This year has been all about revisiting certain destinations and falling in love with them even more than before. Take Amsterdam for example, I was pretty smitten the first time around but give me decent weather plus the perfect lodgings in the Nine Streets area and I’m willing to get down on one knee.
Like London, it’s the kind of city where there’s always new places opening up and the perception of certain areas is changing. It’s also a destination I don’t mind having a little history lesson about, since the layout of the Canal Belt is so unique (houses used to be taxed by the width don’t cha know) and was quite innovative when it was constructed in the 17th century.
Ok enough with the facts. Although our time in A-dam was short and we didn’t venture too far from the familiar areas, I thought I’d share another few places that you need to add to your itinerary. If you do have time to make it further afield though, make sure you explore the outer neighbourhoods and let me know what you get up to!
Another city guide, another street food centre right? I know that these are becoming commonplace all over the place but hear me out! There always tends to be an interesting story behind how these locations came to be and it’s nice to see how a global concept takes on a local twist wherever you go. Foodhallen is actually Amsterdam’s first indoor food market and is situated within De Hallen (more on that later) in the hip Oud-West area.
Its thing is not having any repetition, so you’ll only find one burger joint, one pizzeria and one place to get your fix of deep fried goodness (it’s Chicks Love Donuts FYI). This ensures that there isn’t any direct competition, which is handy as lots of the vendors are either start-ups or representing the best that Amsterdam has to offer. We shared a familiar selection of dishes (hello bao buns) but it’s well worth trying the Dutch speciality of Biitterballen if you’re a fan of anything croquette-like.
Fun fact. De Hallen was actually an old tramshed that stood empty for 18-years before being renovated into a hub for work, eating out and culture. There’s still lots to be done, but the main shopping area is open for business with places like Gathershop and Local Goods Store (does what it says on the tin) providing a blogger-friendly mix of essentials. Even though most of the site is in Dutch, you should be able to work out when their twice monthly markets are held, featuring crafts from local sellers.
Everyone needs a Frida Kahlo cushion in their lives, am I right? Kitsch Kitchen was on our list last time we visited the city but unfortunately we ran out of time and my chance to marvel at all the colourful plastic would have to wait. Luckily the shop is still around and sticking to its cheerful aesthetic and plenty of Central American references. The complete look isn’t necessarily for everyone but their Winter catalogue online actually provides a lot of handy ways to add eclectic pops into your home. I picked up an amazing plate and tray in the sale and was considering this Mexican shopping bag, until I remembered the euro conversion rate.
It’s always nice (but slightly dangerous) when there’s a charismatic boutique opposite the place where you’re staying. Nuvo Niche has only been open a year and it’s already making its mark with sweatshirts bigging up the local area and plenty of pineapple-related goods. ‘All of these ‘concept’ stores are blending into one’ I hear you cry! Although there are a couple of familiar brands, they’re only the second stockist of Irish based print brand Me&Him&You plus they stock their own clothing label, which reuses surplus fabrics à la Reformation. One can never have too many shops containing cacti and marble, okay?
One of the best things about being in Amsterdam on a Saturday is the chance to visit the bustling Noodermarkt in Jordan. There’s plenty of foodie bits if you’re also the kind of person who smuggles cheese in their hand luggage, plus decent stalls selling everything from clothing to old books. I’m still trying to console myself after spotting the perfect 60s dress for €10 euros that would probably fit the Kristabel of 5 years ago. Make sure you double check the dates before you go (there’s also a textile market on Mondays).
So where’s the best place to head if you want your fix of architecture and all the canal shots? Definitely wander along the Prinsengracht towards Brouwersgracht and snap away to your heart’s content. The whole area is a UNESCO World Heritage site, so pat yourself on the back for ticking another location off the list (I’ve managed sixteen, woop) and treat yourself to an apple pie break at Winkel 43.
I hope this post has been useful! Browsing through Betty Magazine’s guide is making me want to return asap and I’ll always be slightly regretful for not purchasing that Mexican bag. Make sure you check out my vlog of the trip (I get really excited by a freestanding bath) plus my previous post on the stunning Pulitzer Hotel!