This is one of my favourite stills, amongst others.
There is an unfortunate association with Amsterdam that the city just cannot seem to shake. The city’s crest of three St Andrew’s crosses doesn’t help either; with people still confusing it as being a sign of hedonistic indulgence.
This isn’t really the case with the city though. If you step more than 100 metres outside of its notorious central ring, you’ll start to find a beautiful city set in romantic arrays of canals with vibrant and exciting things happening everywhere. The Dutch love to party and are unabashed in being public about it – many a times in the summer in this city, I’ve stumbled across a spontaneous gathering of friends dancing on the sidewalk or on houseboats and people sitting outside and simply enjoying the sun.
There is no denying – I love this city and its people.
Places I Loved in Amsterdam
- Rembrandt House Museum - A restored house where Rembrandt used to live and paint. It’s a little sentimental but it displays some really interesting history not just about Rembrandt, but also about the period in which he lived. I dined at the cafe across the road from the museum – it served lovely burgers and I washed it down with a Heineken Info: Jodenbreestraat 4 | 1011 NK Amsterdam | 10 am – 6pm daily
- Rijksmuseum - There are no words. It didn’t take 10 years to renovate for nothing. The art is phenomenal. Info: 1 Museumstraat | 1071 XX Amsterdam| 9am – 5pm daily
- Screaming Beans - I missed my good Australian coffee. This place did it for me. Admittedly the breakfast (in regular Dutch fashion) was just pastries and cold cuts, but the coffee is worth visiting. It is also one of those places that opens early. See also Dear Coffe I Love You’s review of coffee in Amsterdam Info: several locations and opening times (from 8am) see website.
- IJ Hallen Flea Market - From the first photo, you can’t really see that it’s the largest flea market in Europe. But oh boy is it big. It’s a lovely outing, well worth the ferry across to the north side of Amsterdam (and plus the new developments in the North are really cool anyway). Info: Various dates during the year
More Places I Loved in Amsterdam
- Gartine - beautiful little cafe tucked away in a lane close to the city centre. Their produce is sourced directly from their own little garden! The last 2 photos show their beautiful green interior and their delicious poached pear tart (which I had to stuff down after a delicious lunch). Info: Taksteeg 7 | 1012 PB Amsterdam | 8am-6pm daily
- Radijs - I had a gnocchi there and I was blown away. There was a deep fried sage leaf (!!!) in it and it totally changed the game. I wished I went there more – despite staying 5 minutes down the road I only went there once. The place means Radish… and it was just rad (I should just stop now). Info: Jan Evertsenstraat 41hs| 1057BM Amsterdam| 12pm till late daily.
- The Frozen Fountain – it’s am amazing design centered shop focusing on interiors and furniture. It felt more like a museum than anything else. Info: Prinsengracht 645| 1016 HV Amsterdam| various opening hours.
If you only had a day in the city what would you do?
Having done a spate of travelling this year and last, I’ve come to develop a certain relationship for guidebooks and travel websites – insofar that they are an inevitable evil clouding the state of wanderlust that I so look forward to achieving. I simply do not want to just visit those bucket list icons that every tourist flocks to for that one postcard picture to show their mother! I prefer to take in the romance of travelling through simply stumbling upon a gem. Of course, that idealistic state is simply a fantasy – with no knowledge of the cities, I can end up wandering for days – with no purpose, no idea, finding nothing and feeling nothing.
I’ve fallen into a middle ground where the guides that I trust are those haphazard things curated through someone’s experience not based on tourist ratings (they are the kind of guides I tend to put together too). Enter here, the website 12hrs. It’s a travel website with a difference. It’s built with people who love travelling, design, music and fashion in mind with a focus on the things other than the obvious sites to see in a city. And it’s built to accommodate a 12 hour itinerary – allowing you to fit the sights into one day. With a photographer like Søren Jepsen and writer like Anna Peuckert, you’re guaranteed an exciting cool list of places.
All photos in the post are from 12hrs.