In the spirit of out-takes, I want to talk about a failed post I had hoped to publish a few months ago. Before I headed to Amsterdam last time this idea came to mind, a post on what to do/get for one to two Euros, so not a post on how do Amsterdam on the cheap or for free, but how to enjoy that last 1 or 2 coins you have left to the fullest. You know how you always have some change at the end of your trip? Some save it for a next trip or take it back to their Euroland and others give it to a street artists or someone in need, but does that really feel good? I embraced the experiment and went out to test in the field – because that’s what I do…but sadly I came back disappointed. read more
Mad for museums? Well look no further than Amsterdam – home to over fifty, boasting everything from paintings with dogs to giant bubble tunnels. Here’s my top selection of the best: read more
Behind the coffee shops, Red Light District and thrill-seeking tourists, Amsterdam has a quirky, unexpected side that is truly worth discovering. I felt like sharing Dealchecker’s guide to 13 of the most unusual, eccentric and unpredictable experiences that the city has to offer. From Amsterdam Public Library to the Catboat and restaurant Moeders. read more
for those who like to roll back to their bed after a night of rocking in the centre of Amsterdam there is the BackStage Hotel. A 22-room, music-themed hostel only a short walk to music venues such as de Melkweg, Paradiso and Sugarfactory.
Backstage Hotel Leidsegracht 114, 1016 CT Amsterdam, Netherlands
Although I have never lived in Amsterdam, the city always feels like a home coming and I love to walk around and revisit old favourites and find new ones.
A friend took me to Paper Planes on Rokin for lunch and I think this might be my new favourite place for lunch. They do some great breakfast/lunch variations and a really good smoothies. The club sandwich stuffed with avocado and chicken definitely hit the spot and wasn’t expensive considering what you’d pay elsewhere in the area. I secretly regret not having the pancakes, but guess that means I have to go back!
It’s always worth checking out what is on at FOAM (Photography Museum Amsterdam), as they always have interesting temporary exhibitions and your time there will be well spent. They have an Araki exhibition till the 11th of March, worth a visit if you are interested in his highly stylised portraits.
The VolksHotel in Amsterdam East reminded me a lot of Hotel Michelberger in Berlin and it’s a must if you are into quirky boutique hotels for a reasonable price. Even if you don’t book a room you can hop in for a quite drink or bite to eat in their bar area. In summer you can enjoy drink and the view on the terrace on their rooftop terrace. If you strip it down to the essentials: bed (hard, but that’s the way I like it), shower (great pressure and it has one of those big shower heads, though not everyone might like the idea the shower is divided from the sleeping area by only a glass wall) and wi-fi (worked perfect for me) it gets two thumbs up from me. It’s a bit outside the tourist centre, but doesn’t necessarily mean it’s in the middle of nowhere, it holds everything you need so you don’t really miss out on anything and you can crawl to your bed after cocktails.
After Hint Hunt in London I got the hang of escape games, luckily my friends were curious too and we booked a session at Room of Riddles. If you missed the hype: in these escape games you are locked in a room and (usually) given one hour to solve a series of clues and break out of the room. I like to think I have a good imagination, so I can really dive into the story. It was less challenging than Hint Hunt but still interesting and we took the record of the day for completing it the quickest. I’m looking forward to try the other rooms they have too.
Damrak (the street between Centraal station and Dam Square) is always crazy busy and you shouldn’t stop there … except for a quick fries stop at Manneken Pis. There is a big chance there is a queue, but it is worth the wait as they serve one of the best Flemish fries in the city. And Vincent is right: We put mayonaise on our fries … we fuckin’ drown ’em in that shit – and you should too. But if that doesn’t get you salivating, try satay sauce, a combination of satay and mayo (called oorlog) or curry ketchup/mayo and chopped onions (special sauce).
Next week around this time I am supposed be packing for a short trip to the Netherlands, but knowing me I’ll put that off until last minute. But, I am very excited to go back and here is why:
Seeing my dear friends, parents & brother. They are – after all – the ones that I keep going back for.
Having cornbread with real cheese and Dutch buttermilk for breakfast.
Calvé peanut butter. Now guys there is peanut putter and then there is Calvé. If you are ever in Holland and you are peanut butter fan, make sure to get yourself this magic in a jar.
Cycling around without having to be scared someone will give you a free ride to the hospital.
Strolling around Amsterdam and finally going to try all the food at indoor foodmarket Amsterdam.
Cooking my favourite Bosnian dishes with my Mom.
Watching this really bad soap opera with my parents and see if anyone returned from dead, as happens every few months.
A day trip to Groningen, my favourite city in Netherlands. It’s the biggest city near to where I grew up and where I went to college so it will always be a special place to me.
Tony’s Chocolonely, a brand from the Netherlands that make chocolate to die for are on a mission to bring us 100% slave free (ethical) chocolate. As of next year also on sale in selected stores in London.
God, it looks like it’s going to be a food related trip…I might as well go shopping for a bigger jeans size … see my next post for this exciting clothing-related adventure.