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24 Hours in Amsterdam with KLM






















I had never been to Amsterdam before so when KLM offered me the chance to visit and try out their new Belfast City to Schiphol route, I was over-joyed. The flight times are great, the plane is lovely and the journey only takes 70 minutes. We flew business class which was a real treat- the seats are much larger and a full meal and drinks are served. It's as fast as a trip to London and it offers a cultural scene that I've never really felt before.

I am lucky that I've visited lots of lovely places in my life but I felt a different vibe in Amsterdam. It's a really easy going, no stress holiday destination. Although I was only there for a day, the city is compact enough that a long weekend would be perfect to see all of the sights. We stayed at the Citizen M Hotel at Schiphol airport. The train station in the airport meant it was only a train away into the city centre. The hotel was really cool- the rooms are small but feature a king-size bed and iPad operated media and lights. The room doesn't have a separate bathroom but instead has a little pod for the toilet and shower. It does feel a bit strange at first but you get used to it. It's great for people travelling alone but I imagine if you are with a friend, it might be a bit odd! However, by myself it was great fun and the huge bed was very comfortable and much needed after lots of running about. This would be a particularly great hotel if you were stopping over in Schipol for a flight further afield. The five minute walk to the airport made it much easier to get up the next day!

On our short trip we visited the Van Gogh Museum and went on a canal tour. The Van Gogh museum was very cool. The building is really modern and we used a multimedia tour (a bit like an iPod) to work around the paintings at our leisure. We had a short time here but you could really spend all day looking around. I loved getting to see The Sunflowers in real life (much bigger than imagined!) but I feel in love with the painting Almond Blossom. It looked so modern and like something that was almost digitally printed. Following the tour of the museum, we walked the short distance to go on a canal tour. This really was the best way to see Amsterdam. The hour and half tour explained all of the history of the city, passing famous landmarks including the Anne Frank house, Nemo Museum and numerous concert halls. This was really enjoyable and I loved standing out at the back deck of the boat to take pictures.

In the evening we dined in Brassie Harkema, close to Dam Square. This was enjoyable and a lovely building to sit in- spacious and airy. At night, we all explored Amsterdam. Sadly it was too late to shop but I did spy some gorgeous boutiques and brands that aren't often seen here in Northern Ireland. There were also many cheese shops that kept me laughing- the Dutch do really love their food! We ended the night with a Nutella waffle- waffles and crepes are served almost on every street which is great if you have a sweet tooth like me!

On my way back through Schipol, I stopped off at my favourite Victoria's Secret to pick up some bits and pieces. There were lots of great stores in the airport including H&M and Mexx. I could have spent hours buying stuff!

Overall, it was a lovely trip and the new Belfast City to Schipol route offers not only the opportunity for a great city break but the opportunity to travel further afield when used as a connection point.

Thank you so much KLM for a lovely trip.

KLM offers a daily flight  from George Best Belfast City Airport to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and more than 200 worldwide destinations. Return fares in economy start from £79 including all taxes and fees. For more information and to book, visit www.klm.com