Insider Guide: Amsterdam
Photographer and blogger
Lives in Amsterdam
Denne uges ChriChri Insider Guide tager os et smut til den hollandske hovedstad Amsterdam. Vi har her teamet up med den seje fotograf og blogger Marianne Hope, der guider os til alle de gode oplevelser, der gemmer sig i byen med de mange tulipaner.
In your opinion, what are the main reasons for visiting Amsterdam?
It’s a city full of life, energy and creativity. You’ll see beautiful unique architecture that you will not find outside of the Netherlands. The pure beauty of the city would be enough for me, but there is so much more.
What is your best experience in Amsterdam?
There is no such thing as just one best experience, all visits are unique, but everytime I visit Amsterdam I fall in love a little bit more.
What is special about Amsterdam, and the Dutch culture?
The beautiful and unique and historic architecture in combination with the canals, makes it one of the most beautiful cities in the world in my opinion.
My best advice to Amsterdam
If you go to Amsterdam for the first time, my best advice would be to not have too many plans or a too long list of must see’s, but rather spend the time enjoying and just being there. Take time to breath in the atmosphere and the pulse of the city. Sit in cafes and just enjoy it. Walk around the beautiful canals and interesting things will find you even when you’re not looking. I’m pretty certain that if you take your time to enjoy, you will want to come back for more. As for myself, I fall in love with Amsterdam a little bit more every time I visit.
One last piece of advice: Be ware of the bikers! They “own” the city and do not take kindly to tourists walking on their bike paths.
Since I live nearby, I don’t stay in hotels in Amsterdam, so my advice is not based on personal experiences, but rather on the visual feel of the hotel as well as location.
Hotel de Hallen – Open since May 2014, this fairly new and unique design hotel is perfectly located in the former tram depot of Amsterdam – an industrial heritage complex – a trendy and laid back area with only 30 minutes walk from the most central area of Amsterdam. Inside the same building, you find the Foodhallen, described in the eat section.
The student hotel – Combining hip design, great location with affordability. This cool concept has 2 hotels in Amsterdam and is for students and their friends/family only.
Stout & Co. – Is a B&B that makes you feel like you’re home away from home. Central location, organic breakfast, personal service and a private deck are a few of its perks.
Volkshotel Amsterdam – Calls itself a “hotel of the people”, a place for everyone. While the exterior of the hotel is quite bland, the interior is really funky, urban and hip. It’s a cool hotel for an affordable price.
Eat and drink here
I still have a long to-do list of restaurants to visit in Amsterdam. My Pinterest account is full of names of hip restaurants that I want to try some day. Here are a few of the ones I’ve tried as well as some from my wish list.
The Bakkerswinkel – A place for breakfast, lunch and high tea. Really nice concept with fantastic scones and homemade jams. There are 3 restaurants in Amsterdam. A must try!
Calf & Bloom – A hip café n the middle of Amsterdam, located just 2 minutes from the famous flower market, good food, great service and nice and contemporary design.
The Food Hallen – Located in the former tram depot of Amsterdam and right beside the before mentioned Hotel de Hallen, is a retail food market of 21 small independent restaurants from all corners of the world including a bar selling drinks in it’s very centre.
De Plantage Amsterdam – I haven’t eaten here myself, but I’ve heard good things about the food and the location. The amazing historic building and the unique interior design is worth a visit in itself just for the experience of it all.
Burgermeester – This place is all about the Burger; home made, organic, fair trade and very very good.
CT Coffee and coconuts Amsterdam – A cool new restaurant located in the hip and central area called The Pijp. The design is incredibly inviting, light and spacey. It’s open from 7 am to 23 pm.
Vondelpark is a must visit, located in the very centre of Amsterdam and a beautiful place to either ride a bike, take a stroll, have a picnic, rent inline skates or sit down in one of the 4 restaurants.
Experience the city
There are so many things to see in this city, you will not be able to see it all during one visit. I’ve listed a few of my favorites, but I can assure you there is much much more. If you want to know more about each place, there’s loads of information to be found on iAmsterdam.
The traditional Amsterdam:
There are so many things to see in the centre of Amsterdam, this is some of my favorites:
Museums: (Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank house, Van Gogh – just to name a few).
The Canal Belt (Including The Nine streets and De Wallen) Begijnhof.
The De wallen area (The red light district, I like this are for it’s beautiful historic archtecture, but try to avoid the sad red windows)
Nieuwe Kerk and Dam Square.
If you want to see something completely different to the traditional Amsterdam, you should take the free ferryboat to the NDSM wharf, which is a former shipping wharf area. NDSM is now a space for creative people and students, with an urban feel and a unique atmosphere. – Very special and definitely worth a trip.
EYE film institute
Is a contemporary museum, located at the waterfront just behind the central station and is one of Amsterdam’s main attractions.
The former working-class neighbourhood De Pijp is today a multicultural and hip area with lots of new and unique restaurants and concept stores. Here you also find the famous Albert Cuypmarkt as well as the Heineken Experience (former Heineken brewery).
There are lots of shopping possibilities in Amsterdam of course, and the centre of Amsterdam has it all; the big international shops, but also inspiring and lovely concept stores.
The area called De Pijp is an up and coming area perfect for a unique shopping experience outside the most touristic areas. While “De Negen Straatjesor” or “The nine streets” in English, is a well known area of 9 streets inside the canal belt of Amsterdam. It’s an area full of unique stores, galleries, hot spot restaurants, typical Dutch architecture and a unique experience all over.
There are also several markets worth visiting, see more info here, but to mention a few:
– The flower market where you can buy flower bulbs, seeds as well as fresh flowers.
– Westerstraat market in Jordaan (Open on Monday morning only)
– Boekenmarkt op het Spui, where you not only find old books, but also lovely old vintage cards.