So, you’re in Amsterdam for a few days and want to see some of the bests of the best before you leave? Well, look no further. After four months of living in this incredible city, I’ve compiled a list of my personal favorites, ranging anywhere from what grocery store to buy the best croissant to the most reliable metro line.
1) Canal (specifically for those classic Amsterdam canal pictures)
Jordan, or any of the canals near the Anne Frank house are stunning models of exactly what your friends will be expecting to see on your Instagram.
Located in De Pijp, my favorite spot in all of Amsterdam, Coffee and Coconuts was the cafe that all my roommates swore by. A close second is Doppio, which is a bit easier to find spread out in different places throughout the city. If you’re looking for a good American-sized coffee, Doppio is the place to go.
3) Brunch place
I think I'll be craving Dignita food long after I'm home. With a warm welcoming atmosphere and tables big enough for groups of eight or nine, you can bring everyone along for this meal. With a seasonal menu featuring eggs benedict atop a golden fried hashbrown, lavender pancakes and chickpea fritters, everyone can find something they love here. And even better, each coffee drink comes with the best macaroon Amsterdam has to offer.
4) Dinner Spot
If you’re looking for a spot to please everyone, Foodhalen is the perfect solution. There’s a plethora of stands throughout the cavernous room with communal seating scattered throughout. And if you’re looking for a drink afterwards, Drinkhalen is only steps away!
5) A Night on the Town
I probably spent a good portion of my nights in Amsterdam at Rembrantplein. Outfitted with bars, coffee shops, restaurants, and the best french fries you’ll ever have, it’s a hard place to beat.
Now, all of the museums are inspiring and impressive in their own rights, but I must say that the Van Gogh Museum was the only one I visited multiple times. Something always kept me wanting to go back there, whether it was to glance back at the timeline of his life on the first floor or to look at his later more famous works on the floors above, this museum never fails to disappoint.
Vondelpark, especially in nice weather, is the perfect spot for gathering friends. Whether you’re in the mood to bike around, take a leisurely stroll, or stay a while for a picnic, Vondelpark has you covered.
8) Chain Store
HEMA, what I like to refer to as the “Target of the Netherlands,” is one of those places where you go in looking for one thing and come out with a full bag of items you didn’t know you need. Whether you need quick decorations for a party, a new nail polish color, or a warm coat to get you through your walk back home, HEMA has you covered.
*Though, I’d lose some friends if I didn’t also mention JUMBO, one of the big grocery stores in the area that has great deals on quality food and also takes American credit cards (!). I have friends who swear by JUMBO as the only place to go for groceries, so much so that one even acquired a custom made JUMBO t-shirt before returning back to the States.
9) Metro Line
So this may be a bit inconvenient if it doesn’t go to one of the places you need, but the 52 metro line is above and beyond any sort of public transit I’ve ever ridden on before. Long live the 52.
10) Tourist Attraction
There are countless tourist attractions in Amsterdam, it can be hard to pick and choose which ones are worth doing. But if you ask me, the canal tour is an unbeatable experience and a great way to learn more about the city and see some of the neighborhoods that you may not have time to venture through otherwise.
I’m sure there are countless other things that should be on this list, but if I didn’t limit myself to ten this article would never end. So, if you ever find yourself in Amsterdam, I hope you can check out a few of these spots!
Cover photo: @joshuajabbour via Flickr
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<p>My name is Makai Andrews, born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I attended a boarding school, Interlochen Arts Academy, for my final two years of high school in northern Michigan before making another big jump across the country to study as a double major in writing and psychology at Ithaca College. Right now, I am working on coming to the conclusion that in order to write well, you have to live well.</p>