When the Thalys celebrated its 20th Birthday last June, train tickets to go to Amsterdam from Paris were so cheap (40€ the return trip)! I have never been there, it was the occasion. Amsterdam is a lovely florish city bounded with canals and which history and culture are so rich (it’s classified on the World Heritage list). Amsterdam is also a surprising city because of its political progressiveness (I’ll talk about it later).
There are 10 things you absolutely need to do if you go to Amsterdam.
1. Walk along the canals.
2. Visit the Van Gogh museum.
As a Van Gogh fan, I could not miss this museum. Amsterdam Van Gogh museum have the biggest Van Gogh collection in the world with mode than 200 paintings (of which la Chambre d’Arles, one of my favorites) and more than 500 drawings.
I loved this museum. We learn a lot on the artist life, which was short. It lasted only 10 years but during these years, Van Gogh was very productive. He would have painted 900 paintings and drawn 1 100 drawings (during his stay in Arles, he painted one painting a day!)
Don’t forget to book your tickets on line to avoid never-ending queues.
Van Gogh museum – Museumplein 6, Amsterdam
3. Visit the Rijksmuseum to see the Milkmaid from Vermeer.
The library is also awesome!
Rijksmuseum – Postbus 74888, 1070 DN Amsterdam
4. Have lunch at the Rijks, the Rijksmuseum restaurant.
At the Rijks, the slow food is featured : all the products used are biological and local is favoured.
For lunch time, the menu is composed of a starter, a main course and a dessert and it costs 37,5€. I find that not expensive because of the quality of the food and the lovely place.
RIJKS Restaurant – Museumplein 2, 1070 DN Amsterdam
5. Have pastries at Kuyt, best baker in Netherlands in 2006.
Don’t miss to taste the speculaas and the appelschnitte, an apple tart with raisins, cinnamon, icing sugar and flaked almonds sprinkled. Be careful if you want to sit down in Kuyt to have tea because it closes at 4.30 pm.
Kuyt Bakery – Utrechtsestraat 109/111, 1017 VL Amsterdam
6. Eat at the Vondelpark, the park which is based in the centre of Amsterdam.
At Vondelpark/3, if you eat on the terrace, you can enjoy the lovely view on the lake. The environment is gorgous but the fish and chips is a bit expensive (12,5€), served in a nice disposable wood plate.
Vondelpark/3 – Vondelpark 3, 1071 AA Amsterdam
7. Go shopping and stop to have a tea.
- Walk on Haarlemmerstraat : Restaurant Vinnies, Teahouse Petit Gâteau, Concept store Six and Sons, Concept store Atelier Sukha, Grocery Stach Food,
- A huge Urban Outfitters on several stores (that distributes Skinny Dip) and a Top Shop (with a Petite section) on Kalverstraat,
- Gerard Doustraat : Concept stores Charlie + Mary, All the luck in the world, Anna + Nina,
- Concept store Jan on Utrechtsestraat : the socks on the below picture have been bought in this store (pic taken in my place),
- A big HEMA on Nieuwendijk.
8. Have a drink at Tales and Spirits.
Tales and Spirits is a cocktail bar that proposes a large cocktail choice which description is as original as its content. Waiters are great! You can also have dinner but don’t forget to book a table because there are a lot people!
Tales and Spirits – Lijnbaanssteeg 5/7, 1012 TE Amsterdam
9. Visit the beguinage (Begijnhof).
The beguinage is a yard where Beguines lived in. Beguines is a community of pious women who have not taken religious oaths. We admire the architecture which is gorgeous!
10. Taste eggs with hollandaise sauce.
For this, I went to Coconut & Coffee, a restaurant where you feel like home. The place is very friendly, you can sit on benchs and share big wood tables. Courses are fresh and house-made. I have ordered biological “Rockafella” poached eggs with hollandaise sauce served with mushrooms and spinach. A delight!
Coconut & Coffee – Ceintuurbaan 282/284
Visit Anne Franck House. From May 2016, there is a new entry system. If you don’t have tickets, you need to queue about 2 hours from 3.30 pm to 10.00 pm. I didn’t have time to go there, unfortunately. Don’t forget to book your tickets a quite long time before your stay in Amsterdam. Tickets are sold out very quickly.
Buy peanut butter Oreo.
Previously, I talked about political progressivness. Soft drugs are legal in Netherlands and you can smoke in coffee shops from 1976. Moreover, pimping is allowed. It’s gard but if you go to the Red district, you can see prostitutes in front of windows… It’s very surprising and very touching to see women in these conditions.
And you? Have you ever been in Netherlands? Did you like it? Don’t hesitate to leave your good adresses in a comment.
Have a lovely end of week, Xxx.