Amsterdam is a place that I never get tired of visiting because I always discover something new. Have you been to the city too many times and want to experience something different? Headed on a business trip? This is my 24 Hours in Amsterdam guide, perfect for what to experience even if you’ve already been to the key spots like Anne Frank House, a Canal Tour, and Rijksmuseum.
Stay: We stayed at WestCord Art Hotel Amsterdam. The hotel is just ten minutes away from the city center, tucked in a residential area near the Westerpark, a park on the west side of Amsterdam. One of the things we loved the most about the hotel was the original art throughout the hotel. From a Smart Car with graffiti in the lobby to a hand painted mural in the room, the experience was like stepping into an eclectic art gallery. We loved the breakfast buffet at the hotel, it had everything from pancakes to the traditional Dutch hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles served over bread). The hotel is located in a residential area, which I appreciated because you get a local feel. Tip: Go to Albert Heijn, the Dutch supermarket chain a few blocks from the hotel to stock up on cheese and stroopwafels to take home. Much cheaper than at souvenir shops.
|Discovering New Spots by Bike|
See: The WestCord Art Hotel Amsterdam allows guests to rent bikes from 6,50 EUR for four hours to a full day rental. There is a bike lane that takes you from the hotel straight to the city center. If you love architecture, make sure to stop by the Paleis van Justitie(courthouse) on your way to the center. There are some amazing structures in that area to include modern residential buildings and the gorgeous lobby of the Room Mate Hotel. Get lost on the streets of Amsterdam by bike, pay attention to the street art, peer into the windows of the gorgeous homes that have lined the canals for centuries. It’s a great way to discover small cafés like Scandinavian Embassy, a gourmet café recommended by fellow blogger Alla from Live Like You’re Traveling. Spend the afternoon people watching on your bike at Westerpark. It’s a place where locals come together with their kids, their dogs, and most importantly, their bikes. The center of the park has art spaces, cafes, and restaurants. Tip: Don’t be intimidated by bike riding in Amsterdam. Click here for safety tips.
|Mussels at Mossel and Gin|
Eat: Sometimes Amsterdam does not get the best reputation for food but I beg to differ. During previous trips, I had an amazing dinner at Serre at Okura Hotel, delicious Indonesian at Long Pura, and Mexican at Los Pilones. During my last trip, my friend Rickerd, a local architect and his partner invited us to have dinner at their new home. We had a lovely vegetarian meal but what made the dinner special was the coziness of eating at a home with good friends. You don’t have friends in Amsterdam? Geen probleem! You can book a dinner in Amsterdam with locals via Bookalokal, which pairs local hosts with travelers and locals alike to share a meal at a home.
|Guest Room at WestCord Art Hotel|
Before we departed we had a lovely lunch at Mossel and Gin at the recommendation of the manager of Art Hotel Amsterdam. The restaurant is a beautiful wooden space that sits in the middle of the Westerpark. I can write a whole post about this restaurant! The restaurant has a two page menu dedicated to Gin cocktails. From the classic gin and tonic to a lavender blossom, their gin cocktail menu makes it hard to choose just one! The restaurant specializes in Mussels and Gin (hence the name). We tried several variations but the winner was the mussels with coconut milk and thai chilies. There’s something about the sweetness of the coconut with the spice of the chili on a plump mussel from Zeeland (the coastal area of Netherlands where the mussels come from) that makes me still think of the restaurant even a month after my visit. Tip: It’s not all about the mussels, make sure to order the oysters as a starter!
The phrase I use to describe the Netherlands and particularly Amsterdam is stylish simplicity. You can see this with the bicycles roaming the city, with a gin cocktail, or peeking into the lovely homes long the canals of the city. Even if you’ve been there dozens of times, you can still discover a beautifully hidden space.
|Mussels at Mossel and Gin|