Every year Amsterdam is visited by thousands of tourists. The red light district, coffeeshops and the museum quarter are amongst the most visited places in the city. Most tourists only stay for a few days, some not even stay for a night! To make the most of a short trip in Amsterdam I would like to share my favourite places in this beautiful city (which by the way is also my home town 🙂 ).
Amsterdam has multiple neighbourhoods which are worth a visit: the City Centre, North, Oostelijke Eilanden, Plantage, East, Zuid Oost, de Pijp, Oud Zuid, Oud West, Bos en Lommer & de Baarsjes, Westerpark and NDSM. Each neighbourhood has it’s own charm, the atmosfeer differs, the people differ, and they all have their own share of attractions, shops, bars and restaurants.
I promise, if you have done your homework before travelling to Amsterdam, you can easily spend a week or longer in the city. However, visiting all the neighbourhoods in just a couple of days can be challenging. Of course, I understand not everybody has the opportunity to go away from home for a week, so hereby I will share my favourite places for those that only have 1 or 2 days. Later, more detailled info on the different neighbourhoods and their top sights/places to visit will follow. But first, my tips!
This park, located in Oost, is my favourite park to visit. On a sunny day I would cycle past a supermarket, grab a bottle of wine, some ice cubes, a baguette and some toppings and fresh fruit, bring it to the park. Most tourists tend to visit het Vondelpark, as it is Amsterdams biggest. park, but Amsterdam has so much better options! Oosterpark is so nice and less busy! Also, in contrast to the Vondelpark, you are allowed to BBQ in Oosterpark.
Address: Oosterpark, 1091 AC Amsterdam
Opening hours: all day
A visit to Amsterdam without visiting the Anne Frank house is like visiting London and not seeing the Big Ben. Unfortunately, queues can take very long, as only a limited amount of people can entre the house at the same time. If you want to visit some key places in her life, but prefer to skip the queu I can recommend visiting the small bookstore where Anne Franks’ father, Otto Frank bought Annes diary for her 13th birthday. Anne Frank used to live just up the road from the bookstore before she and her family had to hide for the Germans. Just a small walk from the bookstore to the Merwederplein and you can see a tribute to Anne Frank. Her former house was located on Merwederplein 37, in the Pijp. You cannot go inside, but you can see the place from the street.
Address: Rooseveltlaan 62
Anne Franks former house
Address: Merwederplein 37
Albert Cuyp Market & Flamingo
The Albert Cuyp market, located in the Pijp, claims to be the biggest daily market in Europe, selling fresh fruit, vegetables, fabrics and Dutch delights. At the crossing between the Albert Cuyp market and the van Woustraat you can find a vendor selling French Fries (delicious!!) Tip: try Patatje met (literary translated as Fries with) and you will get French Fries with mayonaise. About half way from the market you will find the crossing with the Eerste van der Helststraat. On this crossing you can find Cafe Flamingo, a small cafe with just a few tables outside. If Ajax (Dutch football club based in Amsterdam) is playing, the will definitely show the game here. But even better, due to their corner location it’s one of the best places in the Albert Cuyp area when it comes to sun hours. So, order a beer and enjoy!
Albert Cuyp Market
Address: Albert Cuypstraat, 1073 BD Amsterdam
Opened Monday to Saturday from 9:00 – 17:00
Eerste van der Helststraat 37, 1073 AC Amsterdam
Opened Sunday to Thursday from 10:00 – 01:00 and Friday to Saturday from 10:00 to 03:00.
Haarlemmerstraat and Haarlemmerdijk
In these traditional Dutch shopping streets in the centre of Amsterdam, you can find so many nice places to visit. Some small local coffee shops, some concept stores, etcetera. My personal favorites: This is Happening, Nukuhiva, the Tea bar and the Movies.
This is happening: this place is a hairdresser and fashion store in one. Selling brands like Native Youth, Komono and Pig & Hen
Nukuhiva: this concept, created by a Dutch travel reporter, sells fair and sustainable clothing. It’s a multi-branded concept sells menwear, womanswear and accessories. Of course, fair trade fashion is not as cheap as big labels like Zara or H&M, but the prices in this store are fair and to my opinion affordable. Definitely check them out!
the Tea Bar: my absolute fav! This stores sells tea and tea only! The stores looks like a candy store, with many trays of dried tea melanges which you are free to scope into a small bag. I usual leave with at least five bags of different teas. My al time favorites? Camomile, Holiday Fever, Yoga Spirit Bio and Hello Sunshine.
The Movies: this theatre is the oldest theatre in Amsterdam which is still open. Most big hollywood blockbusters can be seen in this theatre, but they also provide a stage to the smaller movies. A cineville card (€19.95 per month) will give you unlimited access to this theatre (amongst others of course).
Amsterdam has much more to offer than these few places, but these are my first recommendations. More posts on hotspots, tourist attractions, museums, etcetera will follow!