Hey, it's Megan! Take a look inside my recent trip to Amsterdam, Zermatt, Milan and London!
Last week I traveled through Europe with three of my oldest friends. The trip came together rather serendipitously, with each person signing on at a different time. We made the itinerary based on places we all wanted to see and honestly kind of winged it (I winged it, and thankfully other people had a clue/itinerary)! We narrowed it down to three must-visit places: Amsterdam, Zermatt and London. We began in Amsterdam, a city I've been dying to see that certainly did not disappoint. Then we headed to Zermatt by way of Milan and finished up the trip in London.
We documented the entire trip in my chic Smythson "Whatever" notebook, which SCOUT gifted me on my 25th birthday (thanks, guys!). The entries from each of the four girls are hilarious - complete with insights, illustrations and anecdotes from the trip. This has now gone from standard pocket notebook to prized possession.
Amsterdam certainly has no shortage of fantastic architecture. I loved walking the streets alongside canals and looking up at the homes and businesses. They have done a beautiful job of modernizing the city while still embracing the old architecture.
On the agenda: Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank House – all of which I highly recommend. The Anne Frank House is definitely worth your time. Take a short, yet powerful walk through the annex, which is where she and her family hid in during WWII. Buy tickets beforehand to avoid lines.
We were #blessed with gorgeous, unseasonably warm weather during our stay so we were outside a lot. In lieu of taking a canal tour from bigger companies, we took Ubers around the canal. Our captains were locals with amazing insights and recommendations and this helped us feel an instant connection to the town. It actually ended up being cheaper, more convenient and more fun than if we were taking a normal, standardized tour.
Indonesia was once a Dutch colony, so Amsterdam is filled with scrumptious Indonesian cuisine. We ate at a fantastic spot, Kantjil & de Tijger, for dinner and the food was incredible! If you're with a group, get the rijsttafel to share. I would not describe myself as an adventurous eater, and I absolutely loved this.
Kantjil & de Tijger, Spuistraat 291
One of our Uber “captains” pointed us to Waterkant, a vibrant, hip waterfront hangout.
Waterkant, Marnixstraat 246
Other to-dos: go to the flower market, drink Heineken and eat bitterballen!
My friend Caroline's dad spent time here when he was our age, so we found ourselves in the Swiss ski town… where the slopes are open 365 days a year. It was off season but, after being in Amsterdam, the mountain calm was a welcome reprieve. I would go back again - for the train ride alone! There are no cars in Zermatt; it can only be accessed by train. Swiss trains are clean, prompt and could not have been more pleasant. As you travel from lush greenery to a wintry mountainscape, the views from the train are beautiful.
Take the train from the Zermatt station to the highest accessible point in Gornergrat. The views of the Matterhorn are unbelievable - we have the selfies to prove it. Kind of pricey, but absolutely worth it. There is a gift shop, a restaurant and a hotel at the top in Gornergrat.
The moment we set our bags down, Caroline googled the best traditional Swiss food in Zermatt and we found ourselves at the oldest restaurant in Zermatt, founded in 1600: Cafe Du Pont. It was as charming as I could have imagined. We sat at a small bistro table in the shadow of the Matterhorn, nestled at the end of Zermatt's main strip, and ate fondue. The elderly restaurant owner, who only spoke German, taught us how to properly eat fondue. It was pure magic.
Cafe Du Pont, Oberdorfstrasse 7 (I can't believe they have a website)
We made a quick stop in Milan, where we caught a plane to London. One of Deb's insightful recommendations came in handy – we had dinner at Bagutta. If you missed Bagutta mentioned in one of Deb's European blog posts - take note - we absolutely loved it here. Unassuming from the main road, Bagutta is tucked away on a side street off the beaten path. Once inside you are greeted by wall-to-wall murals, paintings and drawings produced by artists as payment for their food. The place is truly phenomenal, the service exemplary and the food exquisite. We all agreed on our love for Bagutta and it definitely "made" our night in Milan.
Bagutta, Via Bagutta, 14
I've told everyone: you need about three weeks in London to even scratch the surface… but we did our very best! We found ourselves there over the weekend and skipped the major tourist attractions. Instead we headed to a couple places where we could see it all. We stayed at an Airbnb in Earl's Court, right next to the tube and in good proximity to all of the places we wanted to visit. Airbnb made the trip - I highly recommend going this route for finding trusted places to stay in an unfamiliar town.
For tea, we went to the Ham Yard Hotel in SoHo. It's part of the Firmdale Hotel group, along with Deb's favorite place to stay, Number Sixteen. The decor is amazing: vibrant, unique and impeccably done. Whether you're grabbing a drink in their bar or having tea, Ham Yard is a must see.
Ham Yard Hotel, 1 Ham Yard
Eat Here/Go For a Drink:
Sushisamba, Duck & Waffle are fun restaurants located in Heron Tower, one of the few skyscrapers in London. The scenery is amazing. You see all of London from their 360-degree views. People are dressed up and both spots were abuzz. Duck & Waffle is open 24/7 and we heard the sunrise is incredible.
For a more laid back London, we went to The Brown Cow (yes, that’s the second Brown Cow on the list). Located in Fulham, it has a subdued vibe and is perfect for dinner and drinks. Prince Harry is a frequenter.
Sushisamba, Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate | Duck & Waffle, Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate
The Brown Cow Public House, 676 Fulham Rd
Like reading about our travels? Check out our travel log for a download on recent trips!