The first time I visited Amsterdam was about 6 years ago... ouch, that makes me feel really old. It was during my Christmas break, the year I taught English in Madrid, and it was one of the coldest winters in Amsterdam, or that's what people told me or maybe what I told myself?! All I know is that it was so, so lovely and magical because it was snowy and bright and I stayed right by the Christmas market. I honestly didn't venture much further than that immediate area and the museum area because it was cold and that's where all the mulled wine, poffertjes, yummy pastries, and art was. Side note, I def worked hard on adding that extra winter "layer" that year. Anyway, this time around, I really didn't know what to expect other than lots of bikers and gorgeous canals. And guess what, I wasn't disappointed!!
I was immediately reminded of how small and walkable Amsterdam center is and how wonderful that is. And after I almost got run over by a biker and Moses almost got run over by a couple more, sorry biker men and women of Amsterdam!, I also remembered that the bikers have the right of way! We started our first day down the street from our Airbnb in the Nine Streets, at Pancakes! Amsterdam, and loved every last bite of my thin, savory, Dutch pancake. Post pancakes, we hit up Rijksmuseum (don't miss that library, it's epic) and Moco Museum before grabbing freshly made stroopwafels and fries covered in piccalilli sauce. The stroopwafel guy told us how his family's the only one making stroopwafels from scratch, so we felt like we went to the right spot (Original Stroopwafels). All fueled up, we shopped our hearts out on the Nine Streets and ended our night at an Indonesian restaurant called Tempo Doeloe (get the rice tables!!).
Another thing we learned was how good the coffee was in all the little in store coffee shops versus actual cafes (not smoke-smoke puff-puff coffee shops) . Our favorite was the coffee shop in Rapha (the bike shop) and they actually had almond milk!! The guys in there were so rad and warm and made a really good latte! After grabbing our morning cup, we walked over to Winkel 43 for their epic deep dish Dutch apple pie and more coffee. Holy mother is that pie good and it's really good for breakfast too! Post "breakfast" we shopped around Noorder Farmer's Market for ingredients to make dinner and then headed back to our Airbnb. We also stopped by the best little grocery store nearby our flat called Marqt. Make sure you stop in when you're in town cause it's awesome. In the afternoon, we visited the Anne Frank Museum, which was a very emotional experience. Staying in and making dinner together felt like the best choice after that, so that's what we did. :)
On our last day in Amsterdam, we checked out Aussie eatery, Bakers and Roasters. What's rad about Amsterdam is that there's a lot of diversity when it comes to food. You can find everything from Indonesian, to Japanese, to Italian, to everything in between, including Aussie style breakfasts! After breakfast we walked up to the top of the NEMO Science Museum for coffee and a great view. Random awesome fact, it's the highest city square in the Netherlands! And to even it out, we hopped on a boat for a different perspective! I can't remember how many canals there are in Amsterdam, but I know it's a lot, and a canal cruise is a great way to see the city and to get around. We got off our boat right around Bloemanmarkt (the floating flower market) and grabbed lunch at a cute popup called Baut & Dreesmann. Post lunch, we shopped around nearby before hopping back on the boat and heading home to our Airbnb for leftovers. The original plan had been to go to Restaurant de Kas, but we waited too long to snag a reservation, so that gorgeous greenhouse dinner will have to happen next time we get back!
- Breakfast at Bakers and Roasters
- Coffee and City Gazing atop NEMO Science Museum
- Canal Cruise
- Lunch at Baut & Dreesmann popup
- Stroll through Bloemenmarkt (Floating Flower Market)
- Shopping in South Center
- Canal Cruise
- Restaurant de Kas*
*Would have been on our list but was booked, so we stayed in and ate leftovers
PS - You can download a copy of our itinerary here!