Home to beautiful canals, flowers galore and the most delicious little waffles that will ever grace your lips.

A few years ago now, my fiance and I spent three nights in Amsterdam (no where near enough time in my opinion) and we had an absolute blast. We based ourselves in an Airbnb, about 20 minutes walking distance just out of the centre. It was the perfect way to see the tourist side of the city, as well as an opportunity to explore the hidden gems.

I am no Amsterdam expert- let’s face it, it was a very short visit. Still, I’ve finally pressed publish on a little photo diary our stay, a list of foodie haunts we visited and some of our favourite sights to see.

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For our three night stay we slept in the architecturally designed room called Amstel Nest, on a quiet street off of the Amstel Riverside Boulevard. Our hosts, Rob and Fang and their 2 beautiful children were super accommodating and lots of fun! Rob and Fang are two creative entrepreneurs (designers & architects) who build the room by hand and designed every aspect themselves- photos can’t do this place justice. We felt safe in the area and it was a great opportunity to check out places nearby that weren’t swamped by tourists. Even better, it’s about a 20-25 minute walk to the centre and right near a metro. You can book Amstel Nest through Airbnb or through their website here.

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Wining and Dining

Our trip consisted mostly of walking, eating and more walking. Whether it be takeaway bread and cheeses, beers along the canals or a cute cafe, they have you covered. Some of the places we visited were:

  • Kaask Lder– The most delicious underground cheese shop. Buy a small tub of coloured cubed cheeses and dip them into mustard while you walk around the canals.
  • STEK– Delicious coffee, great breakfasts and a cool vibe.
  • SLA– Fresh juices, healthy salads and tea lovers heaven.
  • Lot 61 Coffee Roasters– as expected, strong and damn good coffee. Amsterdam seems to get coffee right consistently- everywhere we visited we were impressed.
  • Eating mini Stroop Waffles (from mini marts) and Chips in a cone with plenty of mayo is a must!
  • Food Hallen– A food hall that was recommended by our Airbnb host. It’s a hall filled with heaps of different food stands, almost like food trucks, but indoors. I ate pork and pickles (sounds better than you think) and my other half had Indian- it was some of the best food we ate our whole trip.
  • Cloud Art and Gallery– specialty coffee, eclectic artwork and a very minimal interior.
  • PANCAKES! Amsterdam– The best Dutch pancakes and Poffertjes- so sweet and delicious.
  • Geflipt Burgers– Ridiculously good Lamb burgers and chips. Very casual and popular with locals.
  • We also drank plenty of Amstel beer- What else would you drink in Amsterdam?

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Playing Tourist

We were very strapped for time, but these are a few things that we got up to, and recommend you do if you visit-

  • Explore the canals. Get lost, then get lost all over again.
  • Ride a bike like the rest of the city (I wish I did it but the wet weather put me off)
  • Get a photo in front of the “I am Amsterdam” sign. Get right into it and climb on the letters.
  • Anne Frank House- Totally worth the line up. Words can’t even describe it. So much history and a story of strength and courage.
  • Stop and smell the roses- literally. Buy a bunch of flowers off of the pavement, you will be spoilt with choice.
  • Take a walk along the Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge)- it has a beautiful view especially at night time
  • Immerse yourself in Rembrancht Square- eat, drink and enjoy the performances popping up in the street.
  • Walk the streets of Jordaan- cute side streets and lots of food and cafes to explore. One of our best moments from the trip was buying a wheel of cheese, a fresh baguette and people watching in those said streets.
  • Spend hours in the Rijksmeeseum.
  • Spend countless hours getting lost in Vondelpark. Bring a picnic and your walking shoes.
  • Check out the Red Light District- it has to be done. I was surprised by the various age groups that wandered through- young lads, older couples, you name it- everyone was looking through those windows.
  • Be amazed by all the houseboats. Explore the canals at night time (they are so pretty). One of our regrets is not taking a tour via boat on the canals.

Going through all these photos is making me desperately want to visit again.
Have you been to Amsterdam, or are you a Amsterdam local? I would love to know your favourite spots!

Written by Jess

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