If you haven’t been on a city break to Amsterdam before, I would highly recommend it. It might not be as flashy as Paris or London, but the capital of the Netherlands has a surprising amount of things to offer a visitor. The gorgeous architecture, rich history and culture, interesting museum, a vibrant nightlife all add up to make it somewhere that can’t be missed when in Europe.
Sandeman New Europe // meeting point at Dam Monument
Tours. Boring talks ripped off Wikipedia? In most cases yes. But Sandeman is a true exception in providing insightful, thoughtful and inspiring treks around many cities, and the Amsterdam one is one of their best. I’ve converted many friends who had refused to do tours before, who came away with nothing but praise. During the three hour long walk you’ll be given a concise but attention grabbing overview of city’s history and culture as well as tips and recommendations for your stay.
The tours starts every day at 10 am, 11.15 am and 14.15 am. And although it’s a free tour a tip is highly appreciated and you can pay what you think it was worth it.
If you look through the cookery books section in any shop or online, you’re unlikely to come across many Dutch examples, but don’t let this put you off trying some of the city’s delacies – such as a bitterbal, kroket, frikandel or, for the vegetarians, a kaassoufle. If you want to go for a typical Dutch dish find the nearest FEBO and get yourself something from a vending wall.
Friday Night at van Gogh Museum // Paulus Potterstraat 7
To see the works of one of the world’s most famous painters head over to the Van Gogh Museum in the Museum Quarter. This recently renovated museum offers an overview of both van Gogh works and his troubled life spread across a fantastic modern setting. If you want a bit of a more rounded experience, Friday Night at van Gogh Museum might be for you: the museum is open until 10 PM, there is music, drinks and the paintings … what more do you need. I do recommend purchasing the tickets ahead of your visit to avoid wasting time in the queue – yes, there are queues even for the night shows.
KOKO Coffee & Design // Oudezijds Achterburgwal 145
Everyone knows Amsterdam is known for its ‘koffie’ houses on every corner … but if you are a ‘coffee’ lover you probably wouldn’t want to get your coffee there …but don’t worry – there are many cute coffee shops around the city. KOKO Coffee & Design is one such example – it caught my eye because of the cute board and how it had Tea written all over it. I have to confess I am not a coffee drinker and don’t know my Colombian from my Ethiopian brews, but their ice coffee was just perfect – cold and not too sweet. If you are near the Dam Square I highly recommend you to sit down enjoy something off the menu, as well as enjoying the arty design and furniture the store also sells.