With tickets for Eurostar’s direct service to Amsterdam on sale from 20 February, we decide a number of the metropolis’s greatest eating places, parks and cultural points of interest away from the vacationer centre
‘From picturesque streets of higgledy-piggledy houses to techno nights in converted factories, Amsterdam has many faces.’
Amsterdam’s fame for stag dos, spliff and intercourse tourism belies the wealthy pickings past Dam Square. Described by locals as a village, Amsterdam has the humanities, leisure and startup scene of many bigger cities however retains a pleasant and relaxed ambiance. As a resident, I like that each one my favorite locations are only a brief journey away. The vibe is laid-back and the costume code avoids the stiff stylish of extra status-conscious cities: the rule is, in case you can’t cycle in it, don’t put on it. From picturesque slim streets of higgledy-piggledy homes to sweaty techno nights in transformed factories, this metropolis reveals its many faces to these prepared to stray from the vacationer hotspots.
Gs Brunch Boat
The greatest strategy to discover Amsterdam is from the water. Gs Brunch Boat, a transformed coal barge with a retro inside and sunshine roof, gives a comfy various to the common tour boat formulation. The €39.50 cowl worth contains the boat journey and à la carte menu, together with eggs Benedict and bloody marys. The spherical journey lasts 1¾ hours and passes via the historic centre for some gable-gazing and out to the IJ harbour with its trendy structure.
• Boards by Keizersgracht 177. Sails Sat-Sun in winter and Fri-Sun from April to August. Departure occasions differ, reallyniceplace.com
Ons’ Lieve Heer Op Solder
Photograph: Arjan Bronkhorst
The Anne Frank House isn’t the one secret attic in Amsterdam price visiting. In the guts of the busy purple gentle district is a 17th-century Catholic church constructed within the attic of a service provider’s home throughout the Protestant reformation. An audio information tells the story of the church and takes you on a historic tour of the constructing, describing how its house owners as soon as lived. An abundance of iconographic artwork and attention-grabbing artefacts fulfill the curiosity, whereas the Voices of Tolerance exhibition promotes a wider reflection on non secular freedom. Lacking the queues of the Anne Frank House and the Rijksmuseum – town’s solely museum older than it – Op Solder is a superb various to the standard vacationer tick-list and a splendid instance of Dutch Golden Age structure.
• Adult €11, baby €5.50, open Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 1pm-6pm, Oudezijds Voorburgwal 38 opsolder.nl
Huis Marseille, Amsterdam Photograph: Eddo Hartmann
The predominantly trendy works on this pictures gallery are in distinction to the 17th-century buildings wherein they dangle. Attracting expertise from across the world, reminiscent of Dana Lixenberg and Jamie Hawkesworth, Huis Marseille’s exhibitions broach a spread of difficult themes, from the non-public to the political. The decorative backyard behind the museum is a quiet area to flee town but when it’s boutiques and bars you need, discover the Negen Straatjes, 9 cute buying streets that lower via the central canals.
• Entrance €Eight, under-17s free, open 11am-6pm, closed Monday. Keizersgracht 399-401, huismarseille.nl
Restaurant De Struisvogel
Distracted by the beautifully-lit bridges and chocolate-box buildings of the Keizersgracht canal, it could be simple to overlook one among its treasures – because the door to Restaurant De Struisvogel (The Ostrich) is under eye degree and leads right into a basement. Inside, picket furnishings and a large chalkboard of decisions at wise costs create an unpretentious eating ambiance. The three-course set menu is €28.50 and contains easy starters – paté, salad or soup – adopted by mains reminiscent of ostrich steak with a quince compote (€four.50 complement) and haddock with purple pepper, fennel and mussels. There are simply two sittings, so reserving is important. If it’s full, strive its new sister restaurant Bistro De Struisvogel, a five-minute stroll away.
• Open Sun-Fri from 5.30pm, Sat from 5pm. Keizersgacht 312, uk.restaurantdestruisvogel.nl
The 14-minute ferry journey from Centraal Station to NDSM wharf is free and opens up a world of city cool in Amsterdam Noord. One of the jewels on this panorama of delivery containers and warehouses is Pllek, a seashore bar and music venue a brief stroll from the drop-off level. The corrugated steel construction and galleried seating works with the leather-based sofas, picnic benches and college desks. The programme is eclectic, with reside music, dance, yoga, and movie, in addition to all-day meals. Expect a festival-like ambiance in the summertime, when bonfires are lit and revellers and music acts spill out onto the seashore in a cheerful muddle.
• Opening occasions differ – till late in summer time, TT Neveritaweg 59, pllek.nl
Cyclists on a motorbike path in Westerpark, Amsterdam. Photograph: Alamy
If you head north-west on the full of life Haarlemmerstraat, previous its cool espresso outlets and shops, you ultimately arrive on the Westerpark. Less busy than the well-known Vondelpark to the south, this park is about playgrounds and dog-walkers within the day and tradition and clubbing at evening, because the Westergasfabriek – a former gasworks – involves life. Try the Bakkerswinkel for breakfast for round €10. Lunch is sandwiches or soup from €6, or salads from €9. The cafe additionally serves excessive tea from €17.50pp. Grab some Dutch ice-cream at close by Ijscuypje or a chunky bar of Dutch chocolate at Tony’s Chocolonely the place enjoyable flavours embody orange and rosemary and milk popcorn discodip.
Albert Cuyp market
This full of life avenue market within the Pijp district, south of the centre, is over 100 years previous and claims to be the most important every day market in Europe. Fruit and veg, fish, flowers and garments are the staples however the record goes on. For sampling cheese, poffertjes (tiny pancakes) or herring at native costs, it is a excellent place to start out. The Pijp is stuffed with enjoyable spots to drink and dine as soon as the market is closed. Check out close by Pho 91 for tangy Vietnamese soup after which head south to Brouwerij Troost, a former monastery serving beer brewed on website.
• Open Mon-Sat 9am-5pm, Albert Cuypstraat, albertcuyp-markt.amsterdam
Mr Blou I Love You
The proprietor of Mr Blou … is a former Michelin-starred chef who needed extra contact with individuals and, believing that everyone ought to eat nicely, no matter their means, he opened his meals stall in October 2017. The focus is on vegan avenue meals however there’s hen, too. Around 95% of the produce is natural and most is domestically sourced, together with Lot Sixty One espresso, which is roasted lower than 10 minutes’ stroll away at Kinkerstraat 112. There are muffins, smoothies, wraps and salads however the do-it-yourself falafel takes centre stage. Lunch and a drink is round €11. Curl up on the sheepskin-covered benches beneath the awnings or eat your take-out whereas exploring the gorgeous streets within the close by Jordaan district.
• Open Mon-Sat, 11am-8pm in winter and 9am-10pm in summer time, Elandsgracht 150 on Facebook
This former squat is stuffed with inventive exercise, a lot of it freed from cost. Resident artists and group lessons occupy the centre by day, whereas evenings imply movies, reside music, DJs and jam classes. The bar on the left is the primary hub and is home to De Peper, the place volunteers serve pay-what-you-can vegan meals 4 days every week (7pm-Eight.30pm). In a again room is the desk tennis bar (Tuesdays) and, hidden within the basement, a radio station performs juicy beats to an web viewers. The air smells damp, however the sound is fantastic.
• Opening occasions differ. Check web site for agenda. Overtoom 301, ot301.nl
The Tire Station
There’s stylish lodging at an reasonably priced worth at this 112-bedroom lodge, which prides itself on its environmental credentials however refuses to be preachy and even has parking – a rarity in Amsterdam. Inside this former Michelin tyre station, the design is trendy, industrial and angular, with uncovered piping and a sand-cement ground. Upstairs, the pinboard function wall, cheeky phrase artwork, and the minimalist decor of the bedrooms, create a relaxed, studenty really feel, whereas the Royal Dutch Auping beds assist with a superb evening’s sleep. The lodge is near the 120-acre Vondelpark and a 10-minute tram journey from the centre. When you have tried out the lodge’s personal cafe and restaurant, proceed down Amstelveenseweg for an enormous alternative of bars and eating places – to go well with all budgets.
• Rooms from €80 room-only in off-season, natural breakfast €15, Amstelveenseweg 1-7, conscioushotels.com
The new Eurostar route from London to Amsterdam begins on four April however tickets go on sale on 20 February. Fares will begin from £35 every method and the outward journey will take three hours 41 minutes, the return leg (with a change in Brussels) round an hour longer. There are direct flights to Amsterdam Schiphol from 26 UK airports, beginning at round £47 return, carriers embody Aer Lingus, BA, CityJet, easyJet, Eurowings, Flybe, Jet2, KLM and Vueling.
Best time to go
27 April for Koningsdag (King’s Day), the all-orange, all-day avenue celebration in celebration of King Willem-Alexander’s birthday. 15-17 June for Open Garden Weekend, when most of the grand courtyards hid behind the canal homes are opened as much as the general public. four August for the Canal Parade, the spotlight of Pride Amsterdam, when the entire city comes out to cheer on the frilly floats and their costumed LGBTQ crew.
Exchange price £1 = €1.13; a small draft beer (25cl) prices about €three