Hidden in a nook of northwestern Europe, the Netherlands capital, Amsterdam is one of the world’s most underrated cities.
Behind the blossoming tulips, 75 museums, 165 canals and 881,000 bikes – the cheese loving, clog-crazed city is bound to light up your heart for your future Europe travels.
Honouring its artistic heritage, Amsterdam is known for its friendly locals, bike car parks and of course, the infamous Red Light District. But, apart from their raunchy nightlife and bicycle overload, Amsterdam is far from any other European destination and will suit any traveler regardless of their travel preference.
Nestled in one of Amsterdam’s many dining and bar precincts, Senses Restaurant will in no doubt be an adventure in itself. With renowned Head Chef, Lars Bertelsen leading the team, Senses is a venue where exquisite food and art is delicately configured to create an unconventional dining experience. With an ever-changing menu comprised of the finest seasonal derived ingredients, with paired wines, the three to seven course dinner tasting menu will bewitch guests with the flavours and textures that will illuminate all of the senses.
Senses Restaurant – Vijzelstraat 45, 1017 HE Amsterdam
If you agree that pancakes can be served as a meal from breakfast all the way through to dinner and then to dessert, then Amsterdam will most likely be a haven. Inside the pearly gates and surrounded by the iconic canals, Pancakes Amsterdam are all things pancakes and poffertjes (Dutch pancakes). With a staggering 261,000 pancakes served in 2018 so far, Pancakes Amsterdam surely know how to mix and flip that golden goodness. Using traditional pancake house methods, Pancakes Amsterdam also use new and modern twists to their venues. Definitely try the Bacon and Cheese Pancake.
Pancakes Amsterdam – Prins Hendrikkade 48, 1012 AC Amsterdam
An icon in itself is the renowned Stubbe’s Haring. The food truck sits in the heart of the city outside Central Station; regardless of the time of day, we assure you that there’ll be a cue for the most unusual and sought after meal in Netherlands. Herring. A thin fish found within the sardine family that is a delicacy in northern Europe. Usually smoked, pickled or simply covered in diced onion; a visit to Stubbe’s Haring is a must-try experience in Amsterdam. So grab it by the tail, tilt your head back and lower the meal into your mouth. Don’t be afraid to dowse it in more onions for an authentic taste.
Stubbe’s Haring – Singel, 1013 GA Amsterdam
Sitting on the corner of Vinkenstraat and Binnen Oranjestraat, Vesper is a James Bond inspired bar that serves signature cocktails in their boutique venue. Also offering a high tea cocktail, every guest will surely fall in love with the Raspberry Mimosa that’s served in a stemmed tea cup. James Bond fan or not, Vesper is a must see to believe venue. Whether you like it shaken or stirred, there’s something for everyone.
Vesper – Vinkenstraat 57, 1013 JM Amsterdam
The internationally known and much loved Dutch beer is in fact housed within Amsterdam’s streets. The brewery is a self-guided experience, taking visitors through the preparation process and history of the finest beer available. Starting the tour is an immersive rollercoaster, followed by an informative brewing process, learning why the hops in Heineken makes Heineken, Heineken. The journey is capped off with two complimentary, fresh, tap beers and a very insightful lesson on how to drink the pale lager.
Heineken Brewery – Stadhouderskade 78, 1072 AE Amsterdam
Praising the roaring twenties and sitting just a stroll away from Senses Restaurant, Door 74 is one of Amsterdam’s most sought after cocktail bars. Dowsed in antique barware, intricate food by Timo Janse and of course their delectable cocktails. Door 74 specialises in beer, gin, whiskey and everything in between. The bar is definitely a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Coming up to their 10th birthday, Door 74 also offers cocktail workshops for visitors to enjoy.
Door 74 – Reguliersdwarsstraat 74, 1017 BN Amsterdam
Nestled in the centre of Amsterdam is renowned Vondelpark. Spread out over 47 hectares and welcoming over 10 million visitors per year; upon your arrival you’ll be hypnotized by the beauty and ambience of one of the worlds’ most famous parks. Equipped with pathways, a tea house, mesmerizing trees and blossoming flowers – a day spent in Vondelpark will not go to waste. Considering how serious the city is about bike riding, Vondelpark is the perfect place to hire a bike and ride your way around. If weather permits, definitely lay a blanket, cut up some cheese and pop a bottle of red. Tandem bikes are also a big plus here!
Vondelpark – Vondelpark, 1071 AA, Amsterdam
After circling majority of the city on the cobblestone paths and checking into the many museums that are the makeup of Amsterdam; travellers should consider the perspective from water level. Whether you purchase a ticket to the one of many canal cruises or even befriend a local; cruising through the iconic canals will be an experience like no other.
Canal Tour – Prins Hendrikkade 25, 1012 TM Amsterdam
The many Museums
Leaving Amsterdam without having ever entered a museum will be an enormous disappointment. With 75 museums and counting, travellers will be surprised that there’s everything from a Handbag Museum, to a museum about Sex, a Houseboat Museum, a Pianola Museum, Marijuana and even Torture (that’s on the complete other side of the spectrum). Unfortunately, regardless of how long you spend your next getaway in the weather-changing city, there is never enough time to visit them all. If you’re on a limited time frame, definitely set time aside to see the Banksy exhibition, Anne Frank House, Body Worlds The Happiness Project (not for the faint hearted), Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum – that’s home to the famous ‘I AMSTERDAM’ sign.
Travelling through the picturesque streets of Amsterdam and stopping by major attractions will fill up majority of the time on your trip. But, there’s no doubt that travellers do have an interest with the cities fascination with most things considered illegal elsewhere. While venturing through the bicycle praising land, do take a time out to wander through the Red Light District. With women of all likings standing in the windows luring customers in, to the infamous coffee shops selling pre-rolled joints and even the jaw-dropping Casa Rosso sex shows. Without denying, this is a fantastic aspect of Amsterdam that travellers should consider experiencing. You might even be lucky enough to stumble into Damkring Coffee Shop that was featured in Ocean’s Twelve.
Faralda Crane Hotel
Towering above Amsterdam is probably the strangest place you’d imagine yourself sleeping on the next holiday, the Faralda Crane Hotel. Perched 50 metres above the ground, the brightly coloured, monumental crane is complete with three suites, a panorama lounge and at its peak, a spa pool that overlooks the city for a spectacular view. Starting from €720.00 ($1,134 AUD) a night, this will be the highlight of the trip, and a guaranteed storytelling jaw dropper.
Faralda Crane Hotel – NDSM-Plein 78, 1033 WB Amsterdam
Just 10 minutes from Amsterdam Centraal, The Hoxton provides guests with over 111 boutique rooms to choose from. Providing free Wi-Fi and international calls, the selling point is surely in the style, ambience and sophistication of each of the rooms provided. Starting from €119 ($187 AUD) a night, The Hoxton embraces the history and characteristic of the city, by decorating the rooms with vintage brass chandeliers and charming hexagonal mirrors.
The Hoxton – Herengracht 255, 1016 BJ Amsterdam
Located in the heart of Jordaan, the minimalist Mr. Jordaan hotel is based in a 17th century canal that’s surrounded by art studios and authentic Dutch cafes and bars. Similar to the ambience of a small town, Mr. Jordaan is perfect for those wishing to unwind on their travels after jam-packed days of sight-seeing. Regardless of your visit, starting at €89.10 ($140 AUD) a night, visitors will fall in love with Mr. Jordaan and its authentic, Nordic feel. Thankfully, it is also just a casual stroll away from the iconic Amsterdam Cheese Museum.
Mr. Jordaan – Bloemgracht 102, 1015 TN Amsterdam