Europe Travel Guide: Amsterdam and Geneva

September 18, 2018

Swinging at the A'dam Lookout

Happy travel Tuesday, friends! I know my travel posts are LONG overdue but thanks for being patient while I got back into the grove of things. It's been almost 3 weeks since I've been back I think? haha and I can't stop reminiscing of the good days spent since Europe. I'm splitting my trip into 2 posts and including vlogs! I know, I just started vlogging and I'm loving it. I'll do a further in depth post as to why I've decided to do so but I'm excited to share with you all. Now let's get to the travel guide...

Top: Bershka, Shorts: Treasure & Bond, Sneakers: old


We arrived to Amsterdam first and after feeling super jetlagged we were determined to explore the city and walked SO MUCH. That's definitely expected in Europe but I think it's the best way to explore a new city. We stayed at Hotel Casa Amsterdam which was about 30 minutes out of center city but we much preferred it that way. There's so much commotion in the center city and everyone travels by bike, we almost got run over by bikes so many times and we liked being in a more of a residential area and being around lots of quaint restaurants.

Things to do:

Amsterdam was such a chill city, not the most friendly people. Nobody was outwardly friendly or courteous which was kinda weird being from the states. Either way we had a really great time and tried the following activities that I would totally recommend! Let me first start off with I'm pretty afraid of heights and this Europe trip definitely took me out of my comfort zone. I did not one but two things that most people afraid of heights would not do. Tom and I swung off of the A'dam lookout which I gotta say is so cool! It was part of a 3-part excursion experience, A'dam lookout swing, a canal cruise and the Heineken experience. The A'dam lookout is a large red swing that hangs over a building - I know sounds crazy and it is BUT you're strapped in and the swing just barely goes over the building but you feel as if you're going right over. They took pictures of us and even a video! I'll include it in my instastories!

The canal cruise from the A'dam lookout was a 45 minute ride through the canals and it was absolutely adorable! The architecture is so charming in Amsterdam and the residents keep such good care of their homes. At the end of the canal cruise we arrived at the Heineken Experience which was a full tour of the Heineken factory. I'm not a huge beer fan but it reminded me so much of Willy Wonka and Chocolate Factory. It was like an amusement park for adults! Lots of interactive exhibits and a few beers at the end of the tour!

Other things to do: Rijksmuseum and Biking

Heineken Experience


Where to eat: Pancake Bakery is an absolute must while visiting Amsterdam. I had no idea Amsterdam was known for their pancakes and waffles but I'm so happy we found out! I am a huge breakfast fan, I mean who am I kidding I'm a huge foodie but pancakes hold a special place in my heart. The Pancake Bakery is right on the canal and is the perfect breakfast spot. It is open until 9:30pm if you're looking for a sweet nighttime treat. Be prepared to eat pancakes larger than you're face but don't worry they only serve you one haha! There were unlimited toppings and they were so good! I'd recommend trying the plain one with bacon but my boyfriend had the nutella and banana pancake and said it was divine!

Other restaurants: Stek and De Vergulden Eenhoorn


Things to do:

We stayed at an Airbnb and it was fine. It wasn't my favorite Airbnb but it worked considering it had a washer/dryer and we were thrilled to do some laundry. It also was in a pretty great location, it was across the water from Old Town Geneva but it was only a 5 minute walk to the bridge. Old Town Geneva was adorable and it was nice to see more residential Geneva as we took the local bus up to Mont Saleve. Geneva borders France so it was literally a 15 minute bus ride to France, crazy! We were told that often French people work in Geneva because they can make up to 3x the salary in Geneva than they would in France but the cost of living in France is significantly less than in Switzerland. Note that things are expensive, very expensive. A hot dog was $8 and being from New York I'm used to getting one for maybe $2? So that was a bit of a shock but restaurant meals were reasonably priced and other activities we found to be so cheap! Our first night there we rented a small motor boat to take on the water for only $90! We spent 2 hours cruising with some rose as the sun set and it is one of the greatest memories I'll have from that trip. Tom took the lead and navigated us through Lake Geneva and it was just amazing. The four of us cruising on the water in our bathing suits awing at the huge mansions on the mountains and seeing the Alps in the distance - so beautiful. 

We also did the craziest thing I've ever done - paragliding! I'm not a fan of heights, and I initially opted out of this group activity but Tom being the outdoorsy, adrenaline junkie that he is convinced me to do it. He coordinated private paragliding sessions for all of us right at the border of Switzerland and France and we met with the nicest instructor who went up with each of us for about 15-20 as we soared above Lake Geneva. It was such an authentic experience! Our instructor, Cyril, met us at the bottom of the mountain and drove us up these winding roads to the very top of Mont Saleve where we were greeted with nothing but green mountainous views as far as the eyes could see. There was the cutest barn with a coffee shop and cows! 

Other things to do: Geneva Beach, Ferris Wheel, shopping, lots of luxury shopping!


I know this might be surprising since I'm from New York and we have some of the best Italian restaurants around but I had by far the best lasagna I've ever had in my life, ever in Geneva. There were nights where Tom and I would just have dinner by ourselves instead of the 4 of us and it was so special. Like I've written so many times before, date nights with Tom are my favorite and it was extra special that we made time for date nights while out traveling with our friends. We were both in the mood for Italian since we love Italian food so much and we checked on Yelp for some recommendations. We saw that Restaurant Il Fornello Napoletano had the best ratings and everyone raved about their lasagna. I love lasagna, I love all pasta but lasagna holds a special place in my heart. Once I saw that they raved about the lasagna I told Tom, we gotta try it! So off we went to a place about 10 minutes from our Airbnb, a really simple restaurant on the corner and we sat outside. The seafood lover that Tom is ordered Shrimp Scampi but everywhere we went throughout Europe didn't have your typical version of shrimp scampi. This restaurant's version was yet an even more unique version. His had fresh tomatoes, hugmongous prawns and a creamy almost marsala style sauce. Different but still yummy. I had the baked lasagna and you guys, it was a dream. It was rich, cheesy, so savory and served in a mini cast iron dutch oven. It was so good!

Other great restaurants: Auberge de Saviese - best fondue and Riverside Cafe - such cute vibe, delicious drinks and yummiest Cesar salad, right on the water.

Thanks so much for reading today's post!


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