Hey you! Welcome to my site. Last weekend I flew to Amsterdam for the weekend with one of the most beautiful human beings I know. We ate so much and caught up on everything going on in our lives. I absolutely love the coziness of Amsterdam for this relaxing friendship trip. Plus, the September weather was actually perfect for the "catch-up". We walked around as long as the sun was out and as soon as it got cold and windy, we hid in a restaurant without any bad feelings. The last and actually my first time I visited Amsterdam, it was mid-January and freezing cold in the city. It felt so cold in comparison that September now felt like a pretty perfect time to discover the city!
Well, good question. In my case, I have to admit, that we didn't plan for the trip at all. With one exception - food! I am such a Foodie that I was equipped with the longest restaurant/ brunch list and absolutely zero sights "Must-Sees". I am almost ashamed about saying this out loud but for me, Food culture plays such an important role. Plus, everything else comes always naturally on a trip if you enjoy walking and you are open to exploring everything that crosses your way on a trip.
Let's start with what I discovered, i.e. what are the "MUST-SEES" in my opinion and how we discovered them:
Every morning we started our day from the "central station" as we stayed in a beautiful hotel a little bit outside the city on a peninsula called "Haveneiland" (Side note: Apparently this peninsula was constructed several years ago to counteract the living space shortage in Amsterdam. - an absolute lovey neighborhood!)
If our "chosen" breakfast spot was far from the central station, we directly went there by Metro. The Metro works super smoothly in Amsterdam. If you enter the Metro on the back door, you can directly buy a ticket from the conductor. I recommend day tickets if you want to move around a lot within a day but aren't sure how your next days will play out. If you, however, select a neighborhood and decide to just explore this one area, a single one-rout ticket works perfectly as well. Below now my list of my Amerstdam touristy recommendations:
CANALS OF AMSTERDAM
The canals of Amsterdam are an absolute "Must-See" and actually, they can't really be missed you stroll around the city center. I'm so in love with the narrow, winding streets of Amsterdam right next to the canals. But besides the beautiful architecture, there are tons of little restaurants, shops and boutiques to explore as well. One of my favorite discoveries was a small shop called Mint-Mini Mall. They have beautiful home and interior products (including food props! ;))
The perfect place to go to for a stroll through Amsterdam's city nature" is the Vondelpark. It's a huge park, apparently the largest all over the Netherlands with over 10 Mio. visitors a year. I went there twice now, once during my first visit to Amsterdam and now this time in fall. With snow as well as with the beautiful brown fall leaves, the park is absolutely beautiful.
The ultimate touristy thing to do is go to A'dam lookout. But I have to admit, you get a great view of the city! The tower is just off the central station and can be reached via boat for free. (You only need to make sure to hop on the right boat ;)). There, you have two options. You can either visit the restaurant (and get your view for "free") or buy a ticket to go on top and catch a glimpse over the beautiful city of Amsterdam.
Another very touristy must-see and the perfect spot to shoot some souvenirs during your "Girls Foodie Trip" in Amsterdam is Amsterdam's Flower Market. The street goes along the Amsterdam canal (located between Koningsplein and Muntplein) with one flower store lined up right next to the other. If I lived in Amsterdam, this place would definitely be my "Go-To" spot to equip myself with beautiful apartment plants. As besides flower bouquets, the vendors sell tons of amazing apartment plants there.
Even though the place is super touristy, I highly recommend the experience. On our way there, a guy passed us by bike and offered us a few flowers from his basket. The basked was filled with flowers. For me, this was the most authentic Amerstam experience I could have ever imagined. :)
THE AMSTERDAM BOTANIC GARDENS - "HORTUS BOTANICUS AMSTERDAM"
One of my highlights during this trip was our spontaneous visit to Amsterdam's Botanic Gardens, i.e. Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam. We actually just walked randomly by the museum after our breakfast at Dignita Cafe and asked ourselves what beautiful garden this could be? We walked around the entire site and realized it's Amsterdam's Botanic Gardens. Lucky us! :)
The entrance price was 10 EUR if I remember correctly and, in my opinion, absolutely worth the money if you like flowers, plants and, of course, cactuses. Amsterdam's cactus selection in their botanic gardens is huge as you can see in the image. I was absolutely amazed - especially by the coral-rust colored background! Therefore, don't forget your camera for the visit. Highly recommended!
NOORDERMARKT - AMSTERDAM'S FARMERS & FLOWER MARKET
To be completely honest with you, we missed Noordermarkt. I was so sure, the market was open on Sunday that we decided on Saturday to postpone our visit to Sunday. Big mistake. It turned out the market was closed on Sunday. Anyways, from what I have heard, the market is beautiful. Everyone who has lived in Amsterdam or has visited the city more than once recommended the market to us. It's a historic farmer's market filled with food stands selling fresh, organic produce.
ANNE FRANK HAUS
The Anne Frank Haus is an absolute classic for a "first" visit to Amsterdam. It's a beautiful museum to immerse yourself into the world of our great-grandparent's and of course the lovely Anne Frank. I left the museum with my greatest respect for Anne and her family. We are so lucky growing up in a world in which we can take the decision to take a spontaneous "Girls Weekend Trip to Amsterdam".
A WALK THROUGH THE "PIJP"
Before we get into food, I need to recommend the PIJP by itself. The PIJP is actually a whole neighborhood located south-east from the city center and filled with bars, restaurants and cafes. It's the perfect neighborhood if you just feel like strolling around and basically "window shop" whatever crosses your way. We even found a street market we strolled through in this beautiful, lively neighborhood, which is especially popular amongst the young and creative minds.
One of my favorite spots to eat and dine was the Foodhallen Amsterdam. The Foodhallen Amsterdam is an incredible artistic place with tons of indoor food spots right next to each other. You can basically get whatever you feel like eating and then you just grab a seat somewhere within the location. That's it. So even if your wife, friend or kids feel like burger, you can still get your Gin at the Gin Bar and your Mexican Burrito from the Taco stand. The ambience is super cool and they even have live-music occasionally.
Outside the Foodhallen, there are several mini boutique stores, I highly recommend visiting. Besides cool and local souvenirs, you can find super inspiring start-up companies showcasing their unique product offering. I honestly had to force myself not to buy a coffee table book in the coolest bookstore there. It was impossible to buy one considering I traveled with "only a carry-on bag"!
COFFEE & COCONUTS
One of my favorite brunch spots during this trip was Coffee & Coconuts. The location is so cool! It's cozy, full of plants, super hip and they even serve great food. We had Chilaquiles and a huge stack of berry pancakes. Unfortunately, the Chilaquiles were on a different level compared to what I am used to but for European standards, it was decent I would say. The coffee was amazing though and I also enjoyed the pancakes even though I normally never eat so sweet. Definitely worth a visit! (image below)
CC DE BOL - THE PERFECT WORKSPACE
The perfect workspace in Amsterdam is CC De Bol. As both, my friend and I still had to get a few things done during our trip, we searched for a cozy coffee spot in which we could write a few emails and found CC De Bol. Highly recommended. Good Wifi, great coffee and cozy seats to stay a few hours.
AMSTERDAM'S FAST FOOD CLASSICS
When I did my Foodie research about Amsterdam and its local cuisine, I stumbled across two things. One being everything related around pancakes and potatoes and second "Stroopwafels". As you know me, neither one sounds green and clean but I truly believe that you should never refrain from being open to a new "food experience"/ "local food culture". Take a bite, enjoy the experience and continue with your clean eating habits as soon thereafter.
The top two Instagram spots I found during my research:
STARING AT JACOB
Another perfect (and I mean perfect!) brunch spot in Amsterdam is Staring at Jacob. We tried their Poached Egg Avo Toast and their Banana Bread French Toast and felt like in "Food Heaven". Definitely worth a visit. (image below)
If you are searching for a vegan brunch/lunch and dinner spot, Meatless District is your go-to spot. They serve beautifully arranged plant-based dishes including veggie-based burgers, salad bowls and more. We tried veggie tacos and the burger with sweet potato fries. Both dishes were highly recommendable.
BAKERS & ROASTERS
I'm not sure if I was just incredibly hungry that day we went to Bakers and Roaster because the brunch menu they served looked like heaven to me. What I can definitely speak for is the "Huevos Rancheros" I ordered - those were amazing. I'm almost 100% sure that there was a Mexican cook in the kitchen. I never had such a good and authentic Mexican dish in Europe before. (You have no idea how tempted I was after my breakfast to take a glimpse into the kitchen :)) Anyways..even though the dish doesn't look that appealing in the picture I think, they are my number one recommendation in Amsterdam for you!
Droog is one of the coolest discoveries we made by accident. The place is something like a "modern art showroom" with a Cafe on the top floor and a hotel in the rear building. We didn't get to "breakfast" there but judging the pictures, the place is worth a shot. And even if you aren't hungry, the place is a really cool spot to visit while strolling through Amsterdam's canals.
My number one brunch spot in Amsterdam is Dignita Cafe. I actually went there twice now. The first time during my first trip to Amsterdam and now this time. Their whole menu is incredibly delicious and they really understand how to prep food. We had rhubarb stuffed pancakes and a potato-based french toast topped with loads of leafy greens. Plus, I absolutely love their concept: "Eat well, do good". (image above)
Another great lunch and coffee spot with tons of greenery is Benji's. The place is truly "perfect" for the "Girls weekend trip coffee and chat moment" if you ask me. Their menu is pretty limited so don't except the classic brunch menu you are offered at the other spots. We tried the plant-based hummus bowl and a wrap and both enjoyed to finally eat something super green and clean for once. Overall, a great spot for coffee and light lunch. (image below)
Last but not least PLUK. PLUK is a super cute "girly brunch spot" in Amsterdam with a delicious and comparatively clean menu. We had the vegan coconut pancakes which were made with oat flour and banana mash, an avocado burger and the most delicious homemade apple juice in the world. Besides enjoying a beautifully clean menu, you can also shop a lot of interiors things. They sell for example beautiful plates, cutlery and week meal planners. Enjoy!
OTHER PLACES I DIDN'T GET TO VISIT BUT ARE DEFINITELY WORTH TO BE CHECKED OUT ARE..
1. The Pancake Bakery: A classic pancake spot, offering pancakes similar to the German "Pfannkuchen".
2. Little Collins: Another great Brunch spot
3. Avocado Show: We wanted to visit this place so bad but unfortunately we missed our reservation. Make sure to reserve in the right spot!
4. Lavina Amsterdam: Another great Brunch spot
5. Cotton Cake: This place is actually a little boutique selling coffee and cake on the side.
6. Sticky Fingers: Very hip Cafe and the perfect spot for the "Girls Weekend Trip"
7. The Lobby Nesplein Restaurant and Bar: Beautifully designed restaurant in which they seriously understand how to decorate food
8. Mastino V: The perfect spot to find vegan Pizza
9. The MEETS Eatery: Beautifully decorated plant-based dishes.
10. Cropbox: Perfect place to grab a lunch box if you want to enjoy your day outside in the park
11. Sotto Pizza: Delicious Italian Pizza. They even have two locations.
As mentioned above, we decided to stay in a Hotel instead of an Airbnb as we had found a super good deal through the site hoteltonight.com. It was my first time using the platform and everything worked super smooth - perfect for our spontaneous trip. This isn't an advertisement, my friend just discovered the site and suggested to try it. Alternatively, Airbnb is always a great option, especially to be more central. But be aware, prices for Amsterdam Airbnbs are also comparatively high - desafordunadamente!
Trust me, you will love Amsterdam! The 850.000 inhabitant city feels so welcoming and cozy as soon as you get off the main tourist roads. And by the way, the "Amsterdamers" have so much style in my opinion. Let me know what you think and especially where you ended up brunching and dining. I'm looking forward to hearing from you in the comments below or on Instagram.
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