• 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

Useful tips

  • 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.

  • Amsterdam has amazing music festivals: Amsterdam Dance Event, The Gardens of Babylon, Drumcode Festival, Awakenings Festival, and Loveland Festival.

  • 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

Soho House Amsterdam

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

  • The Dylan

  • Morgan & Mees

  • Mayer Manor

  • Sir Albert Hotel

  • Conservatorium Hotel Amsterdam

  • Hotel Pontsteiger

  • Zoku (co-work and live hotel)

  • Sir Adam Hotel

  • La Remise B&B

Where to visit

Eye Film Institute and Sir Adam Hotel

  • Oude Kerk -- the oldest building in Amsterdam

  • Stedlijk Museum -- modern art, and my favorite museum in Amsterdam

  • Van Gogh Museum

  • Rijksmusem

  • Anne Frank House

  • Eye Film Institute -- super cool architecture

  • Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam

  • Our Lord in the Attic

  • Hermitage Amsterdam

  • FOAM

  • Heineken Experience

Where to eat

De Kas

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

  • Toki

  • The Lobby Nesplein

  • Morgan & Mees

  • Bufette van Odette,

  • Bufette van Odette

  • Libertine

  • George (Leidsegracht)

  • George (Willemsparkweg)

  • Janzs

  • Pluk

  • G’s really nice place

  • Bakers & Roasters

  • Gartine


  • 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


  • Restaurant GUTS

  • Daalder

  • Pannenkoekenhuis Upstairs

  • Restaurant Blauw

  • BAK

  • Café-Restaurant Stork


  • Salmuera

  • Toscanini

  • La Fiorita

  • The Duchess

  • Izakaya

  • Mr Porter

  • Little Collins

  • Balthazars Keuken

  • Maris Piper

  • Choux

  • Rijks

  • Scheepskameel

  • Wilde Zwijnen

  • Mos

  • Rijsel


  • De Kas

  • Yamazato

  • Ron Gastrobar

  • The White Room -- the oldest restaurant in Amsterdam

For more, check out this great list from The Eaters

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:

  • Four

  • Tenue de Nimes

  • OU boutiques

  • Baskets

  • Jutka & Riska

  • Anna + Nina

  • Bijenkorf

  • Pauw

  • Unrecorded

  • Ace & Tate

  • Patta

Where to play

Coffee shops:

  • Green House Centrum

  • Amnesia

And below, some more recommendations from Hannake:

Cocktail bars:

  • A'DAM Toren

  • Tunes Bar

  • Petit Caron

  • Hoppe

  • Hoxton


  • Brandon

  • Café Stork

  • Glou, Glou

  • Alex + Pinard

  • Brouwerij ‘t IJ

  • Bar Bukowski

  • Flying Dutchmen

  • Tales & Spirits


  • De School

  • Schelter

  • De Loft

  • De Marktkantine

  • Claire

  • 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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