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Have you been to Amsterdam? How I love that city! Can't think of any other place that so naturally combines highbrow culture, lovely stores, a sense of absolute freedom and fan-tas-tic parties!

On a previous trip I'd seen most of the big museums and tourist attractions. So this time we took a different approach: the local experience.

Step 1: take super cool friend with me to blend in with the Amsterdammers. Check!

Step 2: find a great accommodation suited for our mission. And I found the perfect place! The Highland House, a small, modern boutique hotel just a few steps away from the central Dam Square. Its situated in a typical merchant house, the 17th century architecture that adorns the most beautiful streets and canals. Inside, however, its brand new.

When we arrived at The Highland House, we discovered its best feature: the fun-loving, young locals working there. Its the secret to finding the best parties in any city, right!? So we had a little chat with them in the common area they call 'The Kitchen', before we went up to our 'Music Room'. According to the girls in The Kitchen, Amsterdammers get around by bike - exclusively. So, rented a bike, put on a scarf and I was ready to be Dutch for a few days.

Met my friends for breakfast at the Pluk Amsterdam. Such nice little place. The food there is both healthy and tasty.

Then it began to rain, so we decided to head for the amazing Vintage Shops around the corner. One of the best places to go are the picturesque Nine Streets, where you can find a lot of unique stuff. We had a cup of tea and, of course, did some more shopping.

A bit further we passed the Van Woderen. Couldn’t resist to go inside! We tasted all the best Dutch delicacies: stroopwafels, oliebollen and kruidnootjes.

I was excited to go for a fun night out, showing off my new clothes, giving back, adding to the magic of Amsterdam ;)

First we went to the lovely Café George. It was perfect. Lobster, cocktails and really nice (and george-ous!) people. It was a bit pricey, but totally worth it.

Ready to hit the dancefloor, we cycled to Rozengracht where you can find the Chin Chin Club. It was so much fun! The atmosphere and the music kept me going all night!

Obviously the next day I was ready for a chilled day, you know what I mean… Bought some groceries at the “Marqt”, where everything is biologic and so good! Sat on the grass at the Vondelpark, and had a fantastic picnic.

On my way back to The Highland House, I don’t know if it was the pedal movement, the lights on the bridges, or the quiet water of the canals, but I was suddenly overwhelmed by the best feeling. Funny how its the small things that will do that to you!

That night I was up for some Italian food, my favorite! The receptionist advised to go to the “Pazzi”. Wow! Traditional Italian pizza, right from the wood oven.

For my last night we went to my friend’s favourite Amsterdam neighbourhood: De Pijp. Seems to be where all the Dutchies get together for some drinks and hang out. My new outfit sure did the trick, as we met some really nice people that came up to us for a little chat. Amsterdammers are such relaxed people, we really had a blast.

Overall, what a lovely, fun city! Made some memories that will stick with me and my friend forever. Thanks and hopefully till next time!

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