I don’t know if you’ve had this feeling before but i was bit worried about Amsterdam..like a movie that had a lot of hype, it was a destination that had a lot to live up to. All those charming images of quirky terraces over-looking sweet narrow canals & friends telling me i would love it. Where to stay, what to do, what not to do ~ but like all travel – it’s about your own discoveries, and this is how we found it. It was definitely full of bikes..(maybe too many!:)
Of course being antique dealers we couldn’t go to Amsterdam and not buy antiques….
With everything so close, walking along the streets and traversing the canals around the Centrum area is the perfect way to get your bearings and in most cases very pretty. An easy tram ride south takes us to the Museum Quarter where we visit the Van Gogh Museum & the recently renovated Rijksmuseum (a fabulous collection of Dutch masters in a wonderful building) i love the juicy details about the story behind the renovation that took 10 years, read about it here.
Hire a bike and join everyone else, riding through Vondel Park
Tipped off from a good friend in Paris the famous Winkel apple pie didn’t disappoint!…
& a few other foodie discoveries we made, the recently opened restaurant De Plantage – located in the very pretty neighbourhood of Plantage, right next door to the Amsterdam Zoo. The building created around the original 19thC greenhouse, is now a restored industrial gem with interiors to match.After a few weeks on the road buying in France & Belgium it is only natural that we were craving a bit of spice in our meals, so landing amongst a city renowned for great Indonesian cuisine was a bit of a blessing. Again we were lucky to be given the name of Cafe Kadijk by locals – a short bike ride along the waterfront and in a cute row of restaurants opposite, you guessed it a canal 🙂 we had a great meal here.
Then it was back to wandering and we spent some time in the area known as Spieglkwartier ~ a mix of old world charm, small boutiques and antiques. I love seeing clever artisans and antiques nestled alongside each other, finding areas like this makes it easy way to while away an afternoon…
Staying around the less salubrious surrounds of Central Station brings you face to face with the other side of Amsterdam tourism, which is a lot grittier than many of the instagram images I have seen over the years! Sure it keeps itself within the red light district & surrounding streets but it is definitely attracting a very different kind of tourist. Many locals we met with said they would prefer it not to be there but it is undeniably every bit as much a part of Amsterdam as are tulips and Delf pottery and it would be hard to change it…
I was hoping to post this before all the picturesque memories faded…we will be back Amsterdam ❤ !