Amsterdam City Guide
Yes. I went to Amsterdam in November 2017!!!! And I am only just writing this blog post now. Shoot me.
I stupidly decided whilst in Amsterdam that I would shoot our photography content on 35mm film. It then took me a good three months to get all the rolls developed because, well, life.
But here it is. My Amsterdam City Guide. Better late than never.
I'll start this guide by saying Amsterdam was really not what I expected. There were elements of the city that I truly loved but on the whole I found the city really too busy for me and now that it's ticked off my travel bucket list, I doubt I'll return.
That being said, these are the places I found that sparked some serious moments of joy during my trip:
Stay - Kamer 01
I feel so insanely lucky to say I was able to stay at Kamer 01. The term B&B is an understatement for this luxurious converted canal house. You couldn't find a better hotel location, as well as better hosts.
This 'B&B' is a converted canal house that is right on the Singel canal in Amsterdam - literally seconds away from the shopping haven '9 Streets'.
There are only 3 rooms in this house: The Red room, Blue room and Green.
Anthony and I were welcomed into the Green room which has a huge lounge, bedroom and bathroom with views of the canal which is excellent for people-watching on dreary days.
The interiors were designed by co-owner Peter and the whole place is just a living museum for architecture and design.
Not only are the rooms made by gods, but so is the breakfast. Peter & Wolter put on a 6-course champagne breakfast for their guests every morning.
The presentation is immaculate and the duo are more than happy to help with anything you may need.
Staying here is so perfect as they really make you feel like you're staying with friends and that nothing is too much trouble.
I can't recommend this place enough and will tell anyone who'll listen about it.
Food & Drink
Quite shockingly, we didn't eat that much in Amsterdam and a lot of the images didn't come out amazingly (alas is the constant issue with film photography).
For our first night, dinner was at Venus & Adonis which I would highly recommend. Situated on one of the many canals, this small restaurant boasts big portions of surf and turf which is served on wooden platters and washed down with fruity gin cocktails.
For lunch, we loved Cafe George which we found on a whim whilst getting lost down some back streets.
It's very British and contemporary but is so cosy, warm and serves comfort food when the outside is miserable.
We didn't eat at Pluk since it was so busy but just pop in and see it's cuteness if you can. There is two on the 9 Streets and they have fresh fruit, little trinkets and lots of baked goods.
For cocktails, Lion Noir is amazing. It's like a little speakeasy. Super dark and cosy if you get a spot next to the fireplace. It specialises in gin and whisky and is a little pricey but totally worth it.
From the outside it looks like a bit of a dive but inside is seriously worth it.
Finally, another awesome restaurant choice is Anna which is situated in the Red Light District. Our hosts told us that the government is really trying to gentrify the RLD and as such has some fancy, chic European restaurants like Anna in the vicinity.
Amazing steak. Minimal interiors.
Shop & Explore
One thing Amsterdam does SERIOUSLY well is boutique shops. In fact, I could write a whole post just about the shops we visited.
I managed to edit it down to a select few of serious gems you can't miss out on.
First is We Are Labels. Which does what it says on the tin. It has a bespoke selection of gorgeous womenswear labels like Gestuz, Petite Passport and so much more. It's a tiny little store located on the 9 Streets which if you don't know is literally 9 streets in one area of Amsterdam filled with (mostly) independent stores.
Then there is your typical blogger spot: The ETQ store which houses a lot of menswear minimal goodness. All the streetwear. All the trainers. Let's just leave that there as a go-to if you're into minimal spaces.
Unrecorded is so so beautiful. This is a new-ish independent store that specialises in sustainable basics. Think about the quality of an Acne basic jumper without the hefty price tag.
We were lucky enough to meet one of the owners as he was in the shop that day and he was so nice. One thing about Amsterdam is that the people are the friendliest you'll ever come across.
Finally (shop wise) there's Anna & Nina which was top of my list when we visited the city. This is where you'll find Ganni heaven and interiors that scream BUY ME. I even left with a jumbo pack of matches, because why not? As well as the most adorable horoscope dish. Basically this store is filled with highly covetable shit that you probably don't need but will buy anyway.
Now, onto the real final section of this post.
If you made it this far then give yourself a pat on the back and make yourself a gin.
When it comes to culture and design, Amsterdam has it. But two spots caught my attention the most.
Droog. A design studio that is a must-see for any creative. Think Hay House on crack.
They also have an adorable cafe which on a sunny day has light beaming through the large windows and is a seriously tranquil place to get a bit of work done.
Then there is Huis Marseille. A place that I hadn't seen on any of the city guides I explored beforehand, and somewhere that our hosts Peter and Wolter recommended.
This is Amsterdam's photography museum. It has some really beautiful photography exhibitions on regularly but if there isn't anything you're interested in then just go for the structure alone.
The house is like Aladdin's cave. It goes on forever. And each room has the highest ceilings and most beautiful, huge windows.
Again, on a nice day they have a wonderful private garden that we sadly didn't get to explore.
So that concludes this overdue, hella long, city guide.
This year we are visiting: Paris (again), Montenegro and Lisbon. So expect a lot more city guides coming your way.