Move aside London, more and more Kiwi’s are moving to Amsterdam and I can see why.
Amsterdam has so much culture but there is more to this liberal city than the legalisation of marijuana and prostitution. From the friendly people, bicycles, canals and lopsided architecture, I just love the aura Amsterdam gives as you wander the cityscape.
E A T
I have to say a massive thank you to a great Kiwi gal who lives in Amsterdam. Kesha! She supplied me with a solid list of places to visit and I did my very best to get to all of them.
Bakers and Roasters
I’m not being bias but we all know that the antipodean’s do the best brunch. Bakers and Roasters is a Kiwi owned cafe with a Brazilian touch. You may have to wait for a table but it’s worth the wait for a solid brunch to start the day.
Tucked away behind a petrol station and off the beaten track, there is no doubt this canal-side cafe pulls in the crowds during summer.Being -3º outside, we opted to stay indoors and gobble up some Surinamese food. I went with the saoto soup – Indonesian styled soup with broth, chicken, potato sticks and a boiled egg.
The first two nights in Amsterdam, Moeder’s was fully booked but we were extremely lucky to snag a table on our final night before we flew out. This restaurant ticks all the boxes with delicious traditional Dutch cuisine, friendly staff and mismatched decor.
If you are out and about in the area of Jordaan and are looking for a place with healthy lunch options and good coffee, head to Brandstof. The atmosphere is buzzing with a mixture of locals and tourists.
Forget the Heineken Experience, visit this microbrewery where every single drop deserves a thumbs up. Dabble in a beer flight to suss out your favourite (mine was the Natte) then make sure you add some ossenworst (ox tail/raw beef sausage) and abdijkaas (abbey cheese). The prices are dirt cheap for beer that is top-notch!
If you are keen to grab a bite to eat and carry on the beer drinking, de Biertuin has an extensive beer list and is only a 10 minute walk away from Brouwerij’t IJ. This modern pub serves up food like bratwurst, burgers and rotisserie chicken.
S E E K
I’ve decided to leave out all the touristy stuff like the Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum, The Rembrandt House Museum and the Heineken Experience (That’s what TripAdvisor was invented for.)
It might be more appealing when the sunrays are out, but there is no better way to feel like a local than to be on a bicycle. There is a high chance that you can rent a bicycle from your hotel or airbnb. If you have no luck here, there are loads or rental companies with cheap fees ranging from €5 for 1 hour to €15 for the day.
Whether shopping is on the agenda or not, taking a stroll through the nine streets is a nice way to soak up Amsterdam’s vibes. I’m a total sucker for vintage shopping (if it’s reasonably priced). If you’re a vintage lover like me, than I totally suggest trying Zipper and Laura Dols.
Canal Boat + Brunch + cocktails = so much happiness
G’s brunch boat runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 10am/12pm/2pm for €39.50. My happiness shortly turned into sadness when I realised I wasn’t going to be in Amsterdam on any of these days. So if you and your friends are keen for a 2 hour boat ride with brunch then go for me PLEASE!
Alternatively if your up for the touristy option you can grab a 1 hour canal boat for €10 down on Damrak from Rederij Plas Canal Tours.
If you have some time to kill and feel like a bit of a laugh, head to the sex museum for €4. Lots of boobs and penises with minimal information but hey!
Red Light District
I was travelling with my Dad and boyfriend, so I was a little bit apprehensive about roaming the Red Light District (RDL). Then I thought…this is Amsterdam’s top tourist attraction, we have to go. So after dinner we headed out around 10:30pm to get the real feel of the area. I had been to the RDL a couple of years ago and I remember the ladies trying a bit harder to seduce potential customers. This time though every single lady was melancholy texting on her phone.
Things to know…
- Trompettersteeg is Amsterdam’s narrowest street and it’s located in the heart of the Red Light District. So if you want to get up in close but not too close, here is your chance.
- Don’t take photos. Respect the ladies!
- Blue light and not red….means there is something extra downstairs if you get what I mean.
If you really want to take the experience to the next level you can watch a live sex show at Casa Rosso for €40. If that’s a little steep, then you can go for a peep show at The Sex Palace for €2 per minute.
So my Dad said ‘hey, let’s go get a coffee’, whilst pointing at a coffeeshop sign. DO NOT make this old man rookie mistake! A coffeeshop is code for WEED CAFE.
Coffeeshops are scattered all through Amsterdam, so it’s not hard to find one. I went into a few coffeeshops but they are mostly filled with early twenty something guys trying to get as high as possible before they have to catch their next flight.
If this is not your regular pass time and want to have a try then I suggest going with a pre-rolled joint for around €3.80. If you decide to go for a space cake, eat with caution because they do pack a punch.