Amsterdam is like the woman that every man wants to have: unpretentious and beautiful. Dreamy bridges, quiet canals, splendid buildings, a thousand bikes, even more tulips. One district more picturesque than the next. Follow us into the metropole on the Amstel and get know them all.
The range of restaurants, boutiques and museums in Amsterdam is quite overwhelming, all the more astonishing when you consider that everything is within walking distance. There is hardly another city that is contained in such a small area and nevertheless remains so cosmopolitan – and exciting.
The 5-star hotel Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht ranks as one of the best hotels in the Netherlands. From here you can easily reach all important sights. If you like, you can borrow one of the visitor’s bikes and celebrate the Amsterdam lifestyle. Sir Adam stands alone as a colourful boutique hotel, kept in industrial-chic design. The contact point for music lovers. A music library entices you to brose the vintage vinyl. The in-house, highly popular highlight is The Butcher. A restaurant that elevates bon vivant to a heavenly standard with burgers and booze. The Maison Rika from the Swedish fashion designer Ulrika Lundgren is a small, classy hotel. „A home away from home“ is the motto and as such Maison Rika offers only two bedrooms. A bonus for followers of fashion: directly opposite Maison Rika there is a Rika boutique with rocking pieces from the classic label.
EAT & DRINK:
In former times sailors used to drink one too many here, now guests are greeted by a purring cat. The Louis Coffee-Bar is famous for its delicious sandwiches and local beers. The Restaurant 5&33 celebrates the art of eating as a social hobby with Sharing Plates, you order what makes you hungry and then share. The menu contains mostly Mediterranean delicacies with an Italian twist. Sitting cosily under the trees or inside in urban-kept style, in De Plantage you can eat all day. The breakfast menu concentrates on the basics, at lunchtime there are numerous variations of sandwiches, with appetising snacks in between and in the evening the dinner menu presents, for example, roast duck on piquillo risotto. Wining and dining in sophisticated style: Morgan & Mees is considered Amsterdam‘s new Hot Spot and wins you over with a straightforward menu and simple dishes. If eating can be considered a sin, walk this way: to the Mr Porter Steakhouse from the Entourage Group. It offers only the best cuts and the best quality of meat, a highly popular choice is Chateaubriand with Fois Gras. Bonus: The dishes can be relished with a view over the rooves of Amsterdam.
If you cannot find it in Amsterdam, then it does not exist. The shops are centred at the Dreieck-Damm, Muntplein and Leidseplein. The Haarlemmerstraat and the Negen Straatjes, a collection of nine small lanes and streets with lots of great shops between Raadhuisstraat and Leidsestraat, are also ideal for strolling and shopping. Anouk Beerents is the specialist for antique mirrors from the 18th and 19th century. She has over 300 pieces in her workshop. You have to arrange an appointment if you want to visit, but the service is well worth it.
The Amsterdam fashion brand Laundry Industry has its own store with modern, ready-to-wear collections for men and women – and every now and then bold accessories.
The fashion in the I Love Vintage boutique is less modern, but no less interesting. You can find your favourite pieces from the past few decades at affordable prices. Puccini Bomboni, where chocoholics dreams come true. The owner’s principle: every bite of chocolate should be a blissful experience. Van Stapele Koekmakerij Cookie-Shop also creates little treats for the palate. Nibble at the cookies to the sound of piano playing.
Do not miss: a canal cruise to explore Amsterdam from the water (stromma.nl) and visit one of the flower markets. Or venture a trip to the magnificent Keukenhof with its 800 types of tulip (keukenhof.nl). If Keukenhof is too far away for you, you can visit the Vondelpark in the middle of Amsterdam, an equally idyllic spot of land made famous by the Dutch dramatist Joost van den Vondel.
LEARN & MARVEL:
The Van Gogh Museum at Museumplein hosts the largest collection of Vincent Van Gogh’s works. The Rijksmuseum, which houses important paintings from the golden era in the Netherlands, is also on the Museumplein and is well worth a visit. Also worthwhile: a trip to the Rembrandthuis, which displays etchings from the artist and a reconstruction of his former household furnishings.