Top Things to do in Amsterdam
If you follow me on my Instagram, you might have seen that I’ve recently been in Europe on a little getaway. If you’re heading to Amsterdam and are wondering what the top things to do in Amsterdam are, continue to read below!
Our trip was rather last minute. We flew from NYC to Lisbon, where my boyfriend Alex had a few business meetings. From there, we flew to Amsterdam, then onto London, Prague and then back to Lisbon for a night.
Alex is half Dutch and has alwaaaays wanted to me to visit The Netherlands, so we decided that this trip would be the perfect time to do so. To be honest, I was never that desperate to visit (there were other countries on my list that I thought I wanted to visit more), however when I arrived to our first hotel, The Hoxton which is right on the canals, I immediately fell in love. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a place that is so peaceful yet vibrant, and calming yet exciting. I could have spent hours (in fact I did), walking aimlessly from one canal to another, taking in the beauty of the city.
If you’re heading to Amsterdam, here is a list of things that I did during my 5 days, as well as a few photos of my Amsterdam outfits. By all means, this isn’t an expert opinion as I didn’t spend enough time there to try an abundance of places, but the list below is all the things that I loved during my time there.
Veronica Beard Skirt (available also from Barneys) – affordable alternate here & here
La Marque Leather Jacket – affordable alternate here
Annie Bing Sweater – affordable alternate here
Givenchy Boots c/o Luisa Via Roma – affordable alternate here & here
SHOP MY AMSTERDAM OUTFITS:
In Amsterdam we divided our stay in half and spent 2 nights at a hotel on the canals, The Hoxton, and then 3 nights at a different hotel, Pillows, in the Vondelpark area closer to the museums and park. We found this was a great way to spend time in different areas and see some new neighbourhoods.
We absolutely loved this hotel. We had a very small, yet extremely comfortable room. The vibe of the hotel is what we loved the most. It’s very laid back and not pretentious, yet still manages to be a luxury hotel. I loved the fact that they don’t charge you an arm and a leg for something from the mini bar (a small bottle of wine would only set you back 4 euro).
This hotel has some quirky additions, including their breakfast bags that you hang out the front of your room every night. Then in the morning, your breakfast (which consists of an orange juice, banana and muesli) is delivered in a brown paper lunch bag at the requested time!
Pillows Anna van den Vondel:
Pillows is an absolutely lovely small boutique hotel. The decor is absolutely stunning, and the staff are just as lovely. Many nights we would come back to the hotel to find a freshly baked pie (still warm and smelling delish) out on the bench for guests to enjoy. Breakfast was absolutely lovely and very large too. The breakfast consisted of eggs cooked to however you’d like, granola and a tower of fruit and pastries!
Scroll down for some pics below of our stay at Pillows.
This restaurant is a stones throw from The Hoxton and is part of the Pullitzer Hotel. This restaurant is probably the most Instagrammable in Amsterdam, decorated in soft pink and marble. Food was absolutely yummy, and enjoying a few glasses of rose over lunch while overlooking the canals was just heavenly.
Right opposite Jansz. A gorgeous little cafe with very decadent desserts and drinks. Lovely coffee. Again, very Instagrammable!
De Vier Pilaren:
If you’re after some traditional Dutch poffertjes, then you have to go here. It’s located within the city in a traditional Dutch building, and the mini pancakes were absolutely delicious.
A market which has traditional food vendors and little market stalls selling lots of different things. We went there and had Dutch fries with mayo, bitterballen and a delish stroopwaffel. Open 7 days.
Right outside the first canal near Vondelpark (we went here when we were staying at Pillows) Absolutely amazing Italian restaurant. One of the best pastas I’ve ever had.
TO DRINK – COFFEE
Screaming Beans Singel:
This coffee was better than anything you get in New York City and resembled an Australian coffee! Delish. We went here everyday.
TO DRINK – ADULT DRINKS
Lottie at The Hoxton:
We loved the bar at The Hoxton. Great vibe every night we were there, and these were on weeknights so I can only assume what it’s like on a weekend! Great range of wines and great cocktails. Plus they had THE BEST bitterballen I had throughout my trip, and trust me, I had a lot.
A fab little speakeasy. Great cocktails and perfect for an intimate drink/date night. I had a Pisco Sour (my new favourite drink!) and it was made perfectly. This place has an old New York feel to it.
Brouwerij ‘t IJ Windmill:
We hopped on our bikes and rode to this famous windmill on a warm Sunday afternoon to find out that it was actually a brewery with a beer garden packed to the brim with locals. This place was overflowing with people, so prepare to sit on the street with a beer along with everyone else! I was happy to do this when a beer and a wine came to 4.50 euro!
Anne Frank’s House:
If you’re a WW2 history buff like I am, you’ll thoroughly enjoy seeing the place where Anne Frank hid from the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam. Just a warning, the lines are very, very long, so pre book your tickets online beforehand to save waiting hours. I’m pretty sure they release new tickets daily, so even if they say they are sold out online, check back every morning to see if some new ones have been released.
I was quite nervous to do this as I’m not as confident on a bike as I used to be, but after a few minutes going around the park I picked it up again quite quickly. Seeing Amsterdam on a bike really is the best way, so if you can figure out how to navigate the streets and intersections like the Dutch can, I would definitely recommend it.
A lovely way to spend an afternoon. The park is quite big, so exploring on bike is the best way to see it all.
As I mentioned before, I spent hours wandering through the many canals in the area of Jordaan. Each is just as cute as another and they are filled with great cafes, restaurants, and boutique shops.
Museums & Galleries:
While I’m not a big art gal, we went to a Banksy exhibition at Moco which I enjoyed. There are a bunch of great art galleries to visit though if you’re interested!
Visit a Cheese Shop:
I absolutely love cheese, so when I discovered that Amsterdam loves cheese as much as I do, I was very happy. Alex and I found one that also had a cheese museum underneath it (very funny). They sell a wide range of different cheeses, and we picked out our favourites to enjoy later in the park with a bottle of wine.