Oh, you beautiful Amsterdam! The canals and canal houses are things you won’t easily forget. And how much I love the flower (and bike) covered bridges, Amsterdam has much more on offer! I’m planning on doing a little series on ‘hidden’ gems in Amsterdam, and this is the first installment. Enjoy!
1. Cafe Latei
I discovered Cafe Latei in the Red Light District a few years ago. Straight across from the buddhist He Hua Temple you can find this vintage cafe. The interior is composed of a mishmash of trinkets and accessories. The best bit is that everything from the dozens of vintage lights, to the wallpaper, is for sale. Only the cat – who I saw roaming around and taking his place on a chair next to me – is not. Go here for a fresh juice, a caffeine shot or a delicious apple pie. Also open for lunch and dinner.
2. Westerpark and Westergasfabriek
When you’ve been to Amsterdam you might have noticed the beautiful, but crowded Vondelpark. If you are looking for a less jam-packed alternative, head over to Westerpark in the former working-class area of Amsterdam West. Now, it’s becoming a trendy place with the Westergasfabriek in the heart of it all. The former gas works are home to television studios, fashionable restaurants and plenty of cultural events.
3. NDSM Yard
Treat yourself on a free boat ride with the ferry that runs from the back of Central Station to NDSM Yard. You will enter a completely different world from the 17th century canal streets we all know. A former shipyard, which now hosts some abandoned trams and boats and is a really cool place to hang out. Definitely make a stop at Pllek: the pile of container-turned-bar-and-restaurant. Seeing the sun set over Amsterdam from the beach or behind the large glass windows in winter time is a must!
4. Central Library
A library in this list? Well yes of course! I love books, and the Central Library has plenty of those! It’s the largest public library of Europe and has a pretty unique modern interior. When I’m not browsing through the extensive collection of books, I head up to the 7th floor for sweeping views over the old town.
5. SkyLounge Amsterdam
This tip came from a friend of my, Jessica. She took me and another friend up to Doubletree by Hilton’s SkyLounge on a hot summer day, and I absolutely loved it! The indoor bar is surrounded by glass, so that even when the weather isn’t on your side, you can still enjoy the stunning views of Amsterdam. We on the other hand took a seat outside on the view deck of the 11th floor. Even though the drinks and food on offer exceeded my budget to some extent, the SkyLounge offers undoubtedly the most beautiful bird eye views of the Dutch capital.
As always, all opinions are my own.