-- 48 HOURS IN THE CITY --
The city with more bikes than people.
Psst. Print the map and the mini guide to follow the exploration while reading.
We wake up at Hotel De Hallen that is so much more than just a hotel. This place also has an amazing hang out area, bar and a restaurant called Remise47 which we really enjoyed having drinks at. Hotel De Hallen is filled with design furniture and beautiful things to look at. Inspired by this place, we want more interesting things to lay our eye on so after breakfast, let`s start this day with a museum!
Rijksmuseum have a big, big art collection and you can learn tons about Dutch history here. The museum is filled with treasures so have in mind that you are probably gonna spend a least half a day looking around.
Don't forget to take a break and pop in to the research library. All the little details in this space is absolutely beautiful.
We Swedes do love to have a fika (coffee accompanied with something sweet enjoyed in company with someone) and the Lot Sixty One Coffee Roasters is a nice place to sit down for a bit and scent the new ground coffee. This roastery and coffee bar is a place where they make their coffee with a lot of love. If there is ONE little thing we like to explore on our getaways - it´s people who do things with passion!
Let us take a snack bite at Foodhallen. You can choose from different kitchen in a bunch of food stalls in a renovated historical tram depot. We choose Bulls and Dogs - they do funky homemade hotdogs and sausages. Yummy! Bulls and Dogs has a cute quote on their sign. " I only eat Hotdogs on two occasions, when it´s my birthday and when it`s not." We can't agree more.
We have late dinner on Bar Brouw. This place is famous for smoked barbecued meat and American craft beer. The vibe is hip and lively. We decided to have the ribs and it was oh so good. The day ends here, drinking some beers and talking about life and what we have done this day.
One thing you do a lot in Amsterdam is walking. Walking over a bridge, walk long side a canal and walk trough a ocean of bikes. If you get tired of walking, rent a bike. The bike traffic in this city make about fifty per cent of the total traffic.
Time for lunch! SLA is a place that serves salads, soups and juices. Everything is organic and healthy. Yay! Choose your own favorite ingredients and voila, you have a good meal. The juices are freshly made while you waiting. Lemon and ginger is a super duper good one.
Today we are mostly hanging out in the Joordan area and its surrounding. Westerstraat is an upcoming street with some stores and cafes . Don`t miss the shop Like this, filled with fashion, cute little things. On Westerstraat you can also find Lena the fashion library. A store with vintage, upcoming designers and eco labels. The concept is like a library, you borrow clothes and then you swop for something else. If you fall in love with a peace, then you are able to buy it as well.
The Nine Streets (De Negen Straatjes) area is famous for good boutique shopping. Guild of Holland is a Amsterdam based design collective who do leather bags, with a distinct focus on craft and quality. All products are hand made in Holland. You will also find Acne, Hope and other fashion brand on these little streets.
A bit further up is also Haarlemmerdijk and Haarlemmerstraat, two long trendy shopping streets where you find shops with a lot of personality like Restored, Six and Sons and Store Without a Home.
After a bit of shopping, a coffee break, some wandering and more shopping, lets shout - It is "Gin o Clock"! Mossel & Gin is a pretty little place in a park with the name Westerpark. Sit down in the sun and sip on a gin and tonic and maybe a little snack like bitterballen, which are typically Dutch savory meat based deep fried snacks, or some seafood thing which they make great. Our favorite drink is one with the Hendrick`s gin, some rosemary and a slice of lemon.
When the sun is about to go to bed, head to Morgan & Mees. This building consists of a hotel, restaurant and a bar. The restaurant menu is modern food from the Mediterranean cuisine. We do like gin and tonic and therefor order a well made one in their cosy bar.
Seafood is often on the menus in Amsterdam and as a fish village one upon a time it feels like a must-eat when in this city. The Seafood Bar has a lot of good seafood for a decent price and this will also be our last spot to visit this time in Amsterdam. But we will be back! Lätt som en plätt (easy as a little pancake) as we Swedes say.
Our best tips of what to bring home from Amsterdam:
Flower seeds or bulbs
At local markets or florists
A super cute blue and white pottery made in the Netherlands from the 16th century
There are unlimited versions of the Gouda cheese in this country, try to try as many as you can during your visit
This little sweet treat is a waffle made from two thin layers of baked dough with a caramel-like syrup filling
Bring a real Dutch Bicycle back home - why not a Gazelle