Hey, I hope you are all doing well.
I’m writing this on a Monday evening; a week after travelling to Amsterdam with two of my best friends Carys and Lou. It was a pretty last minute trip which we organised a month before; saying we wanted to go to a European city come Autumn. My friends are very much like me (thank god). Always looking for picturesque spots, cute independent shops and proper foodie places which are also slightly instagrammable, so really there was none of this ‘I don’t wanna go there’ melarcy which was nice. I’d been before with an ex of mine so going again with my friends made a nice change and meant I could create some new memories in one of my favourite cities. I think we pretty much spent the whole time eating and laughing uncontrollably. However some of the things we laughed about are gonna stay in Amsterdam…
So here’s my updated guide to Amsterdam: where to stay, what to do, where to shop and where to eat.
WHERE TO STAY/ FLOWER MARKET HOTEL:
Staying at the Flower Market Hotel which was in the the heart of Amsterdam city centre. We chose it purely for the fact it was so central, cheap and also the rooms looked so Scandi and with the canal view we couldn’t say no. It’s definitely more of a hostel vibe than a hotel but none the less the room was amazing with velvet chairs, a velvet headboard and large open windows which looked out onto one of the canals near the Flower Market (hence the name duh). As much as I would recommend this hotel for someone who wanted to visit Amsterdam for a few days, the one thing you NEED to know is my god are the stairs steep, so when you come in each night after having a few drinks It’s like you’re holding on for dear life climbing up those stairs.
The hotel was also the perfect location for getting around everywhere, located right next to the main area with all the shops, only a 20 minute walk from Vondelpark and 20 odd minutes to the Red Light District for bars in the evening. This is one of the things I love about Amsterdam is how most places are close to one another, compared with London where it’s harder to walk to each place, we only got one Uber while we were away so we did pretty well walking everywhere…which definitely burned off the calories from all the food we ate.
We were honestly so lucky with the weather…originally when I looked at the 10 day forecast it had said rain on the days we were going, but it changed to sun and between 12 and 18 degrees which was perfect seeing as you want to be able to walk around and not have to sit inside all day. On the last day I didn’t even take a coat or jacket out with me and we sat outside eating pizza near the Jordaan area (my favourite area in Amsterdam).
Ree7 Cafe- Eggs Benedict
Toast It Amsterdam
WHERE TO EAT LUNCH/BREAKFAST: TOAST IT AMSTERDAM AND REE7 AMSTERDAM
Okay so me and my friends are massive foodies and we had these places saved before we ever went away knowing full well we wanted to try the food out in both of these places. We actually went to Toast It on the first day after arriving in Amsterdam around lunchtime. Well known for it’s toasties, pancakes, milkshakes and American Diner style interior (check it out here) it was definitely a place I’d recommend if you like sweet things. I had the stack of pancakes with Nutella, Oreos, bananas, strawberries and blueberries and the strawberry milkshake…which was AMAZING! I’d have also loved to have tried the toasties as my friend got the super cheesy one which looked delicious as well. Also for such a small little cafe it was super busy, which is always a good thing when you are going somewhere new.
Another place for breakfast/brunch/lunch is Ree7 cafe in the Jordaan area. We all ordered the Eggs Benedict which I’m thinking about now and drooling over. Yes it was that good. This cafe is so cute and in one of the loveliest, wealthier areas in the centre of Amsterdam. I actually came to this cafe two years ago when I last visited Amsterdam but I feel like this time it was even nicer than before. So again, another must visit place for breakfast and lunch. They are actually known for their ‘Freakshakes’ as they call them, however they definitely seemed more like a whole meal than a drink so there was no way I could fit that in as well.
WAFFLES AND CHURROS:
Okay so you can’t go to Amsterdam without eating waffles or churros…or a few to be exact. The nicest ones were by far at the little cafe called ‘Delicious’ which was a pretty basic place that sold ice-cream and pastries however they were definitely some of the best Churros I’ve ever had.
WHERE TO SHOP: ANNA + NINA
Amsterdam definitely has some of the best shops in my opinion; having everything from all the top high street shops like Urban Outfitters, Stradivarius, Bershka etc to the best independent stores. One of my favourite shops is actually in Amsterdam and it’s called Anna + Nina …situated in the Oosterparkstraat area. It’s home to the most elegant jewellery, accessories, Love Story Intimates and most recently the dream brand Ganni. I actually picked up a Christmas present when I was there because well I couldn’t help myself and it’s one of those shops you go in and just have to buy something.
WHERE TO SHOP: THE JORDAAN AREA
I honestly believe Amsterdam’s independent stores are some of the best I’ve ever come across, especially all of those in the Jordaan area which is a little more upmarket. But Jordaan in general is such a lovely area to go to, with amazing cafes and restaurants we spent the best part of half a day there because we were pretty much obsessed with each place we saw. Oooo and also this area has some amazing vintage shops which we loved!
WHAT TO DO: WALK EVERYWHERE
Bit of a random ‘to do’ but if you haven’t been to Amsterdam before or even if you’ve been before I’d recommend walking everywhere. I always think about some of the streets/shops/cafes you end up missing out on if you hadn’t have bi-accident wondered through the area. And I definitely feel like Amsterdam city isn’t that hard to do on foot…as long as it isn’t raining.
A lot of the streets look pretty similar with the canals running through but we actually wondered upon one of my favourite canal views when we were walking back from the Moco Museum; a man stood painting the views as the sun shone on the water and just before that there was the most amazing building (the picture at the start of this post) which kinda looked a little magical and fairytale-esque. So, really if we hadn’t walked everywhere we’d have probably missed out on some scenes.
WHAT TO DO: BANKSY EXHIBITION
Me, Carys and Lou are all into modern art so when we found out there was a Banksy exhibition on at the Moco Museum we knew we had to go. Bansky is one of my favourite artists and probably because I love the messages behind each of his pieces and also the anonymity of him as a person, which I guess adds to the excitement. The Moco Museum was also showcasing some other artists such as Icy & Sot; which I also fell in love with. Described as ‘the Banksy of Iran’ the messages behind their pieces were so powerful and heavily about war and freedom. The exhibition as a whole is on till January 15th so if you are heading to Amsterdam before then, it’s well worth going to.
WHERE TO EAT DINNER: MAMA KELLY
This was probably my favourite dinner time situation of all time and I am in no way over-exaggerating. I’d been suggested Mama Kelly from a few bloggers and had previously seen it on Isabella Thorsden’s Instagram and thought the decor looked so cool, but my god was the food even more amazing! The restaurant specialises in its lobster and chicken and my two friends both had half a lobster each and I opted for the black truffle and mushroom risotto which was to date the most delicious meal I’ve ever had. I’m so glad that Mama Kelly lived up to my expectation, as I think a lot of the time when you go to these super ‘instagrammable’ places which are known for being a little pricey you can sometimes walk away feeling a bit ripped off, however that wasn’t the case at all here. The vibe is definitely date night, dress up kinda vibe which we’d all said we wanted to do one night. This was in fact the only place we got an Uber to on the whole trip as it’s on the outside of the Olympic Stadium which is just outside the city centre; a pretty random location but we’d definitely go back there in a heartbeat.
WHERE TO EAT: CANNIBALE ROYALE
Yes the name ‘Cannibale Royale‘ may sound a little odd but this place was amazing for burgers, chips and the best mac n cheese I’ve ever tasted in my whole entire life. I would however advice you don’t get a burger and two sides and instead share as it was evident me and the girls had eyes bigger than our bellies. However this place was really cool and had a super busy atmosphere which was perfect for the evening we wanted which was to have a few drinks, food and to chat non stop. It’s situated in the Red Light District which I know has it’s seedy reputation but for food, a lively atmosphere and some cool bars nearby it’s a good place to go.