Talk about a city of contrasts.
The crowded center and canals vs. the quiet streets just a two-minute walk away. The live and let live attitude. The diversity of people and styles. Summer sunshine, wind, and storms all within one hour (and apps with rain radars and more that allow you to cope with it!). What’s not to love about Amsterdam?
As an architecture enthusiast, I couldn’t stop photographing literally every house and exploring every side street. What impresses me is the uniqueness of each building; and the repetitive pattern of seemingly uncoordinated styles resulting in beautiful rows of houses is mesmerizing. A next trip will fill the blog with more cutting-edge modern design, which Amsterdam has plenty of as well outside of the more touristy areas.
Best spots (on this trip)
De 9 Straatjes – fancy some “quirky shops and eateries”? Go there, even though it’s touristy.
De Pijp – in my (outsider) opinion Amsterdam’s hippest neighborhood. Walk through the streets and enjoy every café, bar, restaurant, and shop you stumbled upon. You’ll soon notice that many streets are named after artists; the district is home to the somewhat alternative crowd, students, and international folks. The area definitely has a West Village (NYC)-kind of vibe, which was very nice to experience again. Don’t miss the Albert Cuyp market!
Where to eat
My favorite discovery this time thanks to my colleagues:
Cafe Kadijk – It might sound like a little neighborhood café, but what you actually get is delicious food in a cozy atmosphere. Choose one of the satés!
Rent a bike and take advantage of the nice bike paths, which will make you feel decently secure in comparison to biking on the street. If that’s not an option for you, I found the public transportation to be straightforward and timely. You can choose from a variety of ticket options (one-hour ticket to 96 hours unlimited ride tickets, the latter costing about 21 EUR) that best fits your needs.
Where to stay
As I was in Amsterdam on a business trip, I had alternative accommodation plans. Yet, many previous Amsterdam trips were embellished by a stay at The Times Hotel along the Herengracht, Amsterdam’s most beautiful street and most important canal.