AMSTERDAM city guide (from a tourist!)

Few months ago I went on vacation to Amsterdam. Even though I had visited Amsterdam before (only for 6 hours, but I got to experience the feeling of the city), this time was different. I asked a Dutch colleague of mine for some special recommendations. I specifically requested her best advice, the places she loves to visit when she goes back there, only the best of the best, and she gave me a paper with the names of 10 places. I tried my best to test her list, but I was only there for 48 hours and sometimes I had to give in to my instincts. Sometimes I just had to eat in that place where the food smelled soooo nice or a fruit salad at the park. In the end, isn’t this how you end up enjoying the city you visit the most? At least, that’s how I feel. So today, I will tell you about how I spent my time in Amsterdam, what I ate and what I saw. Maybe my photos will inspire you to visit Amsterdam too, if you haven’t been there already. Or if you’ve been there before, maybe you will want to tell me more about the places you visited. Without further ado.

 

EAT, DRINK

Koffiehuis De Hoek

Prinsengracht 341, Amsterdam

breakfast

De Hoek is the best way to start a day in Amsterdam.  Go there for breakfast and order an omelet or a pancake with ham with a fruit smoothie. You will see them making it in front of your eyes, while you enjoy the old charming decor. You can also try the homemade apple pie. Rumors say it’s delicious.

amsterdam restaurants

amsterdam restaurants

amsterdam restaurants

 

De Drie Graefjes – The American Bakery

Eggertstraat 1, Amsterdam

lunch

The American Bakery is placed in the center of the city. You can sit on the second floor among many dutch people and eat a salad, a sandwich or a brownie with some high tea. Unfortunately, you have to order your tea the day before, as they only prepare it on request. This was the reason why I accompanied my soup with a latte instead. Really good coffee.

amsterdam restaurants

amsterdam restaurants

amsterdam restaurants

amsterdam restaurants

amsterdam restaurants

amsterdam restaurants

 

Singel 404

Singel 404, Amsterdam

lunch

Singel 404 is a very cozy place to eat your lunch. Very close to the shopping area, you can go there after a tiring morning of clothes shopping. It’s only for lunch as it closes around 4 in the afternoon. Apparently lunch, in many European countries (not in Greece), means sandwich or soup, because these were the only things in the menu. On the upside they had quite a selection to choose from. Soup of the day was broccoli soup with cheese and of course I had to try it just to see if it tastes like my broccoli soup. Hint: it does! It’s good!

amsterdam restaurants

 

SkyLounge at DoubleTree by Hilton

Oosterdoksstraat 4, Amsterdam

drink

The nights in Amsterdam are so beautiful, with all these bridges lighting up. As soon as the sun goes down walk around the center of the city and end up at Double Tree. As a rule, hotel bars have often the best views and Double Tree is no exception. Go the Sky Lounge for some nice (but expensive cocktails) and amazing views over the city by night.

amsterdam restaurants

 

SEE, WALK, SHOP

Vondelpark

walk

Every time I visit a European city I like to visit the streets with the haute couture boutiques, the really expensive clothes that I could buy if I had some money laying around. I don’t go there for buying, but I think that visiting this area can give a great idea about how wealthy the city is (or the people that live in it). Sometimes you can see girls wearing really expensive dresses and shoes and bags. Then again you might also want to visit more hip places in the city. In these kind of places, you can find people dressed very fashion forward. If you’re not interested in fashion, right in between these areas there is a park. A romantic park. Spend some time walking around slowly, then find a nice place to sit down and eat a yogurt, some fruits and some bread. You can buy that at every supermarket and it makes a nice breakfast or lunch.

amsterdam restaurants

 

Jordaan District

walk, shop

In this area you can find many art galleries and novelty shops. Look from the windows, buy if you like it, or don’t. I read somewhere that here you can find the designers who are going to be the next big thing. Come after noon, since most of the shops open at 11 or 12.

amsterdam restaurants

 

Museum District

see, shop

If you’re a fan of art you should visit the Museum District. Go to Rijksmuseum, if you want to see Rembrandt’s Nightwatch, Van Gogh Museum for some sunflowers and Stedelijk Museum for some modern art. If you’re not into art, you can still go to their shops, buy a memento and pretend you saw the collections. No kidding though, the museum shops are very well designed, especially the one of Stedelijk museum. I could buy every single piece of letterpress.

amsterdam restaurants

 

Westermarkt

walk, see

This is an area with canals and beautiful old houses that are slightly tilted to a smaller or bigger angle. It’s a shock to see them one after the other. It makes me so curious how they’re still standing. Apart from the old houses, there are also many restaurants and nice bars there in case you feel a sudden craving after all that wondering. I did. There are also many markets in the area and the house of Anna Frank, if you want to see where that famous diary was written. Hint: There is always a huge line outside.

amsterdam restaurants

amsterdam restaurants

 

9 straatjes

shop

9 straatjes is a very famous place to shop in Amsterdam. Shops have cool and (sometimes) more affordable clothes. Rest assured that if I wasn’t traveling only with a carry-on bag, I would have bought several items, including one of the most beautiful dresses I have ever seen. Even if you don’t plan to buy something, go there to see streets full of people and bikes.

amsterdam restaurants

amsterdam restaurants

amsterdam restaurants

So, what do you think? Is it worth a visit? I definitely want to back one day, during spring, rent a bike and stay on a boat.

ps. If you want to go on a small vacation somewhere, don’t let packing intimidate you. I have advice for every occasion: clothes, shoes and make up. Also, a very helpful packing tip!

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1 Comment

  1. I really want to go to Amsterdam, Ive been there before but just as a drive by to another country 🙁

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