After having lived in Amsterdam one-third of my life (which counts about 9 years), I feel I’m pretty much a local. I used to explore the city thoroughly, memorize street names, get to know all the cafes, bars and clubs. I was a little in love with the city in my early twenties. Just like anyone else in the world seems to be crazy for the capital of the Netherlands. Its enormous attraction is obvious. And no wonder why. It’s pretty, it’s cool and it’s easy-going.
What non-touristy things would I do when I’m back from traveling to spend some time in Amsterdam?
Have an apple pie at Winkel 43
Winkel 43 is a café which will bring you a true Amsterdam experience. My mom used to bring me here as a kid after having strolled the Noordermarkt together. One of my favorite day trips. According to many, they have the best apple pie in town. According to me, it’s the best in the world.
It might be hard to get a table on Monday and Saturday mornings due to a vintage market, but it definitely makes the ambiance more “gezellig“.
It’s located in a trendy neighborhood, the Jordaan. Also, walk further down South to the Nine Streets which is a shopping area with boutique stores.
Bike through the Vondelpark or picknick at Sarphati Park
We Dutchies love to say the Vondelpark is like Central Park in NYC. But in reality, it fits about 7 times in Central Park. But you know.. everything in the Netherlands is pretty much miniature (except for the people themselves).
On a sunny day, bike through the Vondelpark or have a little picknick at Sarphatipark. Buy a bottle of wine and some snacks at the Albert Heijn. If you happen to be in the West area, you could try Westerpark. All parks are full of people relaxing and catching up with friends.
Explore the Pijp and have dinner at Bazar
My favorite neighborhood of Amsterdam is the Pijp. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I feel its ambiance is more cheerful than the other areas. It’s crowded and has cute boutique stores, cafés and restaurants.
What to do in the Pijp: have a herring at the Albert Cuijp market (typical Dutch), a coffee at Coffee & Coconuts, a wine at Gerard Douplein, a milkshake at Mc Donalds (kiddin), shop at Anna + Nina and have dinner at the Bazar.
What do we Amsterdammers do on a summer day? We massively run into parks, take the train to the Dutch coast or.. we go to beach club Blijburg. It’s our biggest city beach with an LA slash Bali kinda vibe (again: think smaller than that). I’ve been hooked on this place since the first year they exist. The restaurant is good and the terrace is really lively. Are you in Amsterdam during winter? Blijburg is still worth a visit. They often do bonfires and serve hot chocolate!
Feel like a night out in Amsterdam? Go to ROEST!
The name explains it all, this place is all rusty located in an industrial area. You will find an interesting mixture of culture, art and a bit of hipster. It’s laid-back but energetic. Also the perfect place to meet some locals.
And the best thing: they have a city beach as well. You know my centre of attention.
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