With its bikes, lovely canals and narrow brick buildings, Amsterdam is one of the sweetest cities in Europe and one that begs for return visits.
Amsterdam is small and best viewed by foot or bicycle. For destinations beyond Centraal and the canal district, the trams are easy and one-hour tickets can be purchased on board.
The city is best reached from the airport via a taxi (15-20 minutes, assumes no traffic) or by train (20 minutes).
The Avocado Show An instagram-able brunch spot that serves avocado in every dish. Service can be slow so go early or plan to wait.
Foodhallen A sprawling indoor food market with good options for brunch, lunch, or afternoon drinks.
Henri Willig Cheese Try (and bring home!) Dutch cheese and mustard.
Lantjil & De Tijger The best Indonesian food in a hip, busy setting. Indonesia was a former Dutch colony and today Amsterdam has some of the best food outside of Indonesia. Try one of the nasi plates or a rice table.
The Pancake Bakery All the sweet and savoury Dutch pancakes (a larger cousin of the French crepe) you could want at a historic location in Joordan.
Restaurant C A high-end, trendy restaurant with a tasting menu prepared at varying degrees of Celcius. Service a little slow but food is delicious.
Vlaams Friteshuis Vleminckx The very best french fries.
Winkel 43 Incredible Dutch apple pie. The hype is real!
Brouwerij 't IJ A brewery and beer garden serving organic beers next to a windmill.
Coffeeshop Paradox Chill spot in Joordan.
Easy Times Coffeeshop Clean coffeeshop serving dry herb and overlooking a canal. Try the carmelo.
Pilsvogel Lively pub and beer garden in Gerard Douplein Square in De Pijp.
Proeflokaal Arendsnest Dutch craft beer pub in Joordan with over 50 local brews on tap.
Albert Cuypmarkt A street market in De Pijp. It’s on every day except Sundays.
Anne Frank House
Canal Cruise We highly recommend this. Choose the self-operated boats or hire a skipper. We enjoyed our 90 minute cruise and tour with Those Dam Boat Guys.
Jordaan The poshy part of town. Spend time strolling through it’s charming streets.
Katten Kabinet Feline friends, check out this quirky museum in an old town house devoted to cat artwork. Say hello to the kitties in reception.
Rijksmuseum The Netherlands Museum with art dating back to the Middle Ages. Works by Vermeer and Rembrandt can be found here.
Sarphatipark A small but sweet park in De Pijp.
Shopping It’s fantastic. A few of our favorites include:
De 9 Straatjes (The 9 Streets) for vintage and designer boutiques.
Restored on Haarlemmerdijk.
Tikal Alternative jewelry boutique in Joordan.
Zenza Global home goods in Centraal.
Stedelijk Museum Contemporary art housed within a grand old building.
Van Gogh Museum Best museum in Amsterdam.
Vondelpark Rent a bike and cruise around.
We recommend De Pijp. Amsterdam’s coolest neighborhood, this former working class hood retains its bohemian vibe. It’s a 20 minute walk into Centraal and far enough from the tourist crowds that it feels authentic. We have loved staying in AirBnbs here and here.
We also love the Joordan neighborhood, which is a bit pricier but worth the cost for being close to everything.