I warn you now, this is a lengthy post. I didn’t think I had taken that many photos in Amsterdam, but then I started looking through them and realised I wanted to share every single one of them. Call it a testament to such a wonderful city. I’ve got lots of places to share with you, including where to stay, museums to see, places to shop – the list goes on.
I mentioned in my previous post that Amsterdam, although known for it’s beautiful old town, canals and picturesque dutch buildings, it also has some very interesting architecture as well.
Nemo is a great example of this. The science centre located on the water front by the central station is a crazy building that looks a bit like a ship. We didn’t go in the centre itself, but you can walk up the steps to the terrace at the entrance of the building and it’s one of the only places to get a high up view to this ever-so flat city. Since we managed to catch such good weather, we sat and had an ice coffee on the terrace – a very pleasant way to start the day.
Right next to Nemo, just over the bridge is the central library. This is a pretty cool building and certainly not like any stuffy old libraries that you might have been too as a child. Have a wander around and make sure you stop by the restaurant on the top floor. This was probably one of the best lunches we had and they’ve got everything from a salad bar, to a freshly made pizza bar to smoothies.
We stayed in the Hotel V Fredrichsplein, that’s just on the edge of the De Pijp neighbourhood. It’s about a 15 minute walk from the very centre and is the ideal location for being central, but staying slightly out of the hustle and bustle that comes with any capital city.
I can’t recommend the hotel enough. The staff were lovely and so helpful, the breakfast was just what you need before a day of exploring and the lobby and bar are great for an early evening relaxing drink. Plus they do 2-4-1 cocktails between 5 – 6pm. If there’s something I love more than cocktails then it’s buy one get one free cocktails!
There are plenty of things to do in Amsterdam apart from endless wandering of the beautiful canals. The museum square has plenty to keep you occupied for more than a morning. We chose the Rijksmuseum as our choice, which has a whole mixture of collections including a bit of Van Gogh and the dreamiest of libraries.
From there you can head to Vondlepark, which is lovely for a stroll around in the sunshine. Bloemenmarkt, the famous floating flower market, is well worth a little wander round, particularly in tulip season.
You can’t visit Amsterdam without trying a piece of Danish Apple cake, which we enjoyed it as a little afternoon pick-me-up on the first day. It has an almost sponge-like pastry base that is amazing – I have to find a recipe and recreate it at home.
A canal boat trip is quite a touristy thing to do, but I have to say it was a highlight for me. Cruising along the water in the sunshine, hopping off when something caught our eye and we wanted to go exploring. There are only two companies that run the boat tours in the city, and they are both priced pretty much the same. So take your pick, catch a boat and enjoy the waters of Amsterdam.
There are some great places to shop in Amsterdam, and although the exchange rate is not that great at the moment there’s still a lot of window shopping that can be done. A few highlights were Things I Like, Things I Love, and the Concrete Mans Supply Store next door. Anna + Nina is a very popular jewellery store in the city, full of beautiful things. A wander around the Jordaan neighbourhood will take you past loads of interesting independent shops, including some great vintage choices.
For places to eat I always recommend getting out of the very centre and about ten minutes walk south of the centre will take you to Utrechtsestraat, a road full of independent shops, bars and restaurants. Bar Moustache is a great little Italian place that was a big hit from the whole trip. Pata Negra, just opposite is a tapas place that was busy every single night and Meat and Greek looked like a fab take away option. For more food options I highly recommend Carrie’s Amsterdam city guide – full of lots of amazing recommendations.
Visiting Amsterdam was an absolute delight and I can’t wait to visit again in the future. Although it’s a small city there’s plenty to fill your time. And of course there’s always the option of taking a day trip to the coast or to The Hague. There’s always more to see.