My Favorite Things: Amsterdam

I’m taking a tiny break from posting about Greece (plus, the internet is slightly spotty here on Santorini) to publish another installment of the “My Favorite Things” posts. See the rest here and enjoy!

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I’m O B S E S S E D with Amsterdam. Vibrant, artistic, absolutely bustling with creativity and life, I could totally see Jer and I living here one day (I usually say that about all the cities I love). The city is easily walkable, even easier on a bicycle, very pet-friendly, with incredible boutique and vintage shopping, plus the Dutch are so friendly and stunningly beautiful – we kept joking we’d get run over by a supermodel on a bike.

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So, in the spirit of the deep love I feel for this city, I decided to continue a little series I started (see all the “My Favorite Things” posts here), and tell you all my favorite places should you ever find yourself in AMS.

Eat

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Manneken Pis – Sure, it’s touristy, but this shop makes the absolute best “frites cheddarcheesesaus” in Amsterdam. And you just can’t go to Amsterdam without trying a cone full of french fries smothered in cheese.

Ramen-Ya – Ramen is on my death-row meal list and Ramen-Ya does a really excellent bowl. Noodles fresh made daily and tons of add-ins up the ramen ante.

Pancakes & Waffles – Serving exactly what the name implies, and doing it really freaking well. I love the waffles with bananas and whipped cream, but you don’t have to follow my lead. Get whatever strikes your fancy.

Cheese Inn – The Dutch love their cheese, and who can blame them?! This shop is stuffed to the brim with cheese, which means it probably should be your very first stop. Samples, y’all.

Juice Brothers – JB has açai bowls, speciality juices, and a 1, 3, or 5 day cleanse (5 days if you especially enjoy torture), so it fills my hippie soul right on up.

Shop

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Otherist – I have two absolute favorite shops in Amsterdam, and this is one of them. Stuffed with boxes of all shapes and sizes filled with butterflies, beetles, spiders, and other various crawlies, this shop is a decor dream. Plus, the owner has the sweetest black and white French bulldog.

Zenza Home Accessories – This is my other favorite shop in the city. Decked out is all I can really say about Zenza. It sparkles and shines and has surprisingly affordable prices. If I could have 10 of everything in store, it still wouldn’t be enough.

United Nude – Funky. That’s the best word to describe United Nude. Mainly shoes, and the occassional accessory, if you’re looking for offbeat fashion, you’ll find it here.

Grey Area – The city’s most famous shop, for their most famous attraction. If you’re coming to the city to smoke, this is the place to do it. You know if Snoop Dogg is a fan, it’s good.

Green House – Another famous pot stop, with more variety and a giant aquarium in the floor, this shop is kinda exciting even if you don’t smoke (I don’t, and thought it was fun all the same).

Maranon – This is an interesting place. Right across from the Bloemenmarkt, this little shop sells hammocks and juice. But like, gorgeous hammocks and organic, freshly blended juice. A weird combination that totally works.

By Popular Demand – The best words for By Popular Demand are hip and well-curated. Essentially the essence of Amsterdam, wrapped up in one cool shop.

BonBon Boutique – If you like delicate jewelry, this is your place. I’m really into the simple, stacked gold look right now, so I basically drool over all their displays.

De Bijenkorf – A dreamy department store, nicknamed the Honeycomb because of it’s patterned exterior, and on the fringe of Dam Square. It’s a fun place to check out if you like giant stores with equally huge flower arrangements.

Play

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Jordaan – A really cool neighborhood, this hood deserves a walk around. It’s very Holland-y and you’ll probably discuss moving to Amsterdam forever while you’re walking through. Staying here would be even better.

De 9 Straatjes – “The 9 Streets” is a popular walk, and it’s exactly what it says, 9 streets, winding around the water, with the perfect spot for bridge + canal backdrop photos.

Houseboats – We stayed in a houseboat during our first trip to Amsterdam, and it was SUPER fun. If you have a chance to stay on one, do it!

Begijnhof – It’s a teeny tiny square in the city, but it’s worth tracking it down. Go through a little archway and into the square. The homes are pretty, the area is quiet, and the flowers are usually blooming. It’s a good place to unwind.

Amsterdam Tulip Museum – Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about tulips, you can learn it here. Plus, you can ship bulbs back home and plant them yourself for a slice of Holland no matter where you live.

Red Light District – Just go. It’s very interesting, and you’ll have a lot of questions afterwards. You’d think it feel like a giant frat party, but there are people of all kinds here, couples, families, girls, guys, everyone seems to want to take a peek.

Rijksmuseum – The site of the famous iAMsterdam sign (there’s another at the airport if you happen to miss it), but also a really cool museum. During the winter, they set up an ice skating rink out front!

Dam Square – You’ll know it when you see it. It’s a giant, lively, cobblestone square in the middle of the city with people everywhere and street performers. There are resturants, shops, and pretty buildings surrounding it, so there’s always something to do.

Vondelpark – One of the most beautiful parks I’ve ever been to, so relaxing and very lush. Every spot is prime for a picnic, so pack one up, roll out a blanket, and lounge for several sunny hours.

Bloemenmarkt – FLOWERS! This market is the perfect place to stock up on blooms, bulbs, cacti, succulents, seeds, and really anything else flower related. Just a walk through is fantastic fun.

Bonus

La Vie En Rose B&B – Nieuwezijdsvoorburgwal: this is the street the B&B is on. Don’t think about learning the pronunciation, but you should think about staying here. It’s a beautiful place, centrally located, sun drenched, and oozing charm. The owners are painfully sweet, and they have 6 puppies who love to play (which works out rather well if you happen to bring your own puppy along).

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6 thoughts on “My Favorite Things: Amsterdam

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