Last weekend my boyfriend and I visited Amsterdam, the capital city in the Netherlands. It was our second trip to the city – as you can see from my Amsterdam archives! – but this time was a whole new experience. Having visited once before, we knew we wanted a more authentic trip, away from tourist hotspots, and instead to live like locals. And this time, we did our research, finding some luxurious yet sustainable establishments. Here are the best finds from our trip – make sure to bookmark these if you’re planning on visiting anytime soon!
De Lairessestraat 7, 1071 NR Amsterdam, Netherlands
In the interest of holidaying sustainably, A and I took the Eurostar to Amsterdam. It’s a real stress-free experience, boarding at St Pancras and going direct to Amsterdam’s Centraal Station. In four hours, we had made it to the Dutch capital, and took a tram to Conscious Hotel Museum Square, where we had booked in for three nights.
Conscious Hotels is a Dutch chain of sustainable hotels, marrying sustainability and luxury in a truly contemporary way. From recycled building materials to rentable bicycles, renewable energy to refillable shampoo… It was heaven.
Given that it’s been almost seven years since we’d visited Amsterdam, we had chance to upgrade our experience from the grotty Airbnb we had previously booked, and this hotel really lived up to the hype.
Eerste Constantijn Huygensstraat 63H, 1054 BT Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam is surprisingly compact when it comes to contemporary cafes and restaurants. Uncommon was one place I’d been recommended before visiting the city, and while we had originally planned to head to Chun Cafe, we found the reviews noting 1+ hour waiting times off-putting.
Uncommon was a better choice – we waited at the entrance for around 5 minutes, before being seated at the bar to get coffee, and then shown to a table. The interior is gorgeously minimalist, and the regular crowd is also gorgeous. Despite this, the menu is reasonably priced, with two coffees and two kimcheese toasties coming to 30€.
See also: Chun Cafe, Public Space, Venu
Willemsparkweg 8h, 1071 HD Amsterdam, Netherlands
The bf really pulled it out of the bag by finding Coffee District on our final morning in the ‘Dam. While Amsterdam has some incredibly Instagrammable places, many of these attract huge crowds, while Coffee District is both Instagrammable and a little more of a hidden gem. Situated in the Museum Quarter, it serves some of the best coffee I’ve had (and I’ve had a lot!)
A word of warning though: if you’re planning a visit, note that this cafe only has a bench by the window, where you can perch if you fancy it, but I’d instead recommend a brisk walk around Vondelpark with a take-out cup instead.
See also: Friedhats Fuku Cafe, Galerie Coffeeshop YoYo, Saint-Jean
Paleisstraat 14, 1012 RB Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Butcher was a hidden gem that we found on our Saturday night. We were craving Beyond Meat burgers, and had originally aimed for a burger place called Ellis, only to find it was one man with a microwave… So, after a shifty exit, we retraced our steps to central Amsterdam and stumbled upon The Butcher.
Based on its name, you can guess that yes, they do serve meat, but they also do an incredibly good vegan burger. Everything is cooked fresh to order, and you can watch the live kitchen while you wait. Incredibly good food served in an incredibly clean establishment? Bookmark it.
See also: Björn Burgers, Deer Mama, Meatless District
Van Breestraat 107A, 1071 ZJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
De Wijnkaart is a restaurant serving seasonal food and wine, located just a stone’s throw from Conscious Hotel Museum Square. We were lucky enough to find this place on a walk back to the hotel, and stopped in for dessert. The staff are wonderfully welcoming, the venue is cosy and intimate, and the food is just delicious. I wish I could go back for a full three-course meal!
See also: Bambino, De Kas, Le 4 Stagioni
Leidsekruisstraat 6-8, 1017 RH Amsterdam, Netherlands
While The Butcher saved our Saturday night from going South, Bourbon Street was our safety net if we didn’t get into the ever-popular jazz bar Cafe Alto. After standing out in the cold for 20 mins, we headed to Bourbon Street instead. And what a treat! Live music plays every night (and isn’t exclusively jazz, so we were treated to R&B instead) and entry is just 5€. Many of our fellow queuers also joined us here, so it seems to be a regular overflow spot from Cafe Alto…
See also: Cafe Alto
Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands
For all your culture needs, Amsterdam has a fantastic array of museums. While we’d already visited the Rijksmuseum on our first trip, we decided to go back for the newer exhibits, and also as a little throwback moment. The Rijks is 22€ per person, which is a little pricey, but is comparable to similar museums I’ve visited in Helsinki and Stockholm on previous trips. Give yourself 2.5 hours, and be sure to bookmark the exhibits you want to view – we made sure to see the Van Gogh, the infamous Nights Watch, and the modern art on the hidden third floor.
See also: NXT Museum, Van Gogh Museum
Vondelpark, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Finally, Vondelpark. I always like to visit at least one green space when on a city break, and Vondelpark is one of my favourites. I have fond memories from the first time we visited, that time on bikes, and this time on foot, with a Coffee District flat white in hand. The sun came out for us as we relived our first visit, and found the same bridges and art installations as we had seen before. It’s a gorgeous space, a lovely walk, and a great place to do some dog-watching too.
Got any additional recommendations for this list? Let me know below!
I’m going to Amsterdam in March for the first time, so I’ve saved this post to remind me of all these places! Thanks!
Kathleen / http://www.madeinthe1990s.com
I hope you have the BEST time Kathleen! It’s such a beautiful city!