05.01.15

AMSTERDAM TRAVEL / PART 1

where do i even BEGIN?! if you are following me on instagram, you probably have noticed that i completely fell in love with amsterdam. i might even go ahead and say it’s my favorite european city that i’ve visited. it’s charming, it’s easy to fit right in with all of the english that is spoken here, there is tons of amazing design and style, the apartments are cool, it feels clean and safe…i could go on and on, really. i’m also a huge fan of paris and berlin, but amsterdam feels like the perfect combination. i’m so happy i finally decided to come here!

ok, so i’m going to break down my trip into a couple of posts, and they are gonna be loooong, let me warn ya. but i wanted to show you guys everything i enjoyed so far. i still have 6 days here, so i can post more at the end. as far as recommendations, i got them from all over. i came here with no plans at all. i asked instagram, my blog, my friends, my airbnb hosts, and a few locals. i ended up at some pretty great places…

i posted the inside of the first airbnb i rented right here. the neighborhood is the hip & trendy jordaan district. i took an uber (yes, they have uber here too. so convenient) from the airport to my apartment and i was so excited as i looked out the windows at the new sights. we pulled on to a tiny little street with a bar, a few little shops, and an adorable barber shop underneath where i was staying. the street is pretty quiet, but everything was very close to walk to. seriously, ideal location.

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less than 5 minutes from my place, there were a bunch of great design shops and cafes on Haarlemmerstraat (a good street to take a stroll on.) first i visited sukha. WOW. my kind of place. beautiful white interior with linens and ceramics. a must visit.

also on that same street is vinnies deli, where i have eaten a few times because i love it so much. good clean food, wonderful poached eggs and a charming interior. i walked past a design shop called store without a home (the pink interior) and wished i had an extra suitcase.

i finally did buy myself some treats at restored (also on that street above.) some metal jewelry dishes, a few postcards, a new blush and rose gold watch, and a rose flavored lipgloss. loved that store!

only about 3 minutes from our house was winkel. everyone (and i mean everyone!) told me i had to try the apple pie from there. not a huge sweet tooth myself, but i decided, why not? it was quite crowded, but the pie was excellent i tell ya.

pancakes! they are everywhere! and this restaurant my friend victoria told me was a must. gigantic dutch pancakes (i liked the savory ones) and tiny pancakes called poffertjes with powdered sugar and butter. yes yes yes. this place is also conveniently located in the nine streets area, so there’s awesome people watching.

speaking of the nine streets. how cute! stroll around when the weather is nice and look at all the people eating on the sidewalk, sipping beers in fancy glasses (i love Palm beer!), watch the bikers ride by, hop in and out of shops. there are 9 streets in a square that are great for shopping, and luckily our apartment is only a few minutes away on foot.

bloemenmarkt? eh, i would skip it. way too touristy for me. the only thing i liked was these hanging dried flowers.

the next day we decided to explore the “pijp” area. we went to coffee & cocounts first. it’s a former theater transformed into a giant coffee shop and cafe. it was definitely busy (we went on the weekend though) but it was so gorgeous! loved the scandinavian vibe in there. hanging plants, those giant bean bags, ropes everywhere. i got the scrambled eggs on toast and a coffee and it was two thumbs up. you can order a coconut too!

we had lunch at izakaya (inside the Sir Albert hotel, which seemed cool) it was a little fancy, but the food was excellent! some of the best sushi i’ve had.

my favorite museum so far has been the foam photography museum. a perfect rainy day activity.

then we thought it would be funny to check out the kattenkabinet. a whole museum dedicated to art with cats. and there’s some famous ones in there too: picasso, rembrandt etc. they have a few cats that live there as well. it may sound a little strange (and maybe it was) but i had a great time here. the house was a work of art in itself! call me a cat lady…it’s cool.

that night we ate at moeders. a quirky restaurant that serves dutch classics and has tons and tons of photos of people’s mothers on the wall. we had mashed potatoes with sauerkraut, split pea soup, and ribs…it was SO good. be careful, this place needs a reservation. they book up very quickly so go there at the beginning of your trip and make a reservation while you are in town or, i think you can book online. and, if you can’t get in that same day, check out the restaurant called fier down the street. nice people and a good burger.

king’s day! (the actual king’s birthday) what a crazy experience. not being much of a big crowd person myself, so this sort of freaked me out. there were people everywhere. it was hard to walk through the streets. music blasting, people partying and wearing orange. and as much as i wanted to not like it, i kept looking around and seeing how genuinely happy everyone was and that was cool. everyone was smiling and laughing and happy to be with friends. we hid out in the tiny bar across the street from our house and then watched an awesome documentary called “kumare” on netflix.

and we DID get really smart that day and decided to see if the anne frank house had less than a 2-3 hour line like usual. we literally walked right in! i couldn’t believe it. it was so special to visit something that was such a part of our history. as a kid, i was so fascinated with anne frank and her diary. it was completely surreal to walk around in their hiding place. i really enjoyed the experience.

the next morning we went to G’s for brunch. the service was excellent (so friendly!) and the atmosphere was eclectic, young and lively. almost everyone had a morning cocktail. and their menus are on old records, which i thought was cute.

i have a couple of mutual friends that live here and we decided to meet up with them and have a few drinks. which turned into staying out till 4am dancing and having the best time. the guys are so tall here, it’s wild. there’s some fun bars on Utrechtsestraat. this one was called cuban cigar. old dutch pub vibe.

we went to de hortus botanical gardens one morning. i think it’s 8 or 9 euros to get in, which i thought was kind of high for what you saw. however, it was a lovely walk around there, and i liked seeing the butterfly garden and glass greenhouses.

SLA for healthy salads. really needed this after all those mashed potatoes!

also go to the concept store hutspot for the photo-booth and some shopping, and cottoncake for another gorgeous shop near there. and if you want an amsterdam experience, go to a “coffee shop“, they are on pretty much every corner. wink wink.

the last few days i just slummed around my apartment in pajamas getting some work done and eating too much salami and cheese. and then i ventured out to Bird for some thai food. very very delicious and a great street to wander around on.

so that’s that! my first week in amsterdam. one of the best weeks of my life, really. my best friend gets here tomorrow, so i am sure we will get into some more trouble while we’re here. i’ll keep you updated on what we find. and seriously, thank you for all the recommendations, they really help! have a great weekend! xx -bri

and if you have any questions about amsterdam i will try to answer them in my next post, so just leave a comment!

43 COMMENTS

Add your own

    Nina says:

    Really liked the post, I’m from Amsterdam myself. I think it’s funny too see that you went to all the cool hipsters spots in town! 🙂
    If you need more tips, I’m happy to help!

    kim says:

    hi 🙂 i loved living vicariously through you via your instagram feed… my husband and i are planning a trip to germany/netherlands and i’d love to know the airbnb listings that you stayed at – all so gorgeous.

    Silvia says:

    Tip for anyone wanting to avoid the huge lines at the Anne Frank house: book a ticket online. You do have to choose a date + time when you want to go but you can just walk to the front of the line and go in the entrance reserved for pre-booked tickets 🙂

    bri emery says:

    very true, silvia! sadly, they were booked MONTHS in advance. crazy!!

    bri emery says:

    hey nina! happy to have your suggestions, thank you!

    Robin says:

    Bri! When I visited my sister in Ams a couple years ago we took a 1.5 hour road trip to the Kroller Muller museum and it was def one of the highlights of my trip. We rented a car for the day to get there. The incredible sculpture garden was my fav. Oh and also Van Goghs 🙂 It is also in a national park and you can use these cute white bikes and ride through the fields!

    http://krollermuller.nl/visit

    http://blog.artweekenders.com/2014/08/06/day-kroller-muller-museum/

    Claudia says:

    Hi Bri, have you been to the Albert Kuyp market? It’s definitely worth a try. I also really like the RAW MATERIALS shop at the Rozengracht 231. Opposite of this store is another cool place, I forgot the name. Clothing and design shop. I can imagine that Kingsday was a bit too much. Amsterdam is so crowded that day. Also, if you would like to see more of our country, visit Utrecht for example. It’s much smaller than Amsterdam but has lovely canals and a beautiful old tower to climb. Anyway, awesome to see how you experience our country. Have fun!

    Okay can I just say that you and Amsterdam are a match made in heaven? Stylish and SO charming the two of you, I tell ya!

    jaclyn says:

    Your posts have made me totally want to visit Amsterdam now!

    Can you speak a little about pricing of goods/food/transportation/etc.? I spent part of my honeymoon in Paris and while it is such a gorgeous city and so many people rave about how wonderful it is, my husband and I found it prohibitively expensive which kind of put a big damper on that portion of our honeymoon.

    Jessica says:

    I was in Amsterdam a few months back, this post would have helped so much, it’s amazing x

    http://www.wild-cherrytree.com

    I was completely surprised at how much I kiked Amsterdam. My husband’s band played there and before we went, I was the least excited about staying there in comparison to all of the other stops. It ended up being my favorite city I’ve ever visited in Europe (even more than Paris). It has a really great vibe all around.

    Eva says:

    Maybe you know this already: the dutch remember the dutch victims of wartime violence on 4 May, and on 5 May (national holiday) they celebrate their liberation with festivals. Maybe you can google a bit to find out where you can avoid the crowds. Some suggestions for cool places: de Ceuvel, Zoo Artis, Tolhuistuin, Bar Spek and de Hallen.

    Jaime says:

    I’m also planning a trip in the fall, and would love to hear about your airbnb picks!

    Janel says:

    The best city in the world!!

    Sally says:

    I love seeing all your gorgeous photos of my hood!! There is a fantastic market this Sunday in Westerpark, by far the best I’ve been to in the city. Much classier than Albert Cuyp AND you can wander around drinking fresh sangria 😉 http://www.sundaymarket.nl/

    Margery Ho says:

    Amsterdam looks lovely! x

    Blog A Girl with a Camera
    Youtube A Girl with a Camera

    Tara says:

    I just stumbled across your blog and I’m so glad I did! I’ll be in Amsterdam this summer and am taking note of all the recommendations I can get. Looking forward to more recaps 🙂

    Jessica says:

    AHHH this post made me feel even more excited for my Europe trip in June! I’ll be in Amsterdam for 2-3 days, and would love to try those pancakes you suggested. TOO EXCITED.

    https://itsjpei.wordpress.com/

    Love Amsterdam. The canals, the flowers – great city! Great post!

    Summer
    http://www.SummerThorntonDesign.com

    AJ says:

    I’m travelling to Amsterdam for the first time next week so I’m very glad to have found this post and looking forward to the rest!

    anna says:

    i’ve been to amsterdam – cool, berlin – mix of everything, great, porto – warm, with a soul, paris – charming.

    go and visit SINGLE 404 in amsterdam, they really have the best sendwiches i’ve ever ate 🙂 try appelgeback too, kind of applepie…

    Oh! Really like this article. Save, save, save! Thanks for the great photo’s and the hotspots.

    Sara says:

    You should definitely visit Utrecht! It’s only half an hour by train, just as beautiful as Amsterdam but there are way less tourists. 🙂

    Sarah says:

    I have been to Amsterdam too and loved it but would definitely go back and continue the exploring! Your photos are gorgeous!

    Lorna says:

    It looks amazing! Totally need to make a trip 🙂

    Lorna | http://www.studsanddreams.com xx

    Cassie says:

    I spent only 24 hours in Amsterdam in 2013 but I loved it too! I wish I had more time there to check out shops and such. I’m feeling inspired to buy geometric home decor all of a sudden.

    Cassie says:

    And as much as Paris was stunning, it was like a breath of fresh air (or not, ha ha ha) getting off the train in Amsterdam. It was so much more relaxed and friendly in my experience.

    Eva says:

    By the way, if you need a guide, translator, someone with a car, someone who buys you good coffee, or someone to carry your bags, or open doors…i’m avaiable!

    Kelly says:

    Oh. My. God. So many recommendations! Do you realise I live only a mere three hours from Amsterdam and it’s been like 20 years since my last visit?
    My husband definitely wants to stop by soon, so it’s bound to happen upon which I’ll be checking back on this post.
    Thanks a million for all the cool tips and photos!
    We stopped by The Hague over the weekend for the Anton Corbijn exhibition (only a train ride from Amsterdam) and it’s also a very pretty city (if you want an escape out of the city).

    ps: I think you would like Bruges (Belgium), too (and I’m not saying that because I work there! ;))

    Alba says:

    Amsterdam is on the list of my next destination where I want to visit in my next vacations. Well, I even found a site where I can save up to 80% on Hotel rent. Here is the link: http://hotels.mrbuyguy.com/

    Charolina says:

    It looks wonderful, definitely it’s one of my favorite destination. It’s the place I’m obesessed with going!
    Thanks for sharing, great pictures, great experience!
    Have a wonderfull time!!
    xoxo!
    Charolina

    AshleyJ says:

    Hi Bri, I just did some traveling alone through England and read “What I was doing while you were breeding” by Kristin Newman. Even though I’m not a huge fan of the title, it is a fun travel memoir. Thought you might enjoy reading it during your epic trip. Looks like you are having a blast!

    anna says:

    we’re going in 2 months, would love to hear more about air bnb and awesome eating place 🙂 thank you!

    Leslie says:

    That’s crazy! We were totally in Amsterdam at the same time! I just blogged about my short trip, I’m jealous that you got 6 days here (I was only there 36 hours). Cannot wait to read all of the stuff you have to share to help me plan the next visit! Wish I would have discovered your blog sooner!

    Kay-Lee says:

    My husband and I are going to Amsterdam in the fall and I have been looking for things to see and do. Thank you so much for your elaborate post! I plan on visiting everywhere you suggested.

    Christian says:

    Very nice images of Amsterdam. I used to think this place are just for single guys but hey, I think me and my wife will enjoy this place and fall in love over and over.

    Joëlle says:

    Hi! I just live around the corner of that barbershop / Airbnb spot! Nice to read your findings in my neighbourfood… You visited all my favourite spots. Feel so lucky to live there, thanks for your lovely post! If you ever come back, more then welcome in my old Amsterdam house for a coffee J! 🙂

    Gina Miller says:

    Dang, once again, amazing photos! I love coming back to your blog after not visiting it for a while and then binging HARD on all the colors and pics! <3

    Evy says:

    Great article! As a Belgian, I like Amsterdam (and other Dutch cities) a lot. I’m glad to hear (and a bit proud) that you like our Belgian Palm beer. Cheers!

    I booked tickets to Amsterdam for October and my friend sent me your blog. What a great resource for information! Thank you for sharing all the things and places you loved! Will definitely have to check out many of them.

    Igreg says:

    While you are in Amsterdam you should also visit famous Wax Museum called Madame Tussaud. I was there just by the case and to be honest it was very nice experience since all the figures looks so real. Here you can read something more about my own visit together with nice picture of museum : http://personal-travel-photos.blogspot.rs/2016/02/entrance-of-madame-tussaud-amsterdam.html

    Melissa Smith says:

    Hello there!
    I absolutely loved your post. I am visiting Amsterdam this coming February. I will be there for my birthday and I was just wondering what you suggested we do? I am more interested in sight seeing than drinking, but on my birthday I do want someone fun to go! My airbnb place is located in the North Holland area with the foodhallen around the corner. Let me know if you have any recommendations!

    Best,
    Melissa

    Clay says:

    This post very helps for travel for Milan. Thank you so much, shares the effective blog and more Information. I am satisfied for the blog. It is really helpful. Thanks. http://www.tripindicator.com/city-pass-amsterdam/compare-iamsterdam-city-card-vs-city-pass-vs-holland-card-vs-amsterdam-travel-ticket.html

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