There’s so much I love about Amsterdam. The wisteria that winds up the facades of 17th-century canalhouses. The townhouses themselves—especially their big windows, which allow for some serious rubbernecking. The food, the people, the sunshine (not guaranteed, you understand)… I could go on. Instead, below are my very favourite spots—most of which, you won’t find in the guide book.
1) De Weldaad
A treasure trove of vintage-style furniture and accessories. If I could move in, I would.
Noordermarkt 35-36, Jordaan, Amsterdam
Cosy, relaxed and utterly delicious. The aroma of zegni bubbling on
the stove will taunt you from the minute you walk in the door. Injera
piled high with Eritrean classics are served on a shared platter, no
Jan Pieter Heijestraat 147, Oud West, Amsterdam
3) Cafe George
The perfect brunch spot: all-day eggs, delightful coffee and an industrial-meets-bistro interior to die for (I especially love the name!)
Leidsegracht 87, Southern Canal Belt, Amsterdam
4) De Kaaskamer
Every cheese under the sun and more: try the local Gouda on its own, or infused with truffle or cumin.
Runstraat 7, 9 Straatjes, Amsterdam
5) Cafe Gollem
Dutch bar snacks, Belgian beers galore—what’s not to love? Ideal for an aperitif.
Overtoom 160-162, Musuem Quarter, Amsterdam
6) JL 76
Cute, quirky and luxurious but not too pretentious, this boutique hotel has the comfiest beds ever—ask for a room with a jacuzzi bath!
Jan Luijkenstraat 76, Musuem Quarter, Amsterdam
The Nobu of Amsterdam. Seriously chic (if expensive) restaurant, bar and lounge for sushi lovers.
Hobbemastraat , Musuem Quarter, Amsterdam
A fascinating exhibition of photojournalism from the past year—ideal for Amsterdam veterans who have ‘done’ the Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank Huis and Van Gogh Museum (not to suggest that any of the aforementioned are one-time wonders, of course).
Oude Kerk, The Old Centre, Amsterdam
9) Vondel park
..although strictly in broad daylight; at night, I understand it’s an altogether different place. When I went, there were meadows lined with lacy fronds of cow parsley, lakes and paths begging to be explored, with cafes dotted conveniently throughout. Bliss. Pick up a bagel from Bagels & Beans and enjoy it at leisure.
Entrance on 1e Constantijn Huygenstraat, Museum Quarter, Amsterdam
For a takeout with a difference, head to slow-food joint Pazzi for wood-fired pizzas made with the finest ingredients.
1e Looiersdwarsstraat 4, Southern Canal Belt, Amsterdam