These are my top tips for Amsterdam. It’s been my favourite city to stay in so far; mainly due to the wonderfully warm and welcoming locals, but also it’s laid back but driven atmosphere. Both of which do wonders to lift the spirits, even on the most grey of days.
Stay : Morgan and Mees for a luxurious short break stay in a beautiful boutique hotel, it’s also got a wonderful restaurant and a delicious cocktail bar. If you’re staying for longer then the city has a wonderful selection of Airbnb properties.
Breakfast : Coffee and Coconuts – This crazy coffee shop occupying the enormous space of an old cinema do some of the best coffees and some delicious breakfasts (egg and avocado on toast topped with olive tapenade anyone?).
There’s also Omelegg, for those among you that love omelettes then this is the place for breakfast (or lunch, or brunch!) – a wildly wide selection, all of which are delicious.
Lunch : You’re going to get pretty full exploring the delicious food stalls of Food Hallen so it might be best to find a friend and make them share plates with you.
Dinner : Eat dinner at the Hotel Goudfazant, an amazing space, lovely staff and seasonal food to die for – it is however a total nightmare to find so take good directions!
Drink : Tales & Spirits for a little story with your drink in this cosy cocktail bar.
Shop : If you’re lucky enough to be in Amsterdam for one of the monthly flea markets in the Noord’s IJ-Hallen then it’s a must, with a wide selection of vintage clothing and bric-à-brac for all kinds of tastes.
Work : The lovely TOKI just off Haarlemmerdijk for delicious coffee and good wifi!
Learn : There’s an enormous choice of museums for such a small city, like Anne-Frank Haus, The Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum but my favourite was The Stedelijk Museum which is devoted to modern and contemporary art and design and really shows how popular culture, politics and craft inspire and inform one another.
Amsterdam also hosts the amazing MuseumNacht each November with a host of intriguing events going on through the night at the city’s different institutions, great fun if you’re there at that time.
Play : The Tonton Club in the centre is a bit of an Amsterdam institution for old school arcade games and a good selection of beers. Alternatively their larger TonTon Club Westergasfabriek just a bit out of town for even more vintage video games food and delicious cocktail milkshakes.
Travel : You’ve heard it a thousand times the bicycle is king in Amsterdam – If you’re there for a few days, rent a bike. If you’re there for a month or more, buy a bike (with a decent lock and a basket!) cycling is seriously the easiest way of getting around this wonderful city. If you’re not sure about your cycling skills there’s plenty of space to practice in one of the city’s parks.
And my final tips:
Wander – the narrow streets around the canals are great for walking and exploring.
Take the bike / foot ferry across the river – for a different perspective.
Talk to strangers – so many people speak English and are happy to practice it with you, you’ll get a different view of the city.