TRAVEL GUIDE TO AMSTERDAM by Jocelyn L.
Jocelyn L. is a Global Explorer, Foodie, and Music Lover. She loves architecture, history, music, art, fashion, hotels, and food. If you are into these, her travel diary will help you decide where to stay, eat, hang out, and play.
When we talk about or hear about Amsterdam, it sounds so familiar but no one seems to know where to go and where to eat when I ask my non-Dutch friends. Amsterdam is a city built around its canals, with advanced city planning from the 17th century, and it's famous for being very easy to get around on a bike. Its architecture is rich, since it has been blossoming since the Golden Age. It is also very liberal and progressive, with relaxed regulation around its cannabis cafés long before cannabis was even legal anywhere else in the world. In addition, it has a legalized Red Light District. Not sure where else you can find such a modern and open-minded city with such fantastic architecture! It is certainly unique.
A few facts about Amsterdam
It was one of the most important cities in the 17th century because of its port
It is Europe's 4th most densely populated city and the continent's 2nd best city to live in
Amsterdam is derived from the word Amstelredamme, from its origins as a city built around a dam in the river Amstel
Some of the world's largest companies like Netflix, Nike, and others have their European headquarters there
The best period to visit is April - October. My favorite time is the summer and early fall (September).
Tulip season is from the end of March to mid May.
Since Amsterdam is so bike-friendly, rent a bike from your hotel or through Frederic, Bike City or Macbike to get around. It's the best way to get to know the city and it's eco-friendly. If you're up for an adventure, bike an hour to the old town and visit the countryside.
Take a boat trip to cruise around the canals and have a picnic.
Enjoy night-time cocktails and get tattoos at the Van Gogh Museum.
Where to stay
There are so many cool design boutique hotels in Amsterdam. Experience them all by staying at a different one each time you go.
These are my top picks from where I've stayed:
Soho House Amsterdam
W Hotel Amsterdam
Pillows Anna Van Den Vondel
Morgan & Mees
Sir Albert Hotel
Conservatorium Hotel Amsterdam
Zoku (co-work and live hotel)
Sir Adam Hotel
La Remise B&B
Where to visit
Oude Kerk -- the oldest building in Amsterdam
Stedlijk Museum -- modern art, and my favorite museum in Amsterdam
Van Gogh Museum
Anne Frank House
Eye Film Institute -- super cool architecture
Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam
Our Lord in the Attic
Where to eat
I haven't made it yet to all of these, but these are some of the ones I like and Hannake's (local Dutch ICBRKR members).
Coffee & Coconuts
The Lobby Nesplein
Morgan & Mees
Bufette van Odette,
Bufette van Odette
G’s really nice place
Bakers & Roasters
Cheese: Fromagerie Abraham Kef
Desserts: Pastisserie Kuyt v.o.f, Van Stapele
Pizza: Sotto Pizza Roelof Hartstraat
Pita: Leeman Doner
Fried food: Febo
All types of food: Foodhallen
Dutch apple pie: Winkel 43
Classic Dutch food: Cafe Loetje, Café Binnenvisser
Sandwich: Broodjeszaak t Kuiltje
Cafe Restaurant: De Kroon
Nepalese food: Bhatti Pasal
The White Room -- the oldest restaurant in Amsterdam
Where to shop
Nine Street (it's an area) is the best area to shop for independent designers, and Haarlemmerstraat & Haarlemmerdijk are really nice as well. Noorderkerk is great for its Farmer's Market on Saturdays and Flea Market on Mondays. There are so many cute shops around the city, I would bike around and explore.
Here is a list made with help from one of our local Dutch ICBRKR members, Hannake:
Tenue de Nimes
Jutka & Riska
Anna + Nina
Ace & Tate
Where to play
Green House Centrum
And below, some more recommendations from Hannake:
Alex + Pinard
Brouwerij ‘t IJ
Tales & Spirits
Chicago Social Club
Enjoy this beautiful city and give us a shout if you're there for ADE! ICBRKR is around and we have a few events listed in the app -- be sure to check them out!
Find your next best friend or travel buddy in the ICBRKR app, available on iOS and Android, and share your adventurous soul with like-minded people. If you have your own travel tips you'd like to share on the ICBRKR blog, let us know! We'd be delighted to feature you.
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