My friend Kay @kaylshe and I wanted to go to Amsterdam together before she was going to travel through South America for three months. Since we both had time over the easter weekend, we decided to book an apartment for two nights - from Friday to Sunday.
In 2014 we had already been in Amsterdam together with Isabel, another friend of us, so we had so many good memories from this wonderful city. Therefore we knew that we would have a great time there!
Last time in 2014 we stayed at the WestCord City Center Hotel - where I had also stayed with my boyfriend, when we went to the Drake Concert at the Ziggo Dome in 2017. Unforgettable experience - he's such a legend - but I digress. Back to our girls-weekend. Unfortunately this time the WestCord City Center was already fully booked, so we made a reservation for an appartment on booking.com that was called Jordam bed & coffee. It was around a 10-minute walk from the train station. We arrived at the train station at 11 o'clock at night and it was pouring with rain. By the time we got to our apartment, we were soaking wet because neither of us brought an umbrella.
The guy who owned the apartment was waiting for us in his kitchen, handed us our key and showed us our room. It was an attic on the third floor of the apartment complex and you could only access it through the owner's kitchen. At first that was kind of odd but during our stay we never really saw him anyway .
I. Restaurants and Cafés
There are plenty of amazing restaurants and cute cafés in Amsterdam! Here is a selection of a few of my favorites that my friend Kay and I have visited during our stay:
Pluk is a charming and cozy cafe that is the perfect spot to have breakfast, brunch, lunch or a midday treat. It is open from 9 AM to 6 PM everyday and does not only serve amazing food and drinks - but you can also buy cups, teapots, jewellery and other adorable knick knacks there. Their menu card offers a wide range of smoothie bowls, avocado toasts and freshly baked delicious treats. My friend went for the unicorn smoothie bowl and I had an acai bowl and a green juice. We shared avegan pumpkin peanut butter blondie and raw vegan chocolate avocado cake. The food was really good and we both loved our bowls. Before we left we bought some cups, bracelets and cutlery.
2. The Avocado Show
The Avocadoshow is Europe's first all-avocado restaurant and it is very popular! Unfortunately they do not take reservations, therefore you have to make sure to arrive there early - right when the restautant opens at 9 AM. If you prefer to go there for lunch, it is advisable to go there one hour before you actually want to eat and put your name on the waiting list. You can then exlpore the surrounding area and stay within walking distance until they text as soon as your table is ready. De Pijp, where the Avocado Show is located, is a very trendy neighbourhood that is really popular among foodies. Their menu offers a variety of avocado based dishes and also several drinks made with avocado. Yes I know - every avocado lover's dream - including mine. My friend and I went there for a really late lunch at around 4 PM - just in time before they were closing. They stop letting people in at 4:15 PM and the restaurant closes at 5 PM. Of course I had to go for the avocado rose, which was also one of the only vegan options (unfortunately). The cook used the avocado to create a bowl and then filled it with wakame salad, edamame, mango and cucumber. It was not only beautiful to loo at but also really delicious. However it was not very filling and I was still kind of hungry afterwards. Since it was already 5 PM when we left the restaurant, I was not too mad abut the smaller portion size because dinner time was not far away anyways. We both were really happy with our food, the service was nice and efficient and the restaurant had a great interior design - really instagrammable. Bottom line - In my opinion the restaurant lives up to the hype and it is definitely worth a visit.
SNCKBR is a health food restaurant that offers vegan pancakes and vegan freakshakes. Therefore it was a must see on my list. My friend went for the blueberry pancakes (true blue) and a side of avocado toast and I ordered the strawberry pancakes (red alert) and a peaches & cream (peach, banana, granola, raspberry, coconut flakes, almond milk and chia seeds). The batter of the pancakes was made out of buckwheat flour, coconut blossom sugar, banana, almond milk and cinnamon. The pancakes were good but a bit too dry (I added a lot of maple syrup and then they were fine :P ) and the freakshake was too rich. It was very creamy and filling. We were happy with our choices but not overwhelmed or drooling over it.
There are a total of six locations of this salad spot in Amsterdam. It is the perfect place to pick up a healthy lunch or dinner. You can either choose one of their favorites from the menu or create your own meal. All ingredients at SLA are organic and there is a wide range of items you can choose from. You can choose a base of salad or grains such as couscous, rice or quinoa that you can add veggies, avocado, a protein source and one of their flavorful dressings to top it all off. They also serve homemade soups, fresh juices and sandwiches. Since we went there on our last day before we had to go to the airport, we did not have time to eat in - so we got our bowls for take away. I ordered the Bumi Tempeh Bowl. The base was wild rice topped with lentils, broccoli, tempeh, avocado and sprouts. After we checked our luggage in at the airport we sat down at a cafe at the airport, had a tea and ate our delicious lunch bowls.
Unfortunately we only had two full days, therefore we were not able to go to all the amazing restaurants that Amsterdam has to offer. Other restaurants that I can recommend are: Vegan Junkfood Bar, Meatless District, Lavinia Good Food Thecoldpressed juicery and Sumo - just to name a few.
Since it was raining on our last night, we could not be bothered to go out to eat. Therefore we decided to order from UBER eats. They deliver FREE OF CHARGE - like how cool is that?! At first I wanted to order from the Vegan Junkfood bar but unfortunately they would not deliver to our area because the restaurat was too far away.
Since we wanted burgers, I found a restaurant called the Butcher which had a vegan burger and sweet potato fries, so I was already sold! I've ordered THE VEGGIE DELIGHT, which was a fried mashed chickpea patty with herbs and spices, lettuce, tomato, grilled onion & tahini. I have also ordered extra avocado for the burger ans a side of crispy sweet potato fries, which - I kid you not - were insanely good!
The Butcher is located in a district called De Pijp (The Pipe), which is one of the city’s most cool and trendy areas. It full of cozy cafes and diverse restaurants offering a wide variety of cuisines. You can just walk around and you will many cute cafes to spend your afternoon at.
If you like food festivals and market halls you should definitely go to the Foodhallen. It is an indoor food market with street-food from a variety of stalls. Local entrepreneurs offer original culinary snacks and drinks that you can eat there.
Not all stands are vegan friendly, but a lot of them are. Vegan food can be found at Yippie Yo Yippie Yay, Viet View, Maza, Fento, Dim SumThing and some other stands.
It can get quite busy so try to avoid it during lunch time. It is better to go there a bit later in the afternoon to stay away from the big crowds and long lines.
II. Bars and clubs
Supperclubis not only a club but also a restaurant and a gallery. This amazing place offers you nights full of entertainment and some great shows. If you fancy exhilarating music, provocative performances as well as artistic visuals, they have got you covered! Your expectations will not be disappointed. The interior reminds of an old mansion with its white walls and expensive looking decor.
Other places that I can recommend are Skylounge Amsterdam, for some nice drinks with a great view and Bulldog, which is a cool coffee shop chain. The best and biggest Bulldog (coffee shop downstairs, club on ground level, bar on first level) is located at Het Leidseplein. There are so many different bars and clubs around that area, so you will definitely have a good time there.
There are so many cute shops in Amsterdam that you will only find, if you randomly walk through the city's winded streets. So definitely do that and you might find some really cute stuff hidden in one of the many little stores. However, if you are looking for all your favorite fashion brands and mainstream shops, definitely go to Kalverstraat.
There is an Urban Outfitters, Pull & Bear, Topshop, Zara and many more. If you want to buy cute underwear you should go to Hunkemöller. It is like Victoria's Secret, but way less expensive.
1. Canal Cruise
I can really recommend to do the 1 hour Amsterdam Day Canal Cruise. My friends and I di it in 2014 and I also did it with my boyfriend in 2017. We chose the company Lovers Canal Cruise because it was the first booth that we walked up to. However, I think all the companies are more or less the same regarding price and what you are able to see and they all run pretty frequently. So you can also spontaneously decide that you want to do a cruise and just go to one of the many ticket offices and ask them when there next tour will start.
An Amsterdam canal cruise is definitely a must because the city has 100km of waterways. You will cross old merchant houses, gothic churches, museums, and medieval buildings, while soaking up the city’s fascinating beauty and architecture.
There are audio guides available on board. However, we were more fascinated by the amazing sights and cute buildings that we were able to see from where we were sitting. Floating through the canals on a boat has something magical and I can definitely recommend it.
Another attraction that is worth a visit is the Redlight District. There are brothels, sex shops, peep shows and windows with strippers and prostitutes in them, if you walk through the streets of this district. However, contrary to what a lot of people might think, the Amsterdam Red Light District has a very friendly atmosphere and is not as dangerous or sketchy as it used to be.
As for Museums the best ones in Amsterdam are the van Gogh, Rembrandt and Rijksmuseum. There is also a Sex Museum in Amsterdam. We went there in 2014 just for having a good laugh. It was pretty crowded and not really worth the 5 Euro that we paid for the entrance fee. However it was still kind of a fun experience and I guess a good thing to do if the weather is not good and you're staying around the area where it is located.
There are so many things that I have still not been able to do or see in Amsterdam so I will definitely go back. If you have some tips and recommendations for me that are not on my list yet, let me know! I will try to see them next time I will go there.
Thank you for reading and hope that some of these tips were helpful for you. If you are planning a trip to Amsterdam make sure to check out some of these places and let me know how you liked them.
I've been to Amsterdam five times so far and yet still everytime I go I am struck by it's beautiful architecture, friendly people and good food. Amsterdam definitely is so much more than just a party city, where you can smoke weed legally. It is actually such an amazing city that offers so many fun activities. Just rent a bike and go exploring or just stroll around along the canals. You will definitely not be disappointed.