After a long flight with a stop in Paris, a train and a crazy tram ride we were there. In the middle of thousands of bicycles, scooters and people. We were waiting (a bit confused) for our host who gave us the key to a beautiful two floors apartment in de Pijp. The houses in Amsterdam are higher than usual houses and not wide at all. When we wanted to go upstairs with our suitcases we were quite astonished…these stairs are tiny and far apart! In older times the taxes were depending on the width of a house, that’s why everyone built them as high and as narrow as possible. Maybe you asked yourself why these hooks are at the top of every house…the people used to get their furniture into their houses by this hook and a cable control – I think this is quite tricky haha.
At the first day we decided to stroll around in “our” area and get to know the city a little bit better. I’ve never been to Amsterdam before not to speak of the Netherlands in general. The way of living there is in my opinion a bit different. At first the traffic – guys I’ve never been this afraid of walking onto a cyclists lane! Bicycles and scooter are sharing one lane where you can drive 30 km/h max and their driving style is absolutely nuts. Without helmets, across the red light, against one-way streets, cutting in on others…but strangely I didn’t see any accidents. It’s a kind of organized chaos. That’s also why I was a bit scared when the man in the scooter-rent shop said “No sorry, we don’t have helmets. But you just can drive 30 km/h max so you don’t need one.” – okaay…
I would definitely recommend to rent a bike or scooter when you want to see more of the city. Because of the Grachten (canals+bridges) it takes a while to walk and of course you are faster when riding a bike. In the beginning we decided to take the tram but the public transports are horribly organized so I wouldn’t go for them all the time.
Let’s get to the important things – foooood. As you may know I’m a huge food lover and also like to try out different plates from different countries. I like the fact that sandwiches are a traditional food in Amsterdam and freshly made. One of my personal highlights was the café called coffee and coconuts. It was once an old theater and now has been turned into a very big café/bar where you can drink self made juices and smoothies and eat (for example) super yummy nachos with cheese and sweet corn. My boyfriend Benny smiled when he saw how amazed I was by the place…it’s just magical. The seats are big couches and big tables which are there to be shared and to get to know new people.
We also fell in love with the chicken avocado sandwich (with bacon and truffle mayonnaise) at de Wasserette which was right next to our apartment. From the seats outside you can perfectly do people-watching haha. What I also found quite interesting is that the girls and boys are literally natural beauties! The girls wear nearly no make up, have a tan and blonde hair. Also the style of the people is so effortless but stylish and modern…aahh I could watch them all day.
Food wise you have to visit the pancake bakery although I have to admit that they were not as amazing as I expected them to be. It’s touristic but still a nice place! For dinner we mostly ate at our apartment but we ate 2 times at beautiful (and yummy) restaurants in de Pijp: The first one is called De Pizzabakkers and the other one Pho 91.
For sightseeing we went of course to the Dam where the royal family is living….a pretty crowded but pretty place where the shops are beginning (like Zara, H&M etc.). The centrum is also very nice with lots of small streets. We went to the Sex museum (it’s just a funny place to visit, nothing for prim people though) and to the Foam museum where the Helmut Newton exhibition was shown and even though I’ve been to the exhibition before the pictures of the women are amazing! Definitely check it out if you can. Unfortunately we didn’t visit the Van Gogh museum or the Rijksmuseum but I’ll come back to visit them in the future 😉
Taking a look at the quarters and shops in Amsterdam I have to say that everything is super stylish. Especially the concept and fashion stores are so beautifully furnished that I stayed inside just to look at the interior! I would recommend to go to the following shops: Hutspot, SETS, Cottoncake, Circle of Trust and the vintage store Episode. These shops were near our quarter de Pijp – guys hands down de Pijp is amazing! There are tons of little shops, healthy cafés and cute houses. More touristic over there is for the Albert Cuypmarkt which is a great big market full of self made food, clothes and drinks. We lived right next to it and I was amazed by the different (and cheap) smoothies and juices which you can see on my Instagram (@_emeluschka_). The other district I really like is Jordaan with the so called de 9 straatjes where also very nice litte concept and fashion shops are as well as beautiful cafés. Both quarters have this charming atmosphere to them which I can’t describe.
Here are some other impressions 🙂 If you have tipps for Amsterdam pleeaaase write them in the comments below so I can visit those next time!