Just a few short weeks ago I spent a weekend in Amsterdam with one of my sweetest friends & favorite travel partners. It was such a quiet escape from the usual hustle and bustle of the other European cities I’ve been fortunate to visit. As much as I love that city buzz – it was a welcomed break and I can’t wait to take my husband back. Amsterdam, also known as the “Venice of the north” has 165 canals and 1281 bridges and probably 2 million bikes. It’s also famous for a few absolutely amazing museums, the Anne Frank House and TULIPS! So, if your headed to this gorgeous city – here’s a few things you absolutely cannot miss.
You absolutely can’t go wrong in this city with just the wandering. There’s so many gorgeous shaker style buildings, flora fauna and cute little cafes and shops to stop in. While your planning – and once you have some specific dates, hop online and grab tickets in advance to these few places. They sell out quickly – and you’ll be extra sad to miss them. Anne Frank House, Rembrandt Museum and Van Gogh. I promise having these ahead of time is going to save you some stress in trying to get in line for tickets the day of – especially if your on a specific time frame.
Next. lodging. We stayed at the prettiest little corner hotel – great location for walking or hopping on the train, clean and felt very safe. Check out the Hotel Notting Hill (yes, in Amsterdam, not London) – I honestly think I’ll stay here again next time I visit – we loved it that much. They also offer breakfast and a bar for drinks in the evening.
Let’s talk about food. And the fact eating usually makes up about 75 % of every single travel. And I’m very much okay with that. A few recommendations:
- For brunch or high tea – Greenwoods. They serve an awesome English breakfast with a twist. Fantastic coffee, tea and fresh beet juice. We sat right on the water for brunch – they also have some inside dining as well.
- Another great brunch spot – Little Collins, near Albert Cuyp Market and just a few blocks away from Hotel Notting hill – the food and drinks are absolutely to die for. It’s a foodie heaven spot – patio seating, a few tables inside or get lucky enough to sit at the bar and watch the chef prepare each dish. Halloumi & Brioche French toast, yes please.
- A couple of dinner options – for great Italian and adorable patio seating, Ristorante Isola Bella – I had the carbonara and a glass of red wine, both absolutely delicious. Or Pazzi Slow Food – super small and cozy vibe, flat bread pizza – beer and wine.
- Get a fresh stroop waffle – you can find them all over the city, and while your at it – try a fruit and cream topped one too!
- For an afternoon pick me up, Cafe de Baron – and it’s conveniently located just a block or two from the Albert Cuyp Market.
A couple of stops you should definitely make. The Red Light District – it’s not what you’d expect, I promise. And if you want to really learn about the history of this area – visit a sex museum, there’s several to choose from. We toured the Red Light Secrets – super informative, probably not for children – but so interesting to learn about and tour an old prostitution house.
Albert Cuyp Market – it’s the most famous market in the Netherlands and has everything from cheap touristy items to one of a kind hand made pieces. There’s several food, drink and dessert stops along the way. They have some unique plant shops, fabric and clothing stores along the way too.
Last minute we decided to take an evening canal cruise – I am SO happy we decided on this and would recommend it to everyone. It’s such a gorgeous way to tour the city – especially at sunset. There are several companies along the canals – we found Flagship on Trip Advisor and went with them. Our guide was super informative and not too noisy, we really got to relax and enjoy the scenery.
Amsterdam is famous for it’s tulips- if your lucky be there during the festival in April, all the heart eyes. I’ll let the flowers do the talking for themselves. Make sure to wander Bloemenmarkt – a floating flower shop that runs along the canal.
Keep wandering, travel safe. XOXO.