I finally got around to writing our Amsterdam travel guide, only a couple weeks behind schedule :) If Berlin felt like a city bursting with culture and life, Amsterdam was like walking into a storybook. The cobblestone streets, canals and bustling bikers all add to the city's charming nature. I was particularly excited about our visit because of the ties it holds to my heritage. I loved visiting the country that my grandparents came from, learning more about their culture and homeland brought back many wonderful memories of times spent with them while they were still living. I couldn't be more thankful for the opportunity to explore more of my heritage and this beautiful city!
FOOD & DRINK:
Image via amsterdamnow.com
De Kas: Set in the midst of a park a bit further out (inhabiting the greenhouses from the former Amsterdam Municipal Nursery), this beautiful restaurant serves up fresh and seasonal dishes featuring the produce grown in their nursery. The menu is Mediterranean inspired with bright favors, the perfect match to the modern and open decor.
Foodhallen: At odds with what to eat for lunch? Then Foodhallen is your place, think of it as a miniature Chelsea Market. With stands featuring cuisine from Vietnamese street food to Spanish tapas, this indoor market has you covered in the food and drink department.
Gartine: This cozy, little cafe was on my must-go list for breakfast - I had read that it was somewhat of an institution when it comes to breakfast and pastries. Unfortunately, I didn't look close enough to see that it was closed Mondays and Tuesday....ooops! Definitely will be giving it a try on our next visit.
Happyhappyjoyjoy: For our first night in the city, we had a made a reservation at this cheerful asian street food inspired restaurant. After roughly 12 hrs of travel (and no sleep on my end), this place hit the spot. The decor is bright and fun, with every item we ordered being the perfect medley of sweet, sour and bold flavor. Don't miss the crispy chicken baos, they are amazing!
Image via Hiding in Plain Sight
Hiding in Plain Sight: Set on a corner (and a bit off the beaten track) in Centrum, this award winning cocktail bar is a true gem. The atmosphere is cozy - you'll feel as if you're being transported back to the 20s - and marries seamlessly with the delicious mixed drinks.
Juuls: Idyllic and quaint, the dining experience at Juuls is a fresh take on the traditional pre fixe menu. The menu changes monthly so the plates are seasonally fresh and innovative. The service was amazing, with the team offering personal suggestions, customizing plates, and creating drinks that complemented each dish perfectly.
Image via Lotti's
Lotti's: The Hoxton's in-house restaurant and bar, Lotti's in basically open round the clock (think breakfast, lunch, dinner, repeat). The relaxed, hip vibe of the hotel continues through the restaurant with design cues reminiscent of your local Soho House. If you can't make it for dinner, be sure to swing by for drink at the bar as they serve up a great cocktail.
Venus & Adonis: This charming Jordaan bar & grill is a great stop for lunch or an afternoon drink. The decor is equal parts chic and eclectic, I especially loved the teal velvet upholstery used throughout. A great place to take in the quintessential Amsterdam scenery with the perfect view of the canals.
Pancakes!: Traditional Dutch pancakes, you can even customize by picking your toppings. Be sure to check out one of their two locations for breakfast.
Cottoncake: This store meets cafe is perfect for enjoying a latte (and dark chocolate almond cake) while perusing their curated selection of womenswear finds. They seek to highlight new, local brands as well - all fitting with their modern, edgy aesthetic.
Denham the Jeanmaker: Founded in Amsterdam by the respected jeanmaker Jason Denham, there are multiple shops across the city catering to both mens' and womens' denim. Known for their expert tailoring, they feature a wide array of fits in various washes. I was particularly fond of their Girlfriend Tapered style.
Likestationery: Set amidst the charming streets in Joordan, this quaint shop carries a beautiful selection of paper goods and utensils perfect for showcasing on your desk. I loved this adorable watermelon notepad.
Image via Petra + Kaarten blog
Maison Rika & Rika Boutique: With two outposts shops (one featuring the cult clothing line and other centered on home decor) on the trendy, Nine Small Streets of Amsterdam - these stores are a must see. Full of unique finds, the tiny boutique is stocked with everything from playful sweatshirts to the infamous Rika star bags. Again, not in my price range but certainly fun to look. And if you're looking for a unique alternative to a hotel, you can book one of the chic guesthouse rooms above the home store.
Nuvo Niche: Showcasing beautiful paper, gifts and fashions this store is located on the canal ring in picturesque Prinsengracht. Be sure to check out their in-house label, we left with one of their cozy sweaters for Marco (you can see him wearing it in our last post) and some watercolor cards to add to my collection.
Six & Sons: On the western side of the city center, this storefront is located the lively Haarlemmedijk street. Heralded as a concept store, they feature a wide variety of items (especially for men) from vintage finds, furniture, gifts and clothing. Their sunglasses, books, and bags selections are all on point.
Anne Frank House: Visiting the Anne Frank house and museum (where she and 7 other people hid for over 2 years during WWII), made her diary so vivid. The tour is incredibly moving, featuring interview clips of her father and close friends, handwritten letters and important documents throughout the space. As you walk through the secret annex you are overcome by the reality of her situation - how the 8 people struggled to keep quiet hiding in such a dark, small space and how only one of them survived after the war.
Rjiksmuseum: Showcasing the work of the Dutch masters Vermeer and Rembrandt, no trip to Amsterdam is complete without a visit here. The building itself is stunning, housing 8,000 historical and artistic objects. I loved seeing the beautiful, arranged still lives I studied back in college - come to life with expert detail.
Van Gogh Museum: A stone's throw away from the Rjiksmuseum, we packed a full day and didn't have the chance to go. Will definitely be visiting in the future!
Vondelpark: Perfect for strolling or testing your luck on a city bike, the Netherland's most famous park is situated in the center of the city. Full of beautiful gardens, monuments and waterways - it makes for the quintessential spot to enjoy an afternoon picnic and some Dutch cheese.
Looking for additional pictures and an inside look into some of our favorite spots? Be sure to check out our instagram here!
P.S. We scouted these awesome lightboxes while shopping in the city, so naturally we decided to carry them in the shop!