Amsterdam Travel Guide
Amsterdam is known for it's naughty pleasures, but there is so much more to this wonderful city. It's small, beautiful with amazing design everywhere. Excellent food and drink, not to forget.
Michele headed there recently, and here are her favourite places to visit.
We stayed in the VolksHotel, which is a new design hotel just outside the city centre. It's an old Newspaper building which has been revamped. The stylish lobby is where the hip crowd come to work and play. There's a great restaurant on the 7th floor and on the roof you'll find hot tubs and a sauna with a view over the city.
We really enjoyed the hotel. There was live music, a good bar and you can rent bicycles directly from the hotel (not the bright coloured tourist ones you get from other places).
EAT & DRINK
Amsterdam is a foodie heaven. There is everything you can wish for and more.
Coffee and Coconuts
Amazing space, a definite must-visit. This used to be a theatre building, transformed into a cafe. They do delicious, healthy foods. Good coffee and you can order a whole coconut! Make sure to go upstairs to get the full experience.
A friend took us here. It's fairly hidden, so definitely off the tourist track. The venue has a complete bohemian vibe. A great place to hang out on a summer day, as it's on the water's edge.
This is an old industrial/ warehousing area that has been transformed into a cultural destination. There are a bunch of food and drink places. There's always some festival or event happening. Plenty of live music and generally a good vibe.
There's a restaurant called Mossel en Gin, which specialises in just those two things, Mussels and Gin. Sounds amazing right? We ran out of time but definitely heading there next time.
Best soup ever. You think you know good soup - these guys take it to new heights. We grabbed one to go when we had to catch a train.
Traditional Dutch Delights
The Dutch have an interesting food taste. Make sure to try 'Bitterballen', which are fried balls containing a meat ragu - have them with your afternoon drink on a terrace.
Pancakes (Pannekoeken) are a full meal in Holland and not just breakfast. Poffertjes are mini pancakes - very indulgent and delicious. There is a pancake restaurant - called Pancakes Amsterdam in the 9 Straatjes. We've heard good things.
Amsterdam has all the big chain stores, as any city does. So we avoided the high street and headed to the more quirky areas for a bit of retail therapy. (as much as one can do with a husband in tow).
Heaven. These ' 9 streets' are lined with independent boutiques and eateries. If you go anywhere in Amsterdam, make it here. The streets are beautifully set around the canals - take it slow, grab a drink and do some people watching here.
Another great street to wander along - with the most gorgeous shops.
Store without a home - all pink walls and sweet homewares.
Make sure you have extra suitcase space - there's so much goodness to bring home.
Suhka - a stunning space, their collection is focussed on sustainable products, handcrafted and unique pieces. The monochrome merchandising is stunning.
I made a beeline for Anna & Nina, who's jewellery we sell at Roo's Beach . They are a concept store with their own brand as well as others. The store is beautifully done - and tempted me into some retail therapy (all gifts of course!).
We had dinner in this area one eve too - lots of hustle and bustle and plenty of restaurants. Absolutely love how the Amsterdammers sit outside all year round.
The iconic national museum was under construction for about a decade and has not long reopened. The building itself is worth a visit. Its focus is on art and history - with Rembrandt being a key attraction.
Foam Photography Museum
I loved this photography museum. They circulate collections regularly. It feels intimate. We spent about 2 hours here.
There's so much more...
This was just a weekend trip to Amsterdam, there is so much more to see! Head along the Utrechtse Straat for more boutiques. Do visit the Docklands, the northern area of Amsterdam where warehouses have been converted into the most amazing restaurants, cafes and shops.
Rent a bike! It's the best way to get around. The Amsterdam street layout is really easy. Study the map and get a good feel for it. We avoided the busy roads as much as possible and took shortcuts in general directions - we always made it without getting terribly lost.