From its slanted storefronts to its cobbled streets, its canals, its clogs and (ahem) its cannabis—Amsterdam is a dreamy, delicious and stylish pedestrian-friendly welcome to The Netherlands. Rain or shine this city is a delight to all kinds of travellers. Bask in its wonderful beer and bike culture, its gastronomic gems, its many, many house boats; skip down 9th Street for shops, shops and more shops. Leave the city penniless, but less hungry and much happier than when you came. Wolkom in Amsterdam!
A Michelin star in Dutch cuisine and more than 20 years surrounded by white tiles under fluorescent lighting gets you one brilliant restaurant idea: a greenhouse you can eat in. Gert Jan Hageman turned the once to-be-demolished 1921 greenhouse and turned it into and gastronomic masterpiece in Frankendael Park, between the Rembrandt Tower and the 19th century facades of Water¬graafs¬meer, De Kas. The spot sees about 50,000 guests annually under the glass top or outside on the herb garden patio. Quaint!
Located in the historic and haute-styled Conservatorium Hotel Amsterdam, Tunes Restaurant and Bar by Schilo is the design rebirth of Dutch landmark, the former Sweelinck music conservatorium. Listen up architecture buffs: the 19th century relic was re-designed by Dutch architect Daniel Knuttel as the Rijkspostspaarbank Building, an urban renewal project that has given the restaurant’s Dutch-chef, Schilo van Coevorden, a nice design backdrop for a menu that’s as beautiful as the building that hosts it. And it only gets better: the Conservatorium boats excellent rooms, indoor swimming pool, a signature spa, cutting-edge gym and a yoga studio. An all-in-one experience!
Cute coin purses and structured bags with very familiar designer silhouettes beckon from trompe l'oeil windows. Smaak may be a new handbag and accessories purveyor but the color, shapes and textiles feel very much grown up. Walk out with more than one perfect purse and wait for the compliments you’ll get on each piece.
This bookstore meets fashion library is a treat to browse through. A Mecca for your most coveted style coffee table books and a perfect spot for gift buying if clogs and caramel stroopwafels aren't what you're looking for. Mendo houses special collections of extra-large books like Muhammad Ali (GOAT), Vivienne Westwood, David LaChapelle (Artists & Prostitutes), Valentino, Inez van Lamsweerde, Helmut Newton (SUMO) and more. The store's walls aren't bricks, but thousands of black Mendo styled books and cool leather covered panels. You'll walk out feeling so inspired by its interior, you'll want to write your own fancy read.
This multi-label boutique is in the heart of Amsterdam's prized shopping disctrict De 9 Straatjes (The Nine Streets). Go straight here for men’s and women’s ready-to-wear and luxury accessories. Owners Mare Trispel and Elza Matthijsen mix their selection of cool brands—Christian Peau, Current Elliot, Lala Berlin, Sessun and Vanessa Bruno among them—with a green Moroccan tiled floor and a carefully curated mix of vintage bric-à-brac. Lock Stock & Barrel is a trendy treat for him and her. Come to the city with an extra carryon and get your Paris-chic, minimalistic Scandinavian and metropolitan cool pieces in one spot.
Quirky accessories designer Hester van Eeghen's reputation for statement handbags is no secret: fashion statment-makers flock to her global stores for items that are colorful conversation starters. Backpack, clutch, purse or wallet—a HVE piece is truly never boring. Popular purse du jour is the Klipper Diagonal: a boxy, structured handbag that is shaped like a traditonal satchel, but with a slanted shape. Trips the eyes and pulls at your fashion heartstrings!
Yes, you read this right. It’s a hotel with a name for numbers: JL No.76 is a part of the boutique chain of chic stay destinations, Vondel Hotels. In the centre of Amsterdam and just a stroll to the I am Amsterdam letters you are just steps away from tourist attractions and the centre of the city. A yellow scooter gives you a nostalgic welcome at the entrance and a lush little backyard garden makes you feel at home at the rear. Don’t settle for just one night, book two at minimum.