(for directly diving into the routes you can click ‘continue reading’ or scroll down)
I first published these routes three years ago. Yes, Amsterdive started back in 2013 but somehow it took a cinderella nap until 2016, when I decided to just go for it. ‘Gewoon doen’ was the actual kick-start of this blog. In 2013, I was living in Amsterdam for one and a half-year and thrilled about touring my beloved ones around the city. Moving to Amsterdam meant starting to have people over very frequently. Think of family, friends, high school former colleagues, couchsurfers, you name it.
I wondered much if I should erase this post or not, for a number of different reasons. If I were to write such an article today, I would just cover alternative routes. Those are the areas of the city I am most passionate about (if that’s your case, scroll down to routes 6 and 7, at the end of the article). Furthermore, I feel there’s a sort of saturation in the media covering the main routes of Amsterdam, and there are enough websites doing a great job in that manner. My goal with Amsterdive is not to extensively cover the city but rather selecting and highlighting the places I find unique, and ultimately make me happy. While doing this I want to tell stories about the possibilities of life over here, from my personal perspective. Since I am very interested in arts & culture, tradition & crafts, vintage & second-hand places, biological & vegetarian places, you are going to find much of it here.
My contribution as a blogger should be as original as possible, that’s how I believe I can enrich this whole ‘Amsterdam conversation’. It is possible that my blog reaches people interested in exploring the city, whether travellers or locals. In this sense, I would feel happy if I could inspire people to dive into the authentic life of the city, which is something that manifests itself in plentifully different ways. If, through my own experience, I can trigger someone to discover less mainstream places,off-the-beaten tracks and hidden gems in the city, all the better.
Route 1 (walking route)
AMSTERDAM’S VERY CENTER & CITY MUSEUM
Places i’d stop by for a drink: Cafe Belgique (beer cafe near the Dam Square), Whisky Bar (the name is self-explanatory, Leidseplein) and Cafe Alto (jazz bar, Leidseplein), Gollem (beer cafe, Overtoom)
Places I’d stop by for a bite: Maoz Vegetarian (Leidsestraat), De Balie (cinema with bar and restaurant near Leidseplein), De Blauwe Hollander (traditional dutch food at Leidsekruisstraat), Ethiopian restaurant Abyssinia (Overtoom).
Route 2 (walking + bike or tram)
RED LIGHT DISTRICT & MAIN MARKETS
- Red Light District & Oude Kerk » Nieuwmarkt » Waterlooplein market (flea market) » Albert Cuyp Market » De Pijp & Sarphatipark
want to continue? go enjoy a craft beer at the marvellous Brouwerij t’Ij (Windmill), note: this brewery closes at 20.00, so better pay a visit to it before dinner
Places I’d stop by for a bite: Cafe Latei at the Zeedijk or Cafe Stevens at Nieuwmarkt, the stroopwaffles stall & the herring stall (Albert Cuyp market), turkish restaurant Bazar (Albert Cuypstraat).
Route 3 (walking route)
MUSEUMS & VONDELPARK
- Museumplein & museums (Rijksmuseum, Stedelijkmuseum or Van Gogh Museum) » Vondelpark
want to continue? go west for dinner at Abyssinia (Overtoom); go east for dinner at Bazar (De Pijp); or head to the center for dutch food at The Blauwe Hollander (Leidsekruisstraat)
The three mentioned museums are not doable in just one day. My advice is to arrive as early as possible to your museum of choice. I find the Rijksmuseum unmissable and, if you choose that one as well, it’ll take you the entire day. From there you can go relax with a walk at Vondelpark. I’d stop for a drink or bite at ‘t Blauwe Theehuis, situated in the middle of park.
Route 4 (walking route)
THE NORTH SIDE & GENEVER
- Centraal Station & ferry to the north side of the city*free » The EYE – Amsterdam’s Film Museum » OBA – Public Library of Amsterdam (library & top view) » Hanneke’s Boom
want to continue? go taste genever (the dutch national spirit), at one of the tasting bars (proeflokaal) in the area: Proeflokaal De Ooievaar, In de Olofspoort or Wijnand Focking
Places I’d stop by for a bite: restaurant|bar of the EYE film museum or Hanneke’s Boom. In case you head to the genever experience, i’d go to thai snack-bar Bird which is very closeby all of the tasting bars.
Route 5 (walking route)
AROUND DE JORDAAN & THE 9 STREETS
- Dam Square (Royal Palace) » Westerkerk » Noordermarkt [on Saturday mornings] » Jordaan [the ‘9 streets’] » Brouwersgracht » The Movies [Art-house movie-theatre]
want to continue? go have dinner or just for a late-night dance at Pacific Park [Restaurant turned club at night]
- From Central Station you can also head directly to the Haarlemmerstraat » Noordermarkt (on Saturday mornings)» Jordaan & the ‘9 streets’» Café Thyssen » Brouwersgracht » The Movies (Art-house movie-theatre) » Pacific Park
Places I’d stop by for a bite: street stalls at Noordermarkt, Winkel 43 for the famous apple-tart (Noordermarkt), Cafe Thyssen (Brouwersgracht), Restaurant Tavenu (restaurant of the cinema ‘The Movies’), or at Pacific Parc
Route 6 (walking + bike route)
THE EAST SIDE
- Hortus Botanicus or Troppenmuseum » Javastraat & Dappermarket » Flevopark (green park)
want to continue? go for drinks or a concert at Roest (cultural cafe meets urban beach)
Places i’d stop by for a bite: stroopwaffles stall & juice stall (Dappermarket), Studio K (art-house movie theater)
Places I’d stop by for a drink: proeflokaal ‘t Nieuwe Diep (Flevopark), Roest (cultural cafe meets urban beach)
Route 7 (walking route)
THE NDSM SIDE
- Central Station & ferry to NDSM » Ij-hallen flea market ( 2nd hand clothing on the first weekend of the month) » NDSM industrial area
want to continue? head to Pllek or Noorderlicht ( both a cultural cafe & restaurant) for a meal or drinks
Places I’d stop by for a bite or drink: snack-bar ‘t Pontstation for the best dutch fast-food in town (right in front of ferrys at NDSM), Pllek (cultural restaurant meets urban beach) or Noorderlicht (cultural cafe & restaurant)