The Everygirl’s City Guide to Amsterdam

Forget what you think you know about Amsterdam. The city is charming, trendy, and wonderfully fashion-forward. Visit around summertime and you can expect everyone to be outside, sipping coffee overlooking the canals.

Falling in love with Amsterdam is easy when you know where to go. After moving last summer from Los Angeles to Amsterdam to pursue a traveling lifestyle, Selena of Find Us Lost shares her favorite spots from her own adventures in the city.

 

Where to Stay

Budget – Under $120/night
Airbnb – there are endless gems to be found on Airbnb. If your priority is to stay within the main canals of Amsterdam, try finding a canal house near the 9 streets. For something more budget-friendly, neighborhoods like the Jordaan and De Pijp are also good picks within walking distance of anywhere within the city.

Mid-range – $150-300/night
The Hoxton Hotel – set inside a row of classic Amsterdam canal houses that previously housed the Mayor of Amsterdam, the Hoxton is a design-lover’s dream. The hotel hosts weekly events and features a trendy bar that you simply won’t want to leave.

 

Sir Albert Hotel – positioned just outside Amsterdam’s city center, Sir Albert Hotel combines modern comfort with historic details. This boutique “contemporary chic” hotel is just a stone’s throw away from the trendy neighborhood of De Pijp and the outdoor Albert Cuypmarket.

Splurge – $300-$500/night
The Dylan Amsterdam – located in one of the most desirable parts of the city, Amsterdam’s 9 Streets, the Dylan is a sophisticated take on Dutch luxury housed inside a traditional canal house. Their ‘Restaurant Vinkeles’ also boasts a Michelin star.

Conservatorium Hotel – walking into this hotel is in experience in itself – the tall ceiling is glass, and housed inside the courtyard of a former music conservatory. It’s directly across from the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum, so you won’t need to go far to experience some of the best cultural sites in Amsterdam.

 

What to Do

Entertainment
Canal Rides – There’s no better way to see the city and learn about its history than cruising through Amsterdam’s picturesque canals. Most companies let you bring your own food and drinks, so grab a bottle of wine and some cheese for a perfect afternoon boat ride.

The Concertgebouw – this luxurious concert hall organizes live music performances weekly. It’s world-renowned for acoustics and often hosts free lunchtime concerts, so check the schedule in advance to plan out a day to visit.

 

Culture
EYE Film Museum – You can take a free ferry to the North side of Amsterdam to visit this newly built museum, which features exhibitions and films. Their café also has a beautiful view overlooking the water.

Rijksmuseum – The Rijksmuseum is the best place to view paintings and works from the Dutch Masters. It’s a large museum with new collections on display every few months, so don’t be surprised if you end up spending a few hours there.

Van Gogh Museum –The Van Gogh Museum is a multi-story building which hosts the world’s largest collection of Vincent Van Gogh’s artwork. It’s situated just across from the Rijksmuseum, so remember to buy a combo ticket if you plan on visiting both.

Anne Frank Huis – The newly renovated Anne Frank Huis takes you on an informative and fascinating tour through the house in which the Frank’s hid during the Holocust. Book tickets in advance, because you’ll often find a line out the door.

 

Outdoors
Vondelpark – bike, walk, or picnic at this park below Amsterdam’s canal district filled with bridges and the occasional café. On a sunny day you’ll find many locals spending a lazy afternoon in this park.

Hortus Botanicus. One of the oldest botanical gardens in the world, the Hortus Botanicus is home to a variety of greenhouses and a beautiful outdoor garden. Grab lunch nearby at De Plantage afterwards, a local restaurant inspired by the garden district.

Where to Shop
Things I like Things I Love – a trendy clothing boutique featuring vintage picks and a small collection of home goods. There are three locations around the city so it’s not hard to find one nearby.

Gerard Doustraat – this street in De Pijp neighborhood of Amsterdam has some of the best boutique clothing stores and gift shops in the city. Highlights include jewelry and home goods store Anna + Nina and clothing boutique Felice Home of Brands.

The 9 Streets – filled with trendy shops and restaurants and the occasional vintage store, this neighborhood is a must-see in Amsterdam. For unique home finds, visit De Weldaad.

Albert Cuypmarket – open every day except Sunday, this outdoor market has everything from clothes and shoes, to flowers and home goods. Don’t forget to grab a warm stroopwafel (Dutch caramel-filled waffle cookie) for a pick-me-up between stalls.

 

Where to Eat

Best Eats under $10
Foodhallen – can’t decide what to eat? The Foodhallen has everything from Vietnamese spring rolls to traditional Dutch bitterballen. Don’t miss the Yuzu cake from Petit Gâteau.

Pluk – Pluk is a trendy café in the city center that’s perfect for an afternoon cup of coffee or sandwich. Browse their selection of gift items for sale while you wait for a table.

De Carrousel – head here for traditional Dutch pannenkoeken (think open-faced crepe). They come in sweet and savory flavors. I recommend ending your meal with a plate of poffertjes.

 

Cozy Brunch Spots
The Avocado Show – this newly opened all-avocado concept made headlines around the world for their innovative dishes. I suggest the avocado ice cream for a post-lunch treat.

Sweet Cup Roastery – This cozy, family-run café nearby the musemplein is the perfect spot to grab a latte and croissant. Their coffee beans are hand-roasted by the owners daily. Don’t forget to say hi to ‘Sjef’, their resident basset hound.

Dignita Restaurant – at Dignita, all dishes are made from scratch and their airy space is perfect for a lazy brunch. All the restaurant’s profits support “Not For Sale”, an international organization supporting victims of human trafficking.

Dinner
De Luwte – a popular choice for locals, De Luwte has a small menu that packs big flavor. Their offerings are rotated often and the atmosphere is intimate and cozy.

Buffet van Odette – situated on the corner overlooking Prinsengracht canal, Buffet van Odette serves fresh seasonal dishes and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I suggest reserving a table outside for dinner with a view of the canal.

De Kas – De Kas serves Mediterranean dishes with organic ingredients that come directly from the garden surrounding the restaurant. The space itself is a garden conservatory with lots of light, so it’s the ideal spot on a sunny day.

 

Drinks, please
Brouwerij ‘t IJ – located next to a windmill, this brewery with lots of outdoor seating is ideal for some tasty craft beer and bar snacks.

Vyne – Vyne is a small wine bar with a variety of wines by the glass. If you’re feeling indecisive, order the wine flight.

Café ZILT – this whiskey café has a wide selection of specialty craft beer and whiskey. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable about their spirits, and the warm interior makes for an excellent spot to spend time with friends.

Hiding in Plain Sight – a cozy, intimate bar with leather couches and award-winning cocktails. Reservations are recommended if you’re visiting on a weekend.

If Amsterdam wasn’t on your list before, I hope this guide has convinced you to add it to your list. Now all you need is a bike…

 

  • Emily Terreberry

    I have to say, I was really disappointed to see Every Girl posting something that suggests the Red Light District as a fun thing to do when in Amsterdam. When we were in Amsterdam two years ago, we spoke with local police officers and they told us that one of their major responsibilities is rescuing women and girls trapped in the Red Light District. Sex Tourism victimizes women and children and it’s shocking to see a women’s site (that I love reading!) promote it as a fun activity when abroad.
    Best,
    Em

    • Esther Pieters

      Couldn’t agree more! I’m Dutch and the more internationals who visited Amsterdam I speak to, the more shocked I get about how unaware most of them are about what an awful thing the red light district actually is!

    • The Everygirl

      Hi Emily, thanks so much for your feedback! We’ve removed the Red Light district from our list, as we agree the historical significance is far overshadowed by victimization of women.

      • Clara

        It’s nice that you are trying to be sensitive to people’s feedback but at the same time leaving that detail out of your story is like trying to conceal the sun with your thumb. The Red Light district is a part of the Amsterdam landscape whether we foreigners like it or not and unless you were promoting what happens there, which you weren’t, mentioning it as part of your story should not be offensive to people. I much appreciated your openness to present a true picture and help those like myself who have never been there have a FULL picture.

        • The Everygirl

          Hi Clara, thank you for your reply! We decided to remove the Red Light District because of the sensitivity issues surrounding women and female rights — we decided the issues outweighed the benefit of including the district in our article. We appreciate your feedback as well, thanks for reading!

          • Ashley Collings

            A compromise that you could consider is the Red Light Secrets Museum. Having just visited Amsterdam in May and toured this museum, it does a great job of not only talking about the historical significance of the Red Light District in the city, but the museum also puts a heavy emphasis on prostitute safety, sex trafficking, and what the city is doing to try and help women who are victimized. It was definitely worth visiting if it’s of interest to people.

  • Love this fresh take on such a great city!

    http://www.thewonderlanders.com

  • I’ve never been to Amsterdam even though I live so close to it (Copenhagen) but I really like how you organised the places to go and how well the article is done. I will save it up so I have it.

    https://mihabalan.com/2017/05/05/6-easy-habits-good-night-sleep/

  • Kiri Yanchenko

    I have never been to Amsterdam and would love to now I have seen your post.
    It’s not one of the places far up on my bucket list however now I think it has moved higher.
    There looks like there is so much to do and see – especially since I love architecture.
    I also like how you have save and splurge options for hotels!

    Kiri
    Set to Glow
    http://www.settoglow.com.au

  • Darcy

    Hi! We’re going this fall, before we travel on to Copenhagen and Stockholm. Is two days enough?

    • The Everygirl

      Hi Darcy, it all depends on how much you want to pack into each day! We think you could do it in two days, but you could also do it in two weeks. For shorter timeframes, be sure to plan out what are your “must-see” items and what you can give or take on so you’ll know how to budget your time while you’re there. And remember, it doesn’t have to be the only time you go!

  • I love Amsterdam! My favorite thing to do when I visit is too take a night time canal cruise. The city is beautiful at night.

    Sarah
    http://www.balancingwanderlust.com

  • I definitely recommend renting a bike and just seeing where it takes you around the city =o)

    https://dreamofadventures.com/

  • Andrea Smith

    Hiding in Plain Sight is amazing!!! However, I will say the best meal we had there was Tempo Doeloe! The Indonesian cuisine is a major part of the culinary scene. This was our favourite meal.

  • Nikki Laraja

    I cannot wait to visit Amsterdam someday and check out all these amazing places in person!

    http://www.shopthecoconutroom.com

  • Irene Laura

    Looks like a great guide! Can’t wait to visit 🙂

    http://ontomywardrobe.com/

  • I live in Rotterdam and have only been to Amsterdam a few times. This helps me plan what to do on my next day there!

  • Liam Havard

    Great post! I recently went to Amsterdam this year and had an amazing time. Vondel Park, the canals and the Anne Frank museum were the highlights of the holiday.

    Have a good one,
    Liam
    liamjhavard.com

  • I fell head over heels in love with Amsterdam when I visited last year! Can’t wait to go back!

  • Gorgeous photos! I absolutely love Amsterdam, it’s such a vibrant city to explore! I love this guide – I’ll be saving it for future use! Ha!

    I hope you have a lovely Monday,
    Michael
    https://www.mileinmyglasses.co.uk

  • Simona Bogvilaite

    This post is completely and undeniably A M A Z I N G! All these pictures made me want to go to Amsterdam right away! Like literally – N O W! Thank you for sharing this! 🙂

    Love,
    S.

  • Lys

    Awesome post! I’ve only been to Amsterdam once, but besides strolling around I didn’t do much that day. I plan to go back soon for a couple days- this city guide will be so helpful!

  • Jalisia Wright

    This was perfect! My best friend and I are planning a trip there and this helped out a lot !! Thanks !!

  • Lucy Lees

    Amsterdam has been on my list of places to visit for a long time; it just looks so glorious, and some great spots here I’ve not heard of, thanks for sharing!
    Life inside the Locket