AMSTERDAM TRAVEL GUIDE
Amsterdam is one of those truly unique cities. The canals. The bikes. All the heart-eye emojis! While across the pond visiting Scotland, my friend and I decided to stop over in AMS for 2 nights and nearly 3 full days. We ate, drank, and shopped our way across the city center and were so inspired by all the trendy/hipstery hotspots and the delectable food. We didn't really "do" much - we had both been before and were mostly keen on wandering vs. checking specific sights off a list.
WHERE TO STAY:
The Hoxton - We opted to stay at this hipster hotspot. The rooms are reasonably priced and the design and branding will satisfy the most discerning traveler. Little touches, like fold out maps, and branded blowdryer bags (yes, really!) made everything feel special. We didn't eat at the restaurant or try the bar (too many other amazing places around the city), but we took lots of pics. The location is prime for exploring the canals.
Hotel Pulitzer - We didn't stay here, but enjoyed visiting the restaurant, the bar, and taking lots of pics in of the Instagram-worthy gardens, patios, and interiors. I imagine this place is even more incredible in the summer!
WHERE TO EAT:
Foodhallen - not technically a restaurant, but rather a conglomerate of dozens and dozens of little food stands. There's something for everyone, and lots of communal tables to grab a seat and make new friends. I opted for Wine at Gin & Tonic, apps at De Ballenbar, and a Mexican main course from Fento.
Mook - Sweet or savory, breakfast, lunch, or dinner; this pancake spot (which is known for good pancakes mixed with American rap music) will rock your world.
Jansz - Amazing design and decor with food and cocktails to match! SO GOOD.
The Cold Pressed Juicery - If you need a detox from all the amazing meals and cocktails, head here for fresh juice and healthy shots.
Winkl 43 - This cozy spot is famous for it's apple pie. Worth a stop if you need a pick-me-up from a long afternoon of wandering the canals.
The Tea Room at The Dutchess - Lovely fancy pants spot in the W Hotel to have afternoon tea and desserts. Beautiful design and be sure to head up to the roof to check the views.
The Avocado Show - Much to my dismay, this avocado-centric restaurant wasn't yet open when we visited in March of 2016, but it's since opened and it's taking the internet and Instagram by storm.
Vuurtoreneiland - This is another spot that wasn't open when we visited, but next time I visit Amsterdam in the summer, this will be NUMBER 1 on my list. The idyllic setting on a protected island seems worth the visit, but I also hear the prix fixe menu is amazing. Oh, and the price includes the boat ride to the island.
If I wrote a description for all the places I want to eat in Amsterdam this post would be out-of-control long, so here are a few more I really wanna try soon!
Restaurant De Kas | Bar Bukowski | Hotel de Goudfazant | De Luwte | Bar Botanique & Café Tropanique | Restaurant Stork | Cafe De Ceuvel | Snckbr | Jacketz | Pluk | Waterkant | Ivo's Kitchen | Ree7 | G’s Brunch Boat | Noordmarkt (farmers' market and stands, Saturday only) | Upstairs Pannenkoeken
WHERE TO DRINK:
Tales and Spirits - My travel partner found this place on a "world's best cocktail bars" list, and took me along for a visit. It's small, with a cozy vibe, and the cocktail menu is extensive. Each cocktail has it's own tale, and while I found the menu quite long-winded, the server was happy to make recommendations.
Bar The Tailor - Right off the main square, this spot in a touristy hotel was lacking a bit in atmosphere (we were the only people in the large and lavish bar?!), but the unique cocktails were certainly interesting. My first cocktail involved edible perfume, which I was to mist unto my drink. Also, since we were the only people there, the bartender kept giving us free (and totally unique and crazy!) shots. Definitely a fun experience.
Pulitzer Bar - Located inside the Pulitzer Hotel, this upscale spot has great cocktails and multiple rooms/areas for a cozy atmosphere.
FUTURE DRINKS: Bar Oldenhof | The secret bar hidden in The Butcher (search the interwebz for more info!)
WHERE TO SHOP:
Fabienne Chapot - A colorful and whimsical boutique featuring clothing and accessories with unexpected prints and pops of color.
The Gathership - While you're at the Foodhallen, swing by this little shop for unique handmade trinkets and accessories handmade.
Nuvo Niche - Beautiful store with home goods and clothing. Admire their interior and the shop dog who was happy to roll over and accept belly rubs.
Mendo - A self-proclaimed candy store for book aficiandos, swing by this place to peruse the beautiful (and heavy) coffee tables books that will most definitely not fit in your carry-on. (But then order them online when you get home!)
Property Of - Upscale travel pieces. Even if you're already stocked up on travel gear, stop in for a little inspiration, free coffee, and super-cute complimentary city guides.
De Weldaad - This antique and vintage home goods boutique made me want to give up my minimalist ways. Lots of beautiful and unique items.
Hutspot - A cool concept boutique that allows artisans/designers to sell their goods in mini-stores within the store. Fun to browse and admire all the beautiful art, clothing, home goods and more.
Pluk - Not only can you eat here, but you can shop for stationery, small home goods, accessories, and more.
Wildernis - A plant lovers paradise. Worth of stop just to take in all the beauty, since you probably won't be able to purchase any living greens!