Amsterdam is full of lovely cafes, places to explore, and streets to stroll. I have chosen a few places to share that I really enjoy. One can spend hours if not a full day in the Museum Quarter strolling though the well-known museums of Amsterdam. You have your choice of The Rijks Museum, Van Gogh Museum, The Stedelijk Museum, and The Moco Museum. Each one offering a peaceful place to sit and take in the magnitude of this area. My favorite place to meet a friend and sip a drink is at The Rijks Museum. In the winter one can sit inside the museum or in the warmer months the outdoor garden is stunning! I always find myself spending a small window of time in this area especially on a sunny day. FYI, within a short stroll one can walk to fashionable PC Hoofstraat for luxury shopping.
Here is a place to linger, chill and rest in between strolling The Jordaan neighborhood and De 9 Straatjes (The 9 Streets). Hotel bars are relatively a newish thing for Amsterdam. I am digging the Amsterdam spin to them. The Lotti’s at The Hoxton Hotel is a hot spot for locals and tourists located on the Herengracht. It has a welcoming vibe that offers cozy and comfortable places to sip a drink and nibble on some food. Honestly a place that you can find yourself hours later departing. Love a new place to add to my long list of places to enjoy.
Next is an alternative posh spot. I am a huge fan of Dutch designer Marcel Wanders! He has designed the Andaz Amsterdam Hotel with a Alice In Wonderland theme. There is no detail that he has not thought of or delivered. Delft Blue is prominent and complimented by the over sized furnishings that creates a playful twist. The Andaz is hip and modern. It offers a cool lounge area for all to enjoy. A perfect place for tea time or cocktail hour! It is worth just popping in to experience this interior masterpiece and be surrounded by everything Dutch. If you need a place to stay, I wouldn’t hesitate booking this hotel.
Here are two lovely additions that I enjoyed and are in close proximity to each other. The Secret Church, Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Soder located in the Red Light Distract of Amsterdam is a must see. I never knew that Amsterdam at one time was filled with secret churches that were hidden in private homes and canal houses. This occurred during a period of political and religious changes in the early 17th century. This particular church I visited was housed in a wealthy merchant canal house. One gets to tour the canal house and the church. It is so amazing to travel back in time and experience how people lived back then. The museum does a lovely job explaining the history of this canal house through an audio guide. So many gems to explore and delighted I had the opportunity to learn more about the rich history that makes this city so special.
Nacarat, a city oasis located in the hustle and bustle of Dam Square. A roof top restaurant in the new Hudson’s Bay offering a fresh take on Middle Eastern and Greek cuisine. The views of the city are stunning along with the impressive and creative use of glass. A very Missoni feel through the play of patterns, color tones of pink, orange, and green while walking on the mosaic flooring makes the restaurant feel posh with a casual twist through the street food inspired menu. One feels miles away from the tourist packed center but by the end of your meal you are ready to rejoin the fast-moving city.
Amsterdam is an easy city to move around. Walking is my preferred way to move around the city with riding a bike a close second. Walking allows you to feel the city and embrace its charm. Biking gets you places quickly with a sense of freedom peddling from one place to another. As you quickly appreciate how Amsterdamers move along in their everyday life. The tram is efficient and dry when it is raining. You decide what is best for you!
Take a short drive out of Amsterdam to explore Loods 5, a massive furniture store located in a warehouse setting. You can find everything you need for your home. It has a similar feel to an Ikea with its grand space but with a pop up esque feel offering everything from Eames to local designers. Loods 5 is a place to draw inspiration. I love how they create themed spaces. Have a coffee and a bite then stroll along to explore everything from furniture, home accessories, to your everyday lifestyle needs. You will find something to walk away with and you will leave with fun ideas to spruce up your space! One stop shopping baby at it’s best.
Here are a few examples of larger furnishings that speaks to the Dutch shoppers (me included!) and what is currently trending. Loods 5 showcases many lines but here are a few recognizable designers that I explored: Eames, Hay, Muuto, Vitra, Fermob and their own in-house line, Design 5.
Spent hours just strolling the endless home accessories. Why is it that when one travels you marvel at others offerings? I always find myself saying “we just don’t have this at home!) The truth is I really do hunt out places and stores to experience when I travel. I welcome the opportunity to actually touch and see those finds that I have admired from a far (online). I also like to understand the aesthetic that speaks to that culture. I get inspired by other people and the way of life that can be so different from my day-to-day. So I was snapping away while in Loods 5. It doesn’t mean I have to buy or replicate it. It just means I appreciate another lens to look through when comes style.
Having experienced Amsterdam with a new-born, I had immediately fell in love with the Dutch aesthetics for children. I grew an appreciation for their parenting styles, family Sunday rituals of spending time in a park, to only needing the necessary gadgets to survive those young years. I still have a soft spot for the lovely, sweet, and well designed children’s furniture, toys, and accessories that are found in Holland. I have held on to all the Dutch treasure that I collected for my son. They hold memories of a time and place for me. So exploring the curated pieces of Loods 5 for children made me smile!
The Amsterdam posts are still flowing! Baskets, a new shop for me that I stumbled upon while exploring on foot. Here is the deal, when I tank up on coffee it just leads to hours of exploring. Baskets catches your eye with its garage door like entrance. It allows you to have glimpse into a beautiful and bright environment from the street. I love street wear and street culture and this shop showcases it in a wearable way. This is a mens shop but has lots of unisex pieces or as my girlfriend says “snackable pieces”. I could have easily walked out with a few elevated basics for my husband or a beanie (can’t have to many:), hoody or kicks for myself. I will keep this place in my memory bank of places to revisit.
Check out Baskets for yourself. It is always a fun way to gain style inspiration.
Welcome to the Bellerose store in Amsterdam. A Belgian company that offers stylish, well crafted, and playful basics for the whole family. I love that the branding is subtle and not obvious. The store itself is worth the experience. The environment is welcoming, warm, and encourages you to wonder around. The store is spacious, allowing the clothing to stand out. There is no clutter, no over packed shelves, and every garment is visible. I enjoyed just browsing and easily could have made some purchases:) but I didn’t.
Check out Bellerose online or pop into one if you have the opportunity.
I have to share a super fun coffee spot (of course!) in Amsterdam. Coffee & Coconuts, a former cinema is located in the de Pijp district. The brick wall interior is softened by large wooden communal tables, cozy cushioned lounge spaces, and filled with greens. I have total plant envy (note to self to create a home jungle) CC has a delicious and killer menu if you can’t survive on beans. A perfect place to enjoy by yourself or to gather with friends. Love it, Love it, Love it!
Another new shop for me, Maison NL. Maison NL is a concept store in Amsterdam offering a well curated selection of speciality products ranging from fashion pieces, home accessories, jewelry to gifts for your little ones. This store is packed with gems. Honestly, I typically would not spend so much time in a store that is covered floor to ceiling with merchandise. But I found myself eyeing things left and right. A great place to buy yourself or someone else a gift. Super fun to browse with a friend!
The first day is typically a fight for me to stay awake. But not this time. I am traveling alone to Amsterdam to celebrate one of my dearest friend’s birthday. So no time to nap! I must enjoy every minute of my visit! I never get bored with Amsterdam. I fall deeper in love every visit. Sitting in cafes with friends and strolling the streets is my favorite way to spend my days. It is day one and I’m off with my girlfriends!!
Coffee and jet lag go great together. So Bocca, a new coffee spot for me was the first stop. The space is bright, inviting and they serve a great cup of coffee. I also popped into a favorite store of mine, Spiegel Amsterdam. It is Dutch design shop that sells only products made in Holland. The perfect place to shop for gifts for yourself and others.
My girlfriends and I continued strolling with no signs of jet lag (shocking for me and I felt amazing)! Perhaps keeping my caffeine consumption in the mix was key. I was introduced to another fab and hip coffee shop, Toki. Loved the vibe! I wasn’t sure if the coffee was going to match up to the coolness. After a few sips, I was wondering if we would be able to come back!
An amazing afternoon with my girlfriends. Fell in love with another new shop, Papabubble. A delightful candy shop that makes their own hard candies on sight. The name alone makes me smile. We were lucky enough to catch lollipops in the making (which also came with some sweet sampling). I had to buy a few treats for my son:). The final stop of the day, the Conservatorium Hotel. The Conservatorium Hotel is a stunning hotel located in the Museum District. It is an architectural gem. The hotel has a beautiful, bright, and inviting lounge to enjoy drinks and nibbles. We sat and laughed while sipping vino!! A perfect start to the week!
Fact: The jet lag is kicking in and I am seeing doubles as I type. Good night!