Amsterdam is popular for its canals, the Red Light District and more recently the new Museum district, while the art scene keeps the city buzzing with a pleasant mix of tourists and locals. Tripbod Sabine shares her favorite things to do in Amsterdam.
1. Bike ride along the canals
The best way to explore Amsterdam is by bike. Start your journey along the canals, the Nine Streets and discover many hidden gems in the Wallen area. Make a stop at Hotel Droog for lunch, grab a drink at one of the cafés at the Noordermarkt and surprise yourself in the Jordaan area. The small streets and the cosy houses, make this area the perfect environment for a city bike ride.
2. Brunch at Andaz
Sunday mornings in Amsterdam are for late breakfasts. I prefer brunch at the Andaz, for a laidback start to the day. A delicious buffet, glass of juice, fresh fruits and juices, diverse newspapers and of course a very stylish environment. Marcel Wanders and the Andaz team know how to serve you luxury on a plate. As the Andaz Hotel is situated along the canals, you can enjoy a Sunday walk after brunch in the area.
3. House Frankendael
This villa is one of the 10 monumental country houses left in the city and worth a bicycle tour to the East part of Amsterdam. Inside House Frankendael you’ll find a surprising combination of art, cuisine and history. Temporary themed art exhibitions alternate every now and then and restaurant Merkelbach serves Dutch-inspired food and features a lovely terrace in the garden. The house has many preserved original features and details dating all the way back to 1733. Perfect for a spot of lunch after exploring Amsterdam-Oost by bike, or drinking high tea after walking in the surrounding park.
4. Rent a boat
Get a completely different view of Amsterdam when you look up to the impressive canal houses while navigating on the water. Rent a boat so you can explore the canals, the IJ and the Amstel all by yourself. Sail to the Pampus island and discover the old fort, moor at the always-vibrant Hanneke’s Boom for a drink and stop at Roest for a meal and watch the sunset reflecting in the Amstel. Amsterdam seen from the water is magical!
5. Enjoy the terrace / A bar with a view
A place where you can moor your boat to have champagne and cocktails or maybe enjoy a meal at the terrace? The iconic Amstel Hotel opened the renovated A-bar this spring. A fresh, classy and modern interior and a perfect terrace with Amstel in view. The A-bar invites you to sit down and relax with a cocktail, listen to live music and enjoy watching the boats on the river.
6. Unwind at Hotel V - The Lobby
This ‘hidden’ gem opened its doors in March. The boutique hotel is situated a little behind the well known Dam square. A perfect central location to recover after a shopping spree at the Bijenkorf luxury department store. Have a drink and read some magazines around the fireplace while eating a Flammkuch at The Lobby restaurant. The vintage interior makes you feel at home the moment you walk into its cosy and inviting atmosphere.
7. Beach party at Blijburg or Pllek
On a hot summer day, Amsterdam has lots of parks to escape the heat. Less well-known are the little beaches in Amsterdam-Noord. Blijburg aan Zee is situated in the IJburg area featuring a beach with a bar, live music and beach parties. The perfect place for a relaxing afternoon where you can just lounge on the beach and take a swim. Pllek is a small beach at the NDSM werf. You can’t swim here but you can enjoy healthy organic food, fast Viber wifi and lounge throughout the day. There are events, art spaces and workshops like yoga. A creative place with an amazing view over the IJ. Take the ferry and start enjoying the Amsterdam beach life!
8. Fleamarket at IJhallen
Every first weekend of the month, the famous IJ-markt is held at the IJhallen. It is the biggest flea market in Amsterdam, where you can find vintage clothing, furniture and closet sales from local bloggers and collectors. When the weather allows it, the market can be found outside from November until March where it is held in the former shipyard. Entrance fee: €4.50 per person.
9. Amsterdam view at Skylounge
No matter what angle you try, Amsterdam always looks amazing. From the Skylounge you have the best sky view (almost 360 degrees) over the city. The terrace has its own bar and on a bright and sunny day you’ll lose your sense of time. On a Friday night the Skylounge is the perfect place for cocktails, then on a Sunday afternoon the view invites you in for a cup of tea and during a weekday this place is the perfect spot for meetings or catching up with friends.
Everyone who’s a bit interested in art and culture knows the Rijksmuseum is a must visit. Besides the popular masterpiece The Night Watch by Rembrandt, there is so much more to explore. The pieces are arranged chronologically with sculptures, paintings and subjects presented together to supply you with a very inspiring collection. The beautiful café is a great place to sit down with coffee and wifi. Cycle under the famous walk way under the museum or read a book and see the sculptures in the beautiful garden. Entrance: free until 18, €15 from 19 years and older.
Tripbod Sabine spends 75% of her time on the road on a quest to discover the most promising start-ups around the world. Apart from being a luxury lifestyle blogger based in Amsterdam, she now also connects the dots between ideas and investors.