Amsterdam is a must-visit for anyone who loves a city break with adventure, history, and incredible culture. The beauty of this city is that it makes healthy living easy for both its citizens and its visitors – with just under 1 million bikes, it’s a place designed to be seen on two wheels or two feet!
Here are my recommendations for eating, moving and chilling in the capital of the Netherlands.
The Pantry is a hidden gem located just a short walk from the Museum Quarter, and has nothing but good vibes and great food to offer. Stop here for a real taste of authentic Dutch cuisine – classics include Bitterballen to start, Hutspot or Stamppot for your main, and of course, Poffertjes to finish!
If you want hipster foodie, then Foodhallen is for you. This international indoor food market, located in a renovated tram depot (I told you it was hipster!), is packed full of different cuisines and food concepts. Bring your appetite, and taste a range of signature dishes – everything from Mexican, to Thai, to Mediterranean, to frozen yoghurt – it’s a true foodie experience.
What is a food guide without brunch? To answer that, I bring you Ted’s. Ted’s All Day Brunch is a gorgeous cosy café with a funky flavour. The menu is eclectic, with everything from a classic Eggs Benedict to Chickpea Burgers to the more indulgent French Toast. Great coffee, great music – a great choice.
Get On Your Bike
The cycling culture in Amsterdam is a BREATH of fresh air. Renting bikes, even for a day (if not your whole trip), is a MUST do. The city is designed to be cyclist-friendly, with cycle lanes on every street – it was the safest place I’ve ever biked in. Bike rental is cheap, with companies offering standard rates for set hours or days. Cycling allows you to see lots of sights in a short space of time, and gives you a daily dose of exercise too!
An absolutely beautiful green escape situated just west of the Museum Quarter, Vondelpark is the perfect place for a walk, run or bike ride – maybe bring a picnic with you! You’ll find cyclists, joggers and strollers alike soaking up the peaceful surroundings here.
Get Your Steps In – Market & Museum Style
Museums, and markets – a visit to Amsterdam is not complete without them. You can easily rack up those 10, 000 steps making your way around the Museums Quarter – top recommendations are the Anne Frank House, the Rjiksmuseum, and Van Gogh Museum. If you’re a food and craft market fan, make sure you stroll the Albert Cuyp Market, and visit the Bloemenmarkt for tulips!
Possibly the coolest brunch café I’ve ever visited, Koala Republic is, as they say on their website, ‘built on positivity and delicious, nutritious food.’ The vibes are Australian-inspired – friendly and fresh, with a menu to make your mouths water. Make sure you grab the high table – and be ready to climb the ladder to the top! Top dishes include the incredible Falafel Waffle, and Surfer Bowls.
Find it: Jan Evertsenstraat 115, 1057 BT Amsterdam, Netherlands
If you want fantastic food with a view to match, then make sure you stop off at Blue. Located right opposite the Bloemenmarkt, Blue is known for its chilled out atmosphere, simple but delicious breakfast and lunch fare, and panoramic view of Amsterdam as you chow down. It’s a great choice for both meat-eaters and veggies alike.
Find it: Winkelcentrum Kalvertoren, Singel 457, 1012 WP Amsterdam, Netherlands
The A’DAM Lookout Tower
Is it relaxing to swing out over the top of Amsterdam on Europe’s highest swing? Yes, even if you don’t think so as you take the elevator to the top! A’DAM Lookout is an observation deck with the best panoramic view of the city – we are talking the full 360 degrees people.
If you add the ‘Over The Edge’ Experience to your ticket, you get to swing 100 metres high, back and forth over the edge of the Lookout Tower. Trust me, it is breath-taking and it makes for a fantastic Instagram shot! To get there, you take a quick (free, every five minutes) ferry across the IJ River behind Central Station, and cyclists can bring their bikes across too.
Find it: Overhoeksplein, 5, 1031 KS Amsterdam, Netherlands