Amsterdam. Booze, bikes and being baked.

I went to Amsterdam for the second time with a few mates after I decided to book a ticket when I was drunk – always a good idea. Amsterdam has a lot to offer and this post aims to highlight that stuff as well as talking a bit about smoking doobies and licking boobies.

The first thing you’ll have to worry about is accommodation which is usually your biggest expense – or if you’re a lucky bastard like me, you’re mates will let you stay with them for free. Yass. If you’re alone, I’d definitely recommend booking a hostel because not only are they cheap but they’re full of like-minded travelers who will want to be your pal. Everybody wins. I’d recommend staying at either St Christopher’s at the Winston or The Flying Pig. They both boast an amazing atmosphere with a cool crowd so you’ll be sure to have a good time! However, if there’s more than two of you then maybe stay in an apartment and save yourself a few pennies that can go towards alcohol and other pleasurable “activities”. Check out airbnb who have endless apartments at a price to suit your budget.

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The Flying Pig Downtown hostel has a cool bar and it’s own smoking room. 

People always ask what is there to do in Amsterdam? Aside from the really obvious “get pissed, get high and shag a prozzy”, there’s heaps to do!

During the day I’d recommend doing what’s considered the “boring” stuff such as visiting the museums and getting your picture took with the infamous Iamsterdam sign. The Heineken Experience was one of my favourite places in Amsterdam, not only did I get three beers at the end but I found out a lot about what makes a good beer and why apparently Heineken is the best. Now, you’ve probably all heard about Anne Frank Museum and how you must go but to be honest, I gave it a miss both times I’ve been in Amsterdam. The first time I tried to go the queue was too long and the second, I was too hungover. However, I’ve heard it’s worth a visit so head to their website to find out more if you’re interested.

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The Heineken Experience, definitely worth the money!!

Amsterdam is packed with shit to get up to at night. From the famous Red Light District to the Leidseplein, there’s always something going on. The first few nights, we hung around the Red Light District. There’s heaps of bars and coffee shops and many a place to get your fix. Head to  For cheap pre-rolled joints head to Stone’s Cafe on Warmoesstraat – there’s many to choose from but beware this shit is strong, well at least for an amateur like myself. By the end of my first joint I thought I was genuinely on the Hogwart’s Express with Ginger Ron and Harry. Nonetheless, a good experience.

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Are we cool yet?? #amsterdamn

For a good night head to Leidseplein which is crawling with bars and clubs. We went into the first place we saw, not the best of places but “Club Nasty” still gives me and my friends a good chuckle to this day.

If it’s a quieter night you’re after then try Cafe Brecht, a German bar/cafe that offers good Deutschland beer for as little as 3euros. I was on a different flights from my friends so spent the most part of my first day here running up a tab. We returned later in the weekend and had some food too which was pretty good. The tortilla wraps are recommended by my mate but not sure if they were actually good or it was just her appetite after a space cake.

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Cafe Brecht. Good food and beer. 8/10.

Amsterdam is bustling with things to do and I’m certain you’ll find something that you will enjoy. I was there for a holiday so spent around 280euros over 4 days but it probably could be done even cheaper.Have fun and be safe.

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Shoestring Paris

So, it turns out keeping up with a blog is harder than I thought – especially with all the Uni work I’ve being doing (or should have been doing). Anyway, I’m finally getting round to writing about my few days in Paris as part of my Eurotrip last Summer!

The first thing I always get asked about Paris is how did I ever afford 4 nights in one of Europe’s most expensive cities – especially for backpackers. Well, the truth is that Paris can be expensive, however there are bargains to be sought!

Accommodation

As with most places, accommodation will yet again be your biggest expense but that doesn’t mean spending hundreds of Euros on a room with a view of the Tour Eiffel. Paris is crawling with hostels and with airbnb now at our fingertips, finding affordable accommodation is easier than ever. Now, I won’t lie and say that hostels in Paris are cheap as chips because they’re not but if you’re travelling solo and want to meet like minded traveler’s then staying at a hostel may be your best bet! I traveled solo and stayed at St Christopher’s Inn Canal. For 4 nights I paid around 98€ which doesn’t seem that cheap but remember that Paris is one of the most famous cities in the world and I arrived in peak summer season! The hostel itself was good, nothing spectacular. But the staff were friendly and it was easy enough to meet other backpackers!

Another great option could be to couchsurf which is totally free and you get local knowledge of the place you are visiting!

Also, if there are a group of you airbnb could be your cheapest option – however if you’re looking for a great atmosphere and new friends it might be worth it to pay the extra money to stay in a hostel.

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Chill by the Canal with a beer or 2 at St Christopher’s Inn. 

Food and Drink

It’s no secret that the French capital is home to some of the world’s finest eateries, however I was on a very tight budget seeing as Paris was at the tail end of my trip and so fine dining was not an option!!

The hostel I stayed at offered food starting at around 5/6 euros – there was unfortunately no kitchen in my hostel but many other Parisian hostels do offer a kitchen to keep spending to a minimum. Using airbnb is also a great way to save money on eating out.

It is very possible to eat out and still have money left over for a beer to wash it down. A great place I found was Creperie Genia  – a stone’s throw from the famous Notre Dame. Here you can you get a crepe, a panini and a drink all for 4€!! Paris is filled with cheap Pizzerias and there are street food stands in many places – it won’t be hard to find some form of cheap food.

Bars and Clubs

My absolute favourite place in Paris was Rue de Lappe located in the heart of the trendy Bastille area. This place is the perfect spot for bar hopping and for those wanting a few quiet drinks – the street is packed with loads of great places. Many of the places do “happy hour” specials from around 6.pm until around 10.pm (some places even 11.pm) and you’ll be sure to grab a good few deals during these hours! However, even outside of happy hours the prices are kind to your wallet.

My favourite bar on this street was called Bar des Ferrailleurs mainly due to the rustic feel of the place and the real mix of locals, students and travelers like myself. The staff here are so friendly and very happy to help.

Another cool place on Rue de Lappe is Yellow Mad Monkey. This bar is decorated like a jungle and there’s a really buzzing atmosphere. A pint here cost around 5 euros which is pretty reasonable for Paris.

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The Yellow Mad Monkey – the place is as mad as its name suggests…

If you’re looking for more than a few chilled drinks then head to concrete, a nightclub situated on a barge! This place was pretty casual and was a lot fun. For full details on prices on specific nights and deals then check out their website.

Things to do

Paris has heaps of attractions that will keep you busy for a good while. The obvious places such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and L’Arc de Triomphe are easily accessible by metro. There’s loads and loads of information out there on these places so I’d rather not go into too much detail!

A great way to get a local’s perspective of the city is to take a free (tip-based) walking tour with Discover Walks. All tour guides are from Paris themselves and therefore know the city inside out. There are a number of walks ranging from Montmarte to Notre Dame. These tours are often much better than the over-priced bus tours.

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Notre Dame Free Walking Tour – a great way to see the city 

Another very cool place in Paris that’s likely to get you a ton of “insta likes” is Rue Crémieux – the most colourful street in Paris. This place is not very well known and is a hidden gem not far from Gare de Lyon sation.

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Take a stroll down Paris’ most colourful street 

One last activity is to visit Parc de la Villette in the 19th arrondissement. The park is great for everything from quiet walks to picnics to outdoor cinemas. There are heaps of events here throughout the year and you can check them out on the park’s website.

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An outdoor cinema in Parc de la Villette I went to with some friends I made at my hostel. This is seasonal but there are plenty of other events throughout the year.

There you have it  – Paris on a shoestring!! If you liked this post then please like this post and give my blog a follow for more travel tips and stories!!

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