24 hours in amsterdam

Think European mini-breaks are only for the child-free? What if you could squeeze everything you want: sightseeing, shopping, sex – into 24 hours? Take Amsterdam where we went last month. By the time the kids were having breakfast at home with their grandparents, we were checking into our cool, canalside hotel The Hoxton.



The Hoxton Amsterdam perfectly situated on the Herengracht canal
The Hoxton Amsterdam on the Herengracht canal


A whole 24 child-free hours in Amsterdam - where do we begin?!
A whole 24 child-free hours in Amsterdam!

Our 24 hour trip made us realise we should do it more often – the micro-break, not the sex! (Although…) Here’s how we explored this stylish Scandi city in one day:


am-lunch-pm in amsterdam

Cycling is the best way to see the city, but we’re lazy – plus it was raining. Instead, we bought a nutella latte to go (yum!) and stumbled across Van Stapele a cute, cosy artisan cookie shop the serve the best cookies I’ve ever tasted. Find out more about it here.

City break without kids = a museum visit without moaning!
The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Then we wandered along the picturesque canals to the floating flower market before a mid-morning a culture fix at Stedelkjik, Amsterdam’s Museum of Modern Art.

Trying (and failing) to steal Ashling's fashion blogger crown by standing in front of a cool wall at the museum and gazing thoughtfully into the distance.
Trying (and failing) to steal Ashling’s fashion blogger crown.

12 noon
We lunched at PressRoom at the INK hotel – a 1950s restaurant housed on the site of an original old newsroom and that serves fresh, simple food.

For Chic 50s style dining in an original newsroom, check out Press Room at INK hotel Amsterdam.
PressRoom – chic ’50s style dining in an original newsroom.

Early start + big lunch = tired, so we headed back to the hotel (if you’ve only got 24 parenting-free hours you’ve got to spend some of it snoozing, right?).

Cruisin' for a snoozin' in 'Tubby' - one of The Hoxton's handful of chic and comfy concept rooms
‘Tubby’ – one of The Hoxton’s handful of chic and comfy concept rooms

Post-nap it was time for some shopping. The Negen Straatjes – “nine streets” – is a charming shopping district bursting with boutiques and bookshops. Amsterdam’s cool concept stores like Circle of Trust are a must-visit too. I also had to visit the Zoe Karssen store to keep Ashling happy (it’s one of her favourite labels!)

Amsterdam concept stores: where the mirrors read your mind
Amsterdam concept stores: where the mirrors actually read your mind.


A post-shop coffee and cake stop (and more thoughtful gazing) at Ree7, located in the '9 streets' shopping district
A post-shop coffee and cake stop at Ree7 n the ‘9 streets’ shopping district.

We dined in the Lottie’s, The Hoxton’s restaurant owned by Soho House. The  food didn’t disappoint – my heritage tomato starter was absolutely delicious and for late night drinks we swung by cosy cocktail bar Tales and Spirits. I had the Mary Poppins (made from gin, rhubarb cordial, fresh lemon juice, egg white and peychaud’s bitters) which came with a lollipop – delicious! Then it was back to the hotel for some… sleep!


The Hox-tea
The Hox-tea
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