Collected by Geoff Lewis
Singel, 1013 GA Amsterdam, Netherlands
Eating raw herring is a right of passage for many who visit Amsterdam. Order yours from the friendly Dutch matrons in blue and white-striped aprons at Stubbe's Haaring, a herring stand with a view on the bridge over Singel Canal, just off...
Wolvenstraat 9, 1016 EM Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tourists may throng through Amsterdam's busy city center on Kalverstraat, but travelers in the know saunter down "De Negen Straatjes" or "The Nine Streets." Trendy boutiques, designer fashions, and snug cafes line the cobblestone street grid to...
NDSM-Plein 102, 1033 WB Amsterdam, Netherlands
On a hopping night, Noorderlicht (Northern Lights) blazes with colorful lights visible clear across the IJ River—hence its name. For those drinking and jamming to live music on a waterfront terrace warmed by a roaring bonfire, the setting is...
Brouwersgracht 60, 1013 GX Amsterdam, Netherlands
De Belhamel restaurant is located near the Central train station in a very quiet residential neighborhood. It would be hard to find a prettier location for a leisurely lunch or romantic dinner - the restaurant sits at the junction of the...
Prinsengracht, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Beyond tulips, windmills, and weed, Amsterdam's global image is entwined with water. The Canal Ring (Grachtengordel) is made up of 165 fluid channels developed during the 17th-century Dutch Golden Age. In the ensuing years, the water network has...
Dam, 1012 JS Amsterdam, Netherlands
The last night in Amsterdam we are walking near Dam Square. We have been to the Van Gogh Museum earlier and are still marveling at his brilliance. I take two photos nearby and then this one which somehow transforms into a Van Gogh styled image, by...
1071 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam does playgrounds right. Witness: the triple swing. Unlike the anodyne, paranoia-driven parks of the United States, these playgrounds are meant to make kids dirty and proud. Water flows into sand and dirt freely. Rickety wooden play...
Leidsestraat, Amsterdam, Netherlands
It's easy to have a love-hate relationship with Leidesplein (Leidse Square), a colorful if sometimes frenetic entertainment hub near Vondelpark, at Amsterdam's southern end. Accessible via trams 1, 2, 5, 7 and 10, the square is the stage for...
Oudezijds Achterburgwal, 1012 Amsterdam, Netherlands
It's one of Amsterdam's prettiest districts, where swans glide on tree-shrouded canals and gabled mansions recall Holland's Golden Age: de Wallen, better known as the Red Light District (RLD). Since 2000, prostitutes have plied their trade here as...
Singel, 1012 XG Amsterdam, Netherlands
After biking all around Amsterdam, you will work up an appetite. While perusing all the millions of flowers and bulbs, it was a nice surprise to find something to nibble on. After we sampled all the cheeses, we were full and it cost nothing! Great...
Weesperzijde 23, 1091 EC Amsterdam, Netherlands
Supposedly De Ysbreeker ('Ice breaker'), arguably one of Amsterdam's most coveted café terraces overlooking the Amstel river, was formerly an inn for men who broke the ice on the river - hence, its name. Incarnations as a theater and dance hall...
Amsterdam-Noord, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Once a place where convicts were hung, then a working class district for shipyard laborers, Amsterdam-Noord has evolved into a multicultural community with a creative vibe and numerous restaurants, nightclubs and cultural attractions. Officially...
Gabriël Metsustraat 8, 1071 EA Amsterdam, Netherlands
It's not going to blow anyone's mind to say that the Van Gogh Museum is a must-see in Amsterdam. When we were there they were in the midst of moving to the Hermitage, so the full collection was not on display. Still, the fraction of the collection...
Museumplein 10, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
It has been a decade since the major museums on the Museumplein—a grassy square connecting Amsterdam’s main art centers—have all been open at the same time. Here’s what to check out at Stedelijk Museum. The modern art...
IJpromenade 1, 1031 KT Amsterdam, Netherlands
Going to Amsterdam's film institute and museum, called the Eye, is fun for the journey alone: from the Central Station, you take an extremely short ferry ride (it's free) to Amsterdam-Noord. The museum is the swooping white building just to the...
Linnaeusstraat 2, 1092 CK Amsterdam, Netherlands
The interiors of this museum and its library are really beautiful—a mosaic of polished wood and marble surfaces. And its contents are very timely, about the history of immigration and former Dutch colonies and slavery. The library is a bit...
Herengracht 497, 1017 BT Amsterdam, Netherlands
If you tire of highbrow culture, sample a lighter approach to art devoted to a single theme at one of Amsterdam's quirkiest museums: the Katten Kabinet (Cat Cabinet). While professionally curated, this homage to all things feline has a humorous...
Keizersgracht 672, 1017 ET Amsterdam, Netherlands
If Amsterdam's 17th-century canal houses could talk, they might reveal secrets of wealthy merchants who raised families in the tall, narrow properties during Holland's Golden Age. Today, the historic residences have been transformed into hotels,...
Prins Hendrikkade 33A, 1012 TM Amsterdam, Netherlands
Canals are an integral part of the Dutch landscape so it's only fitting you see them up close and personal, from a boat. Viewing Amsterdam by watercraft puts you level with Golden Age mansions, world-class monuments like the Anne Frank House and...
Dijksgracht 4, 1019 BS Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amazing brew and an even better view—what's not to love about Hannekes Boom, a relaxing beer garden in the revitalized neighborhood surrounding Amsterdam's Central Station? In addition to drinks and hearty nachos, sandwiches, and burgers...
Marnixstraat 164-166, 1016 TG Amsterdam, Netherlands
Don't dress up to visit this grunge bar tucked on Marnixgracht in Amsterdam's Oude West. Don't be put off by the abundant graffiti covering its gritty exterior, either. Inside, Café Soundgarden is a welcoming, unpretentious pub with a spectacular...
Enge Kerksteeg 3, 1012 GV Amsterdam, Netherlands
Ever wondered how it feels to sit behind one of those curtained windows in Amsterdam's Red Light District (RLD)? Find out from women who've been there at the Prostitute Information Center (PIC), near the statue of Belle on Oudekerksplein engraved...
Hazenstraat, 1016 SR Amsterdam, Netherlands
It's a single street after Amsterdam's Negen Straats (Nine Streets), but Hazenstraat, the Tiende Straatje (Tenth Street), rates a ten in serious shoppers' books. Lined with boutiques, cafés and galleries, this cobbled strip in the Bohemian-chic...
Tesselschadestraat 1E, 1054 ET Amsterdam, Netherlands
When in Amsterdam, do as the Dutch do and rent a bike. There are half a million bikes in the city, so be sure to look both ways before crossing the street! Bike rates average 12 Euro/day or 50 Euro/week. Mike's Bike Tours...
De Wallen, Amsterdam, Netherlands
The red-light district in Amsterdam is a very busy place with an odd mix of life in one small neighborhood. In a peculiar way it’s very beautiful—there’s so much happening both visually and mentally it takes a bit to process it...
Polonceaukade 23, 1014 DA Amsterdam, Netherlands
With its chill vibe, funky decor, warehouse-like interior and spacious terrace, Pacific Parc is a rock 'n' roll bistro with an edge. Situated in a former treatment plant at Westergasfabriek, the café-nightclub on Amsterdam's west side...
Oosterdokskade 143, 1011 DL Amsterdam, Netherlands
This is not a secret to locals, but off-the-beaten path (but still not too out of the way) is a place with a surprisingly tasty dinner for under ten euros. It's the library cafeteria. But seriously: That bowl of Thai noodle soup with...
Rozengracht 2, 1016 NB Amsterdam, Netherlands
The atmosphere is heavy, the decibel level very low, and the wooden decor both comforting, and inviting. People in this café are either locals reading the newspapers while sipping a cappuccino, or, like me, tourists who just visited the Anne Frank...
Overtoom 160-162, 1054 HP Amsterdam, Netherlands
We had been to Gollem for a drink and a snack (note: the meat platter is hearty) the evening before, but when we found ourselves on Overtoom after visiting Vondelpark, with Gollem just opening for lunch, we went for it again. After all, it was our...
Staalstraat 7-A, 1011 JJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
What do you get when you combine a design gallery/store with a café, beauty salon, fashion boutique and rental apartment? Add it all up and it equates to Droog, a multifunctional space that melds a 160-square meter exhibition space with an...
Marnixstraat 246, 1016 TL Amsterdam, Netherlands
Strolling down Marnixstraat you wouldn't suspect it's there, unless you notice a small sign near a stairwell adjacent to the Q-Park. From Nassaukade, there's no access, but you can see the buzzing venue across Singlegracht canal: Waterkant, a...
Nieuwe Spiegelstraat, 1017 Amsterdam, Netherlands
My favorite street in Amsterdam is the Nieuwe Spiegelstraat. It’s the heart of the Amsterdam art district. It’s virtually door-to-door art and antique dealers. The street ends at the entrance to the magnificent Rijksmuseum.
Herengracht 90, 1015 BS Amsterdam, Netherlands
Many of bars in Amsterdam serve the standard mass market beers, and those that serve craft beer predominantly sell Belgian beers. 't Arendsnest was recommended by our bed and breakfast hosts as a local bar that focuses on Dutch craft beers. How...
Begijnhof 29, 1012 WT Amsterdam, Netherlands
In the center of buzzing Amsterdam there's an oasis of peace that dates back to 1150, when a group of Catholic women banded together in a religious community. You won’t have to stand in line to visit this top Amsterdam attraction as you do...
Zeedijk 4-8, 1012 AX Amsterdam, Netherlands
Skek describes itself as "loving, honest and curious." Run by and for students (get 25% off with student ID), this eco-friendly café off Amsterdam's Red Light District serves no-frills, mostly organic snacks, meals and drinks. Portions are...
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