Local ladies Elke and Sarah share their favourite spots to eat, sleep and play in Amsterdam.
“Like most people who live in Amsterdam, we are imported (Elke is from Utrecht and Sarah comes from the South of the Netherlands, Breda). As we are both travellers, we needed to live in a city that is vibrant and (like us) always on the move and full of culture. After living in Amsterdam for more than 7 years, we know our hometown pretty well.
When people visit Amsterdam they always seem to visit the places that are advertised at tourist offices. Yes, the Anne Frank house is a piece of history you should have a look at but do you really want to stand in line for hours? Try Amsterdam the local way! Here are a few of our favourite places to visit in the capital of The Netherlands.”
There are so many places to eat in Amsterdam, it’s unreal! You will find a variety of cuisine from Asian, Mediterranean, international or fine dining to vegan, vegetarian and healthy juice bars. Here are some food spots we love:
1. Bakers & Roasters: The ultimate brunch spot. Amazing poached eggs, pancakes and coffees. It’s very international as the concept comes from New Zeeland. You can’t book a table so be there before 12 to avoid disappointment.
2. Mook Pancakes: This place is a treat for pancake lovers! It just opened a few month ago so it’s fresh from the press.
3. Panache: Go here for dinner and cocktails. It has a sexy interior with tunes and you can chat here for hours.
4. Cotton & Cake: This is one of our favourite lunch-rooms of all time. Besides their homemade, organic lunch, they also sell clothes, jewellery and skincare.
5. Coffee & Coconuts: They serve fresh coconuts and coffee, but also lunch and dinner. Enjoy the amazing interior in a building that used to be a cinema.
6. Pllek: This may seem a bit weird, but on the other side of the water (near central station) there is a whole other world called “North”. New places are popping up by the month and Pllek is one of our favourite spots to chill and eat. Take the free ferry across to the NDSM Werf and you’re there in about 10 minutes. Put your toes in the sand, listen to music and enjoy a campfire in the evening.
Put your toes in the sand, listen to music and enjoy a campfire in the evening.
7: YAY Healthstore: Everything at the YAY Healthstore is vegan and good for your body. Enjoy vegan sushi rolls, pumpkin quiche and fresh smoothies. They also have a large shop where you can buy clothes, books, vegan skincare and you can book yoga classes.
8. Vinnies Deli: We have been a fan of Vinnies Deli since the beginning. They now have two lunchrooms and things are going great for these guys! You will find healthy fresh food here plus it’s in the middle of Amsterdam. Win Win situation!
9. Lavinia Goodfood: Good food for sure! Another healthy hotspot that we love. It’s tucked away in a side street but all the locals know where to find it. And pssst, they have amazing homemade cakes!
If you want to experience Amsterdam our way, you need to get out of the city centre. Amsterdam has a lot of parks, but most tourists only seem to find the Vondelpark (which is very nice, but not the only one!)
1. Amstel Park: This park is in Amsterdam East and not the easiest place to get to, but once you’re there you’ll understand why we’ve sent you there. It’s big and full of fun things to do. Play miniature golf, get lost in a maze or walk though the rose garden. On most Sundays you will find organic markets so always check the internet for the agenda.
2. Blijburg aan Zee: This is where you will find the local beach of Amsterdam. It’s packed during summer, but still spacious enough to lay in the sand and get a good tan. Blijburg also offers a lot of events and beach meditation or yoga.
3. Albert Cuyp Market: One of Amsterdam’s oldest and most famous markets. You will find a lot of locals here. You can find vegetables, fish, clothes and more. It’s situated in The ‘Pijp’ which is one of the nicest areas in Amsterdam for food, drinks and walking around.
There are a few stores and shopping streets in Amsterdam that cannot be missed. Avoid the usual high street and check out these!
1. Hutspot: This amazing concept store has 2 locations. One in West and one in the Pijp, both joyful areas. Besides clothes you will find the newest trendy house accessories, plants, jewellery and furniture here. You can even buy a tipi!
2. The 9 Streets (de 9 straatjes): These are 9 streets parallel to each other. Each street has its own name and you will find a variety of shops, food and hairdressers here.
3. Wildernis: If you love plants, you’re going to love this store. Drink a cup of coffee while you’re surrounded by an oasis of green. You can find this amazing store at Bilderdijkstraat 165F in Amsterdam West.
4. Haarlemmerstraat: This is one of our favourite streets for shopping. You won’t find the big brands here but the smaller boutiques or the vintage stores. Take enough time to explore here and stop for lunch at Vinnies Deli!
So whenever you’re in town, try to check these “local” spots and enjoy Amsterdam a different way!