At this point in our virtual relationship, it should come as no surprise that Amsterdam takes the cake as my favorite city. Amsterdam took my heart because it is a city built for wandering. The residential architecture is charming and humble - it reminded me of the off-balance personality of New Orleans and the neutral, glamorous palette of London. The canals weave through the urban fabric with an intoxicating density - I found myself saying, “take a right after the fourth bridge, then take a left at the second,” yet would be distracted within footsteps by a cute shop or home.
There were many, many great spots that I found along my way, and only a handful that I can recall with clarity and recommend to anyone planning a trip. Amsterdam has a fantastic collection of retail experiences - thrift stores, home wares, boutique hotels, bespoke hair salons, women’s clothing, furniture shops - I’ve never left a city feeling so inspired by the visual creativity and energy.
I also recommend a day trip (or a morning & lunch) in Haarlem - a quick 20-minute train ride from the city will drop you in a town that is equally as bustling and beautiful as the big city itself. Another couple of items of note: most places in Amsterdam DO take credit cards, so don’t fret about only keeping cash on you. There are plenty of places to rent bikes, but walking is definitely the best way to take it all in and to be sure you don’t miss something. Be sure to look both ways before crossing the street! Links to Google locations can be found at the bottom of this post.
Drinks at The Hoxton Hotel | Pofferjes at De Vier Pilaren | Pastries at Petit Gateau | Drinks, Lunch, or Exploring at Pulitzer Hotel | Drinks in the patio at The Dylan | Foodhallen | Stroopwaffel at van Wonderen | Bocca Coffee
Homewares at Dille & Kamille | Women’s clothing at Sukha | Furniture and homewares at De Weldaad | Stationery at Like Stationery | Plants and homewares at Wildernis | Men and Women’s clothing at House of Denim | Homewares, stationery, and clothing at The Maker Store | Jewelry, homewares, and accessories at The Gather Shop | Books and magazines at Athenaeum Boekhandel | Homewares and furniture at Hay House