When I told people that I was flying to Amsterdam I heard all kinds of comments – that it is not a culinary city, that four days there are more than enough, that it is recommended to stay next to the Dam Square and more. So, after my visit I must disagree with those people: I ate the most amazing food, I didn’t get tired of the city after six full days, and I stayed in an apartment in a quiet neighborhood and not a tourist place- about a 20-minute walk from the Dam. In my opinion there is no justification to sleep in Dam Square, since it is very touristy and noisy, and the location of our apartment allowed us to feel like locals and taste the real Amsterdam. Amsterdam is reminding me more of a big town than a city, the atmosphere is very relaxed and chill, and bicycles are more common than cars.
We found the apartment through Airbnb, and we liked it a lot. It has a spacious bedroom with a large double bed, and a sofa in the living room which also opens to a large double bed. The apartment has a fully equipped kitchen, a bathroom with a large bath and shower, and 2 balconies. Our host Donny, whose photos and items from trips around the world decorated the entire apartment, was charming and gave us great tips for things to do in the city. He kept in contact with us throughout the stay and was available for any questions.
The apartment on Airbnb:
Things To Do:
- Tours and Attractions in Amsterdam– A really cool fact about Amsterdam is that scooters are allowed on bicycle lanes at low speed, so driving them is safer than usual. We rented a scooter for a day from Guy Kuttner, an israeli guy living in Amsterdam, who provides various services that can greatly upgrade your vacation, whether you’re a couple, family or friends. In addition to renting scooters, Guy arranges private cruises in the canals, limousins rental and more. If you wish, he can give you some tips about restaurants and nightlife, and get you on the lists of the hottest clubs. You can find him on Facebook: Guy Kuttner, or send him a WhatsApp message: +972525556308.
- Canal Cruises– The best way to explore Amsterdam is on a boat! I would like to recommend Starboard boats- a local canal cruise company with an amazing brand new electric and covered boat. We had an unforgettable cruise in the beautiful canals of Amsterdam, accompanied with drinks, snacks and great atmosphere.
- Cycling– As I mentioned earlier, bicycles are more common in the city than cars, which is a great way to get around. We rented a two-hour bike at the entrance to Vondelpark and rode around the park – a highly recommended experience.
- Picnic In The Park– The weather in Amsterdam is very unpredictable, so one day when we got up in the morning and the sun was shining, we hurried to organize a picnic at Vondelpark, which was very close to our apartment. The city is known for the huge amount of cheese stores in it, so we bought cheese, fruits and wine and went to the park with a blanket that we brought from home. We sat on the riverside beside other people who came to enjoy the sun and the freedom, and spent there over two hours.
- Albert Cuyp Market– a typical Dutch market in the cool neighborhood De Pijp. The market is more appealing to the city’s residents and not to tourists, which makes it even more interesting to visit. Albert Cuyp is considered the biggest weekly market in Europe, where clothes, shoes, electronics, cosmetics, flowers, cheeses, chocolates, fruit and more are sold at cheap prices.
- The Museum Quarter– A cultural and art center that contains a large part of the museums of Amsterdam, and is surrounded by lawns that can be used for picnic or just for a sit down and regroup. In addition, the complex includes the famous sign “I Amsterdam”. We visited the impressive Van Gogh Museum and my recommendation is, because in Amsterdam there is a lot of unexpected rain, to keep the visit to the museums for a rainy day.
- Just Walking– Amsterdam is a small, flat city and it’s easy to get around from place to place. Through walking you can discover hidden and magical little corners that you would’ve missed if you’d use public transportation, so I recommend bringing comfortable shoes and just walking around as much as possible.
- Buying a Bath Bomb in Lush– True, this is not an exclusive attraction for Amsterdam, but when I went there I fell in love with this soap shop. This is a ball that is thrown into the bath water and melts gradually, spreading good smell and hypnotic colors. So, if you have a bath in the apartment / hotel do yourself a favor – because there is nothing more suitable for cold weather than a warm, colorful and luxurious bath. Also recommended as a gift.
Where to eat:
* Note – If you plan to be on a diet, do yourself a favor and don’t come to Amsterdam. The streets are full of tempting bakeries, rich delis and all kind of crazy desserts, and for me much of the fun in this city was to splurge eat without counting calories.
- Metropolitain– A restaurant with an amazing and particularly photogenic breakfast, with a cool design that seemed to have a lot of thought in it. We ate “Bacon+ Scrambled eggs”: brioche bun with avocado, tomato relish, bacon, scrambled eggs, chili and cheddar cheese. For dessert we took the “Forest Fruit Crepe”: a crepe with berries, mascarpone cheese and maple syrup.
- The Avocado Show– A restaurant where all the dishes are made from avocado, with a stunning design and a long (but justified) line at the entrance. We ate the amazing “Bun Burger”- an avocado bun stacked with Dutch smoked raw beef, bacon, tomato, onion and grill sauce, served cold with hot nachos and salsa. We also had the “Cat Sandwich”- chicken, avocado and truffle sandwich, and “The Poke Bowl”- Hawaiian style raw salmon, wakame seaweed salad, fish caviar, sushi rice and avocado. A paradise for all avocado lovers.
- Staring at Jacob– A breakfast restaurant with crazy and interesting dishes. I ate waffles with scrambled eggs, fried chicken, butter and maple on the side- a dish called “Rasco”. My boyfriend Or and his sister Keren took the “Not So Kosher Benny”- two poached eggs, toasted challah, smoked salmon, bacon, cream cheese, caviar & hollandaise sauce, home fries and salad. We only got to brunch, but for dinner the place serves, surprisingly, Japanese food and sushi.
- Van Stapele– a small bakery that bakes only one thing- a warm, soft, buttery chocolate chip cookie, stuffed with melting white chocolate. Some consider it the best cookie in the world.
- Winkel 43– A cafe that although it serves more than one thing, I didn’t see even one customer ordering a dish that is not the famous apple pie. Or, who does not like apple pie, wished we had taken two. It is a warm, aromatic cake that is served with whipped cream. Accompanied by hot tea or coffee this is the perfect treat for the cold Dutch weather.
- Ganache– A chocolate shop with a large variety of excellent pralines, some of which are very special flavors. We bought a box of 12 pralines for the apartment, and without even noticing, it “disappeared” within two days.
- Ice Bakery– A chain of bakeries with desserts containing Nutella, Oreo, Milka and other chocolate bars, or in other words- the perfect munch. We fell in love with a white chocolate chip cookie and found ourselves buying it day after day.
- Cannibale Royale– Excellent meat restaurant with 3 branches in the city and a vibrant and noisy atmosphere. We were 3 diners and we shared a crazy steak dish called Le Modeste. We also had the Cannibale’s Favourite Ribs, Mac ‘n Cheese and Jacket potato, that came with crème fraîche and bacon bits. Reservations are recommended.
- Café de Klos– A restaurant with the atmosphere of a pub, known for its pork ribs- which were soft, smooth and different from any meat I have ever tasted. The place opens at 16:00 and towards evening the wait at the entrance can reach an hour or two, so it is recommended to arrive around 17:00 – 18:00 while the line is still short and reasonable. A paradise for carnivores.
- Loetje– A meat restaurant with several branches in the city, known for its Beef Tenderloin Steak, which comes in thick butter sauce with a special rich flavor. As an addition, we ate deliciously Dutch fries with the Dutch Mayonnaise. Reservations are recommended.
- Moeders– Authentic Dutch restaurant recommended to us by Donny, the owner of the apartment. A cool experience for those who want to try traditional Dutch food. The name of the restaurant means “mothers” in Dutch – all the walls of the restaurant are covered with pictures of mothers, and diners are asked to bring with them pictures of their mothers. We ordered pumpkin soup and Suddervlees- granny’s recipe for stewed beef, served with boiled potatoes & red cabbage. The two dishes were excellent.
- Foodhallen– An indoor food market, large and beautifully designed, with stands of all kinds of food imaginable – Spanish, Vietnamese, Indian, Mexican, Middle Eastern, sushi, fish, burgers, desserts and many others. DJs play in the evenings and there is a lively and cool atmosphere. We ate a plate of cheese, cured meats and breads from the Spanish stand, burgers from “The Butcher”, which is a famous restaurant with many branches in the city, butter chicken from the Indian stand and a variety of desserts from the dessert stand. Highly recommended!
- Stroopwaffle at Albert Cuyp Market– a special Dutch waffle filled with hot caramel and dipped in melted chocolate. The waffle is also sold in supermarket packages, but in my opinion it’s better to try it at the market, where there are several stands that make it in front of your eyes and serve it with a number of toppings. Delicacy