria, otherwise known as Österreich, is a federal republic, and a country of just over 8.7 million people.

It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Hungary and Slovakia to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west. Most of Austria is highly mountainous in the Alps with its highest point 3,798 m or 12,461 ft! In fact, only 32% of the country is below 500 m or 1,640 ft!

Most people speak a local Bavarian dialect of German as their native language, although Austrian German is the actual official language of Austria!

In fact, the last time I went to Austria about 10 years ago (cough! cough!) we went hiking for a week in the Austrian Alps.

Austria, Hungary and Slovakia are so closely connected that you can easily travel between them!
p.s. Not by the alpine lift obviously!

And it was all rather pleasant until we went mushroom-picking in the forest.

The guide was explaining where we were going, and the safety of identifying edible mushrooms.

Now I speak and understand German.

In fact, I’ve done a few TV / radio programmes and spoke quite successfully (I think), in the Germanic tone expected.

But I couldn’t for the life of me understand a single word he said!

I couldn’t for the life of me, understand a single word he said!

I was standing in the middle of our mushroom-picking crowd, so I moved to the front.

No can do!

I stood literally eyeball to eyeball with the fellow, in order to enhance my hearing.

Nope!

Nothing!

Nada!

I was quite distressed.

I was quite distressed.

And my husband wasn’t with us.

So I turned to my son who was five (5) years old at the time, to see if the guide was speaking utter nonsense, or if it was just me.

It was just me!

My toddler had to translate things so that we wouldn’t get poisoned, and die!!

Ooops!

I needed to know what we doing, so that we wouldn’t get poisoned with mushrooms, and die!!

Back to the history!

The origins of modern-day Austria date back to the time of the Habsburg dynasty, when the vast majority of the country was a part of the Holy Roman Empire.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, Austria retained its position as one of the great powers of Europe. However, after the fall of Napoleon, German Prussia emerged as the leader of the Germanic-speaking countries with the Austrian Empire reformed into Austria-Hungary, thus excluding Austria from the then new German Empire.

Sadly, it was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria on June 28th, 1914, and the troubles thereafter, that ultimately led Europe into World War I!

Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, 1914 – whose death brought the onset of WWI.

After the collapse of the Habsburg (Austro-Hungarian) Empire in 1918 at the end of World War I, Austria attempted a union with Germany which, by the Treaty of Saint Germain and the Treaty of Versailles of 1919, forbade both the union and the continued use of the name “German-Austria” – Deutschösterreich. Until Adolf Hitler invaded and annexed Austria in 1938.

As a result, the Republic of Austria ceased to exist as an independent state, and officially became a legalised part of Germany, until 1955!

If you’re worried, don’t be.

Present day Austria is a lovely country, and the locals are hilarious!

Present day Austria is a lovely country known for it’s human rights policy, democracy, skiing, hiking, music, classical ballroom dancing, art and culture.

Austria has a very high standard of living, and is one of the richest countries in the world!

In fact, even Germans flock to Austria because of it’s wealth of opportunity!

And many of them go to Vienna!

WHY GO TO VIENNA?

The majestic sight of St. Peter’s Church, probably the oldest church in Vienna!
Photograph ©Frank Böster

OhMiGosh!

Where do I start?

Vienna is an imperial beauty!

It’s the capital of Austria and the cultural. economic, and political centre of Austria.

With a population of just 1.8 million, Vienna is the second (2nd) largest German-speaking city in the world, after Berlin!

Vienna is located in the eastern part of Austria and is close to the borders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. In fact, Prague, Slovakia, and Budapest, are but a few cheap hours away!

And just in case you have a couple more days to spare, this is what I wrote about them:

Myself as lovely as Prague!

PRAGUE:

BUDAPEST:

BRATISLAVA:

Look how wide and green Vienna is!

Vienna is not only the capital of Austria, but also the city in Europe with the highest ration of green space, woods, grasslands, parks, and gardens which make up almost 50% of the city, beating even my most beloved city of Berlin!

Vienna also has the most frequently photographed monument in the city – the golden statue of Johann Strauss, has the circus fairground of Parter, the beautiful Schönbrunn Palace Gardens, the Vienna Woods, vineyards, farmlands, and the wetlands of the legendary Danube River!

A genius such as Ludwig van Beethoven.

Vienna has a history to be jealous of, going further back than roughly 15B.C!

A precious heritage, charming traditions, imperial architecture, museums, art collections, works of art, the world’s first psycho-analyst – Sigmund Freud, the home of musical geniuses such as Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Brahms and Mahler, as well as the era of the Habsburgs who reigned for more than six (6) centuries!

Vienna is rich in baroque, historicism, art nouveau, as well as a nod to a world-class cultural complex and a future-oriented design of 60,000 square meters of space for a highly creative cultural scene in the Museums Quartier where we stayed, and in fact, all of the city!

Vienna is a city of beauty.

What not to like?

Wow!

Myself outside one of the Habsburgs palaces in the Museums Quartier, Vienna!
Photograph ©Frank Böster

I’ve got lots to say about Vienna, so I’ll tell you all about it next week. If you really can’t wait, there are loads of pictures and funny quips on Twitter!

Book your hotel here!

HOW TO VISIT AUSTRIA: INTRODUCING VIENNA – THE MOST CIVILISED CITY. EVER!

How to visit Austria: Introducing Vienna – the most civilised city. Ever!

This article is part – sponsored by the Vienna Tourist Board and I received a press discount from the 25 Hours Hotels, but all opinions and the charming traditions that I experienced, are my very own! Thanks so much!

In April & May, I’ll be visiting Croatia, Sweden & Finland!

From 07.03.17 – 09.03.17, our friends – the British musical and comedy duo – Carrington Brown – will be performing Germany’s premiere of Carrington-Brown feat. The Swonderful Orchestra: Comedy meets Classics at Tipi!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin in March, I really can’t help you!

How to visit Austria: Introducing Vienna – the most civilised city. Ever!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

How to visit Austria: Introducing Vienna – the most civilised city. Ever!

Have you ever been to Austria? Is Vienna a civilised city? Share & let me know below! 

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

How to visit Amsterdam: Introducing Zaandam – a Dutch traditional town with windmills!

How to visit Amsterdam: Introducing Zaandam - a Dutch traditional town with windmills!
How to visit Amsterdam: Introducing Zaandam – a Dutch traditional town with windmills!

As you know, a few weeks ago, I went to Holland.

And of course, I didn’t just go to Holland, but I decided to visit Amsterdam!

Visiting Amsterdam is awesome!

How to visit Amsterdam in two days. With a teenager - "The Tall Young Gentleman"
How to visit Amsterdam in two days. With a teenager – “The Tall Young Gentleman”

And I admit. I was a little nervous taking a teenager to that city famous for it’s redlight districts and all that it entails…!

But it all worked out well in the end, and we had a great time together.

Phew!

Take a photo of me. No meeeee!
Take a photo of me.
No meeeee!

Now, to be frank, I hate being out of the loop, and I generally prefer to be in the centre of things, and that usually includes staying in the Old Town, or the trendier part of town!

So it was a surprise to myself, that this time around, I booked a place that was more family-friendly, and one of the things that made it easier to even think about bringing a child. To Amsterdam!

Book your hotel here!

Zaanse houses in Zaandam!
Zaanse houses in Zaandam!

A place called Zaandam.

Zaandam?!

Is that a spin-off of Amsterdam or something?

No!

Are you sure?

Yes!

Sure-Sure?

Sigh!

WHY GO TO ZAANDAM?

How to visit Amsterdam: Introducing Zaandam - a Dutch traditional town with windmills! Don't these houses look cute?
How to visit Amsterdam: Introducing Zaandam – a Dutch traditional town with windmills!
Don’t these houses look cute?

Zaandam is pretty cute!

It’s a city in the northern part of Holland.

It’s located on the Zaan, close to the North Sea Canal.

And it’s a hop and a skip from Amsterdam!

How to visit Amsterdam: Introducing Zaandam - a Dutch traditional town with windmills!
How to visit Amsterdam: Introducing Zaandam – a Dutch traditional town with windmills!

Zaandam has a population of around 72,597 and is extremely famous for a place called Zaanse Schans.

Zaan what?

Zaanse Schans?

What’s that, when it’s at home?

The Zaanse Schans is a unique part of the Netherlands! @Bart Homburg
The Zaanse Schans is a unique part of the Netherlands!
@Bart Homburg

Well, the Zaanse Schans is a unique part of the Netherlands, filled with wooden houses, mills, barns and workshops. It’s also an inspiration of Monet who painted 25 works of art, one of the most popular Dutch attractions of the Netherlands, and an anchor point of the European Route of Industrial Heritage (ERIH)!

It was the anchor of the Dutch Golden Age and a region known for its food industry and combined innovational skills. From windmills to steam engines, to entire factories and to the preserved industrial heritage of contemporary Holland. The Zaanse Schans was always an important working class industrial town producing linseed oil, paint, snuff, mustard, and paper. And also a living museum platform that shows visitors what it was like living in 18th and 19th century Holland.

Clogs made in Holland.
Clogs made in Holland.

At the Zaanse Schans you can stroll past the Bakery Museum and enjoy the smell of fresh bread, or take a look at the warehouse where clogs are made. You can pop into the cheese factory, the pewter foundry, or go into the various traditional windmills.

You can also do what the Dutch do, and go on the cycle trail of Monet, eat waffles and pancakes, browse through the crafts and handiwork, eat cheese, or simply go sailing.

The Zaanse Schans has a marvellous collection of well-preserved houses, and historic windmills!
The Zaanse Schans has a marvellous collection of well-preserved houses, and historic windmills!

The Zaanse Schans also has a marvellous collection of well-preserved houses, characteristic private residences, museums, and historic windmills!

The type of windmill of yore!

TAKE ME THERE?

Take me to Holland!
Take me to Holland!

As you know, I’m a great believer in train travel, so as is the norm, I booked seats on the ever-popular Deutsche Bahn train going to Amsterdam.

Our journey from Berlin took just 8.5 hours with a stop-over and 6.5 hours, without! But of course, you can just as easily fly into Amsterdam Airport Schiphol which from most European countries, takes less than 2 hours, and is a destination flown by many major airlines around the world.

How to visit Amsterdam in two days. With a teenager!
How to visit Amsterdam in two days. With a teenager!

If you’re on a tight budget then many bus-coach companies such as Eurolines, or MeinFernbus FlixBus also land in Amsterdam. But do be aware that the Amsterdam Bus station is in Amsterdam Sloterdijk, and although 5 minutes away by train, is still going to cost you €3.20 (+chip card) to get to Amsterdam-Centraal, as it’s in the suburban area! Also, if you arrive at 03:00 then you have a bit of a wait, as the last train leaves at 01:22, and the first one leaves at 05:41!

And the shops at the train station are closed!

There are buses aplenty in Holland!
There are buses aplenty in Holland!

There is a bus that will take you into the city, but unless you have “business” in the wee hours of the morning, you won’t be able to check in anywhere. Hence, as soon as I got into Amsterdam at about 06:00, I found a nice hotel and had a cup of tea until it became light and decent enough for me to check into my hotel at the time!

Anyway, whichever way you arrive, you need to make your way to Amsterdam-Centraal.

Any which way, make your way to Amsterdam-Centraal train station!
Any which way, make your way to Amsterdam-Centraal train station!

Zaandam: The train runs twice an hour, is 2 stops away from Amsterdam, and takes just 13 -14 minutes, and costs €2.70 for a single ticket.

Zaandijk Zaanse Schans: The train runs twice an hour, is 4 stops away from Amsterdam, and takes just 18 -20 minutes, and costs €3.10 for a single ticket.

For more information about public transport in Amsterdam, or anywhere in Holland, check out the Dutch Railway website!

IS IT GOING TO BE CROWDED?

How to visit Amsterdam: Introducing Zaandam - a Dutch traditional town with windmills! @I amsterdam - Cris Toala Olivares
How to visit Amsterdam: Introducing Zaandam – a Dutch traditional town with windmills!
@I amsterdam – Cris Toala Olivares

Not in the winter it isn’t!

But in the summer, plan well.

Outside of Amsterdam proper, it’s really popular attracting 1.4 million visitors per year.

But then again, not really!

I mean, if you’re in Amsterdam for the weekend, you’re hardly likely to go off somewhere else, when a weekend is hardly sufficient in the first place!

Most people who go to Zaandam have either been to Amsterdam before, so it’s not an issue, have children with them, or have a few more days to spare!

Book your hotel here!

WHAT IS ZAANDAM LIKE?

How to visit Amsterdam: Introducing Zaandam - a Dutch traditional town with windmills! "The Tall Young Gentleman looking cold & wet!
How to visit Amsterdam: Introducing Zaandam – a Dutch traditional town with windmills!
“The Tall Young Gentleman looking cold & wet!

I was only there for literally a night and a day, but Zaandam definitely made an impression on me.

Zaandam is a place of historical interest, where people go about their normal everyday business even though there were Dutch houses everywhere. If you were to go to Pennsylvania in the US, it would be a bit like that. But normal!

Using items from an Open-Air Museum, makes the Zaanse Schans more up to the point, and realistic!
Using items from an Open-Air Museum, makes the Zaanse Schans more up to the point, and realistic!

The Zaanse Schans is charming and fun and the type of place very eager to welcome tourists and entertain you. With seven (7) houses turned into seven (7) museums: The Weavers House, the Cooperage, the Jisper House, Zaan Time Museum, Albert Heijn Museumshop, Bakery Museum. And loads of windmills. You just can’t go wrong!

I DON’T SPEAK DUTCH.

Don't worry if you don't speak Dutch. You'll do just fine in English!
Don’t worry if you don’t speak Dutch. You’ll do just fine in English!

Not. A. Problem.

Everyone pretty much speaks English in Holland!

AM I GOING TO LIVE IN A HUT?

How to visit Amsterdam: Introducing Zaandam - a Dutch traditional town with windmills!
How to visit Amsterdam: Introducing Zaandam – a Dutch traditional town with windmills!

Ha! Ha! Not unless you want to!

I’M ON A BUDGET. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Holland isn't your cheap destination, so if your budget is really low, you're going to have to plan tightly, and look for things which are free!
Holland isn’t your cheap destination, so if your budget is really low, you’re going to have to plan tightly, and look for things which are free!

I’ll be honest with you. Amsterdam isn’t cheap.

I can’t give you any details but for the more budget conscious traveller, there are plenty of hostels and other moderately priced accommodation to be had. Book ahead to get good prices.

Book your hotel here!

I’M LOOKING FOR SOMETHING A BIT DIFFERENT. ANY IDEAS?

How to visit Amsterdam: Introducing Zaandam - a Dutch traditional town with windmills!
How to visit Amsterdam: Introducing Zaandam – a Dutch traditional town with windmills!

Absolutely!

I had my child in tow, so I was looking for something a little bit more charming than your average hotel.

And I found it!

I was surfing on the internet (as you do), when I saw a picture of a weird-looking house.

I wanted to know more, so I booked it!

We stayed at a rather unique 4 star hotel called the Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Zaandam!

The rather unique 4 star Inntel Hotel Amsterdam Zaandam!
The rather unique 4 star Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Zaandam!

The hotel has an impressive facade which has a sort of stacking feature so that it looks like a house made out of Lego!

The Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Zaandam is a building with a lot of character, and surprisingly, it was not the only one. There were more such houses in the Zaan region!

How many times have you thought, ooooh this house looks lovely? Oh, and this one. And this one! I bet never!

How to visit Amsterdam: Introducing Zaandam. Because windmills! @Mike Bink
How to visit Amsterdam: Introducing Zaandam.
Because windmills!
@Mike Bink

It was such a pleasure on a cold, windy, freezing, rainy morning to wander around from one interesting building to another. And because windmills!

The Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Zaandam is one of a kind and offers the best of tradition with modern-day comfort. The hotel’s green façade of traditional Zaan houses is a real eye-catcher, and the interiors of the hotel rooms reflect the rich history, traditional products, the pioneers of local craft industries, and the families who made the area world famous!

Yep! You probably won’t find this anywhere else!

The Taste Deluxe room at the Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Zaandam!
The Taste Deluxe room at the Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Zaandam!

We booked the Taste Deluxe Room with impressive colourful photographs on the wall. It also had a flat screen TV, a huge wardrobe large enough for a teenager to get into for fun…

But don’t do that, as we found it enormously difficult to open, in order to get him out again…!

There was a table, some fancy designer furniture, and lots of plug outlets.

A tin box of proper tea bags at the Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Zaandam!
A tin box of proper tea bags at the Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Zaandam!

There was a small fridge, a tin box of proper tea bags (oh yes!), milk, sugar and coffee.

The bathroom was huge with a bath tub and shower part that had a glass panel that didn’t really do the job, as you either had to keep your back to the wall, otherwise, there would be water everywhere.

And there was water. Everywhere!

The bathroom was huge at the Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Zaandam, but there was water everywhere!
The bathroom was huge at the Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Zaandam, but there was water everywhere!

We, of course, had an en-suite bathroom with bath gels and shampoo which I liked enormously, and at the end of a long day was awfully welcoming, plenty of fluffy towels, and free WiFi!

The Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Zaandam also had a sauna, spa centre, and swimming pool which was packed with adults, and judging by the screams of laughter, having a merry old time!

It looked pretty nice though, as we had a sneak peek!

The lobby at the Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Zaandam, was pretty nice!
The lobby at the Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Zaandam, was pretty nice!

The lobby was really nice with comfy leather sofas, crisp daily newspapers and glossy magazines. There was also a sort of waterfall outside, and a river. And the view was pretty amazing!

Breakfast wasn’t included, so we decided to have dinner at the hotel instead.

It was delightful.

We had the hotels’ 3 course à la carte dinner for just €29.50 each (not including drinks). I’ll tell you all about that next week!

Staying at the rather unique 4 star Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Zaandam, was fun!
Staying at the rather unique 4 star Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Zaandam, was fun!

The Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Zaandam can be booked from €126.00 per night, which for two (2) people would be €63.00 a pop, and an absolute Amsterdam bargain!

Book your hotel here!

Delightful!

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?

Walking, cycling, or horse-riding, is much appreciated in Zaandam! @Bart Homburg
Walking, cycling, or horse-riding, is much appreciated in Zaandam!
@Bart Homburg

Zaandam is pretty small so everywhere is walkable.

You could also cycle, take the bus, the train, or go horse-riding!

If you’re in Amsterdam proper, don’t forget to buy a public transport OV-chip card. Tickets can be got from ticket machines at the Centraal Station, or besides some of the tram stops. They can even be bought in the tram, the bus, and from newspaper shops! Once you enter the tram or bus, you scan your card. And on leaving, you scan the card again. It’s a little like an Oyster card in London.

However, just like in Berlin, there are no barriers, and we all want to keep it that way, so please buy your ticket!

ANYTHING ELSE?

A coffee shop doesn't sell coffee!
A coffee shop doesn’t sell coffee!

A coffee shop doesn’t sell coffee!

Don’t be caught out. If you’re looking for a cup of tea, you need to go to a cafe!

MY VERDICT:

How to visit Amsterdam: Introducing Zaandam - a Dutch traditional town with windmills! @Mike Bink
How to visit Amsterdam: Introducing Zaandam – a Dutch traditional town with windmills!
@Mike Bink

I really liked Zaandam.

It’s different.

It’s got art and culture and has a vibrant history.

For many international visitors, Zaandam isn’t a destination that immediately comes to mind, but if you’re in Amsterdam and looking for somewhere different, or going to Northern Holland! Do yourself a favour and drop in for a day or two.

WOULD I COME AGAIN?

How to visit Amsterdam: Weighing my options introducing Zaandam - a Dutch traditional town with windmills!
How to visit Amsterdam: Weighing my options introducing Zaandam – a Dutch traditional town with windmills!

Absolutely!

Zaandam is intriguing and I can’t wait to visit again.

Let’s do it!

HOW TO VISIT AMSTERDAM: INTRODUCING ZAANDAM – A DUTCH TRADITIONAL TOWN WITH WINDMILLS!

How to visit Amsterdam: Introducing Zaandam - a Dutch traditional town with windmills!
How to visit Amsterdam: Introducing Zaandam – a Dutch traditional town with windmills!

This article is not sponsored and all opinions and the wonderful windmills and funny-looking Dutch houses that we happily saw, are my very own!

It’s almost February!

If you’re a blogger or just like travelling, and you’re in town, then come and meet us at the Berlin Travel Massive February MeetUp on February 9th.

The 67th Berlin International Film Festival, otherwise known as the Berlinale, will take place from 09.02.17 – 19.02.17

Strictly Stand Up – The English Comedy Night will take place at the Quatsch comedy Club on 15.02.17. Save the Date!

If you’re not in Berlin in February, you’re going to miss out!

February is going to be unmistakable!

How to visit Amsterdam: Introducing Zaandam – a Dutch traditional town with windmills!
©I Amsterdam

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

How to visit Amsterdam: Introducing Zaandam - a Dutch traditional town with windmills!
How to visit Amsterdam: Introducing Zaandam – a Dutch traditional town with windmills!

What do you think about going to Zaandam? Have you ever seen a windmill? Have your say!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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