Wolf & Stag Adventures: A Guide to Amsterdam » Wolf & Stag

Wolf & Stag Adventures: A Guide to Amsterdam

There was a moment during our trip to Amsterdam. Stag and I were ambling down another home-lined street, even prettier than the last. The sun was the most brilliant shade of bright, that you can only get on a June afternoon, and we were strolling with no map in sight: just us, a maze of canals, and time. I turned to Stag and asked, with the tone of someone dreaming up a fantasy future, “Can we live here, one day?” Stag, being Husband of the year, humoured me with a kiss, and I swear I could see the wistful look in his eye, too.

I’m not sure if we’ll ever move to Amsterdam. To be honest, I’m not sure if I’d want to ruin the sun-drenched, slow-living image I have of this marvellous gem of a city. Real life (and rain) can sometimes do that. But, if I could, I would visit repeatedly. And if you’re reading this, chances are, you either are heading there — or want to go as much as I did (and do). Here’s our Wolf & Stag Guide to Amsterdam, to help you on your own adventure, or whet your wanderlust to see it, one day.

Wolf & Stag Adventures: A Guide to Amsterdam, Netherlands | Wolf & StagWolf & Stag Adventures: A Guide to Amsterdam, Netherlands

 

— GOOD TO KNOW —

Wolf & Stag Adventures: A Guide to Amsterdam, Netherlands | Wolf & Stag

  • Language | English is very widely spoken: as in, you really don’t need to know a single thing in Dutch
  • Cash or card | We often found that places were card-only, so make sure you have a card you’re happy to use
  • Can I drink the water | Yes!
  • Currency | Euro
  • Taxis | Available, as is Uber and most ride-sharing apps. You can also take public transport, which is (meant to be) reliable and easy to use.

— WHERE TO STAY IN AMSTERDAM —

Wolf & Stag Adventures: A Guide to Amsterdam, Netherlands | Wolf & Stag

The Hoxton | We absolutely loved our stay at The Hoxton. It’s not the cheapest option, but if you go mid-week, you can get great deals. Read our full review here.

Sir Albert | A modern and stylish boutique hotel nestled in the trendy (and great for shopping) De Pijp district.

Wolf & Stag Adventures: A Guide to Amsterdam, Netherlands | Wolf & Stag

Some tips on finding the best accommodation in Amsterdam:

  • Our favourite areas of the city were the Jordaan, De Pijp or around the Nine Streets shopping district. These are away from the touristy city centre — but still central enough to get around — and are absolutely stunning. With amazing food, too.
  • Try iEscape, Design Hotels and Airbnb to find interesting and well-located places to stay

— WHERE TO EAT IN AMSTERDAM —

Wolf & Stag Adventures: A Guide to Amsterdam, Netherlands | Wolf & Stag
Make sure to sit in the top level in Pluk

Pluk | This charming interiors-stroke-coffee spot is the epitome of ‘stop for a bite on a lovely weekend stroll.’ We ordered Dutch apple pie, iced teas and watched the world go by outside. Bliss.
Reestraat 19, 1016 DM

Metropolitain | We were a bit wary about this restaurant, located just off a very-main drag nearby to the city centre. We much prefer more local, hidden spots. However, this half outside, half inside restaurant surprised us in the best way. I sucked down the best coconut coffee I’ve ever tasted, and we munched on lobster rolls (SO GOOD) and salads on our first day in Amsterdam. A perfect spot for brunch or lunch.
Rokin 81, 1012 KL

Restaurant Arles | If there’s one place I recommend you go for dinner in Amsterdam, it’s Arles. Offering a very reasonable 3 courses for €35, this neo-French restaurant uses only local Dutch produce — and trust me, you can taste that attention to detail and superb quality in every mouthful. With impeccable service, a warm atmosphere, and a meal that had us talking for days, Arles is one not to miss.
Govert Flinckstraat 251, 1073 BX

Wolf & Stag Adventures: A Guide to Amsterdam, Netherlands | Wolf & Stag
The amazing food at Arles

Pancakes Amsterdam | I’d heard great things about this pancakery (is that a word? it is now), but we had planned to go to MOOK pancakes instead of here. That is, until we literally stumbled across it by accident, and Stag had not been fed yet. Apparently, this place is notorious for queues, but early enough on a Sunday, we were able to walk right in. We shared a sweet and traditional savoury pancake — the savoury was the winner — and left certain that no one does a pancake quite like the Dutch.
Berenstraat 38, 1016 GH

Sticky Fingers | After a wander through Vondelpark, make your way to oh-so-instagrammable Sticky Fingers for a coffee and a pastry. We ordered coffees (obvs), a savoury quiche and a pastry. That quiche, though. Honestly, one of the best I’ve ever tasted, and I’ve had a lot of quiche in my day.
Amstelveenseweg 3, 1054 MB

Wolf & Stag Adventures: A Guide to Amsterdam, Netherlands | Wolf & Stag

CT Coffee & Coconuts | If I could take this restaurant, bar and coffee spot with me to every city I ever live in, I’d be a happy place. Sprawling over two floors, this De Pijp hangout is huge, and yet it was nearly full when we visited on a Monday afternoon. The entire menu is worth ordering, but we’d especially recommend anything with, well, coconuts. When in Rome…
Ceintuurbaan 282-284, 1072 LR

Wolf & Stag Adventures: A Guide to Amsterdam, Netherlands | Wolf & Stag

Other food places that come highly recommended | Foodhallen (food market), The Avocado Show, Little Collins, Libertine Cafe, Staring at Jacob and MOOK Pancakes.

 

A note on cafes in Amsterdam:

Amsterdam is no different than Shoreditch, Brooklyn or any other cool city neighbourhoods in its coffee offering. Seriously, there are so many places to choose from that offer beautiful interiors, a chill atmosphere, and one damn good cup of coffee. The ones we went to that we loved were Lot 61 and Bocca Coffee.

Wolf & Stag Adventures: A Guide to Amsterdam, Netherlands | Wolf & Stag

Also highly recommended — but we didn’t get a chance to go, because who can fit that much caffeine in their bodies  — were Koffiespot, Frederix Micro RoastersSweet Cup Cafe, Bakers & Roasters and Winkel 43 (known for its apple pie).


— WHAT TO DO IN AMSTERDAM —

Wolf & Stag Adventures: A Guide to Amsterdam, Netherlands | Wolf & Stag

Go Shopping Along the De 9 Straatjes (The Nine Streets). | This charming area of the city was by far my favourite: with the most beautiful canals, homes and independent shops, you could literally spend a whole weekend here (In fact, we nearly did!). The shopping here is unparalleled; make sure you allow enough time to pop into each shop that takes your eye.

Browse the boutiques in in De Pijp. | The De Pijp neighbourhood is Amsterdam’s ‘up and coming’ (read: already very cool) neighbourhood. Here you can find some of the city’s best restaurants and independent shops, with most of the shops found on Gerard Doustraat.

 

Soak in the art at the Rijksmuseum. | The Rijksmuseum is a must-see while in Amsterdam. The art selection here rivals some of the greats in Paris and London — Van Gogh, Vermeer and Rembrandt all under one roof. Save yourself time and money by booking tickets ahead.

Wolf & Stag Adventures: A Guide to Amsterdam, Netherlands | Wolf & Stag

Enjoy a nature-filled stroll in Vondelpark. | A stroll through Vondelpark makes for the most relaxing afternoon. If you’re into house porn (*raising hand emphatically*), then the houses here are some of the most beautiful you will see. Finish your walk with a crisp, cool beer at Cafe Schinkelhaven — and maybe even a coffee at Sticky Fingers.

Soak in the atmosphere at the Bloemenmarkt. | This floating flower market is one of Amsterdam’s must-see staples. Each stall is awash with colour, a myriad of tulips, wooden clogs, bulbs and fresh flowers. The street opposite is lined with traditional Dutch cheese shops. Pop in for some samples, and enjoy a leisurely stroll through the market.

 

Try a homemade Stroopwafel at Albert Cuyp Market. | You think you’ve had a stroopwafel — but you haven’t, really, until you’ve had one fresh from the griddle. The market itself is just okay (I thought it was a bit overhyped, honestly). But stop in for one of those warm, caramelly delights, and your world will never be the same.

 

Have a beer at a windmill. | Is there anything more Dutch than snacking on cheese, meats and beer in a windmill? The Brouwerij ‘t IJ is an iconic brewery and bar, with nothing but local beers on tap and long wooden benches in which to drink them. Although touristy, the atmosphere feels authentic. Like the beer, the meats and cheeses are all sourced from local Dutch farms, too.

Feel humbled at the Anne Frank Museum. | Trust me when I say: this museum is worth the queue. It’s one of those places that, yes, is very touristy, but it’s a life necessity to visit it at least once. You will leave humbled, saddened, and empowered.


— WHERE TO SHOP IN AMSTERDAM —

Wolf & Stag Adventures: A Guide to Amsterdam, Netherlands | Wolf & Stag
Wildernis interiors

Amsterdam is a treasure trove of independent clothing, interior, beauty and gift shops. With such great retail on offer, there’s no need to even come near the global high street brands. Below is my little black book of some of my favourite shops that I went to. However, there are just too many to name. The best thing you can do? Wander the streets, soak in the atmosphere, and pop into every shop you see!

 The Gathershop

Nuvo Niche

Wildernis

The Darling

Things I like, Things I Love

OU Boutique Stories

We are Labels

All The Luck in the World

Miuse

Living-In by Romy de Boer

Indianaweg 10

Wolf & Stag Adventures: A Guide to Amsterdam, Netherlands | Wolf & Stag
Nuvo Niche interiors

Wolf & Stag Adventures: A Guide to Amsterdam, Netherlands | Wolf & Stag


Have you been to Amsterdam? What do you think of my Amsterdam guide? What are your favourite spots in the city? Have I missed any of this list?

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  • This is a great guide! And I’m so glad you got to stop by Nuvo Niche – my favorite ladies and my favorite shop in Amsterdam!

    • Yes! When I went in, I mentioned that you were the one that told me to go there — they had nothing but wonderful things to say about you! It was the only store that we went back to twice. Thank you so much for the tip. It’s in my little black book forever now. xx

      • Ahhhhh no way!! It is such a gorgeous store, filled with treats. So glad you had a wonderful time in AMS! Bookmarking all the rest of your recs for our return … xoxoxo

        • Literally, we had a whole conversation about you! I was like, “I know her! Kind of!” 😀 I couldn’t believe how good the shopping was in Amsterdam. It’s why I didn’t write about each and every shop I listed… my blog posts are already beastly enough! And seriously, getting your approval on a travel post = makes my day!

  • Such a helpful post. Thankyou!!

    http://www.themollyellis.com

    • Thank you, Molly! Really appreciate you leaving a comment and reading the post x

  • Emma Fisher

    Our friends moved to Amsterdam in January and LOVE it – it is that relaxed and laid back! Plus every time I have been over its sunny, (and April has an amazing tan) we’re back there is a few weeks for a beer festival and I can’t wait!

    • Yes! That relaxed, slow-living feel is what immediately drew me to the city. That, and the fact that it’s SO beautiful. I genuinely can’t understand how people DON’T love it. Yes, it was sunny this last time we went, although I’ve heard rain is inevitable… but if your friend has that tan, well, there must be SOME sun. Maybe she can share with us in London please? :o)

      Have an amazing time on your visit! Share some pictures from your beer festival, I would love to see! x

  • This is such a great travel guide to Amsterdam! My husband and I went to Rotterdam on a sunny weekend in July and I felt exactly the same and asked if we could move there! I get the feeling Holland has a great vibe all over. Amsterdam is next on the list now!
    Vicky x
    http://www.dalton-banks.co.uk

    • Thank you so much, VIcky! How was Rotterdam? I’ve never been, but I’ve heard good things. I agree that Holland just has that vibe — carefree, slow, enjoy-the-moment kind of feeling. I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s felt it! x

  • Eire, this is such a brilliant post!! I’ve only been to Amsterdam once a couple of years ago and it rained torrentially for the entire time we were there! I can’t wait to go again and I have bookmarked this post to take with me when I do!! Your photos are stunning. xxx

    Hannah | http://www.hannahandtheblog.com

    • Thank you SO much, Hannah! Yes, I have heard that Amsterdam rains A LOT. I have yet to see it in the rain. Same with Edinburgh, funnily enough; every time I’ve been, nothing but sun in the sky. Which probably explains why these two cities are my favourite in the world… very unrealistic considering it’s all about the sunshine 😀