The Eurostar goes there, you should too: Amsterdam, the cultural capital of the Netherlands

Foundry Fox
Junior-editor
Author Signature

Beautiful canals, boutique stores, very good food (including world-class cheese) and a buzzing night scene; there are 44-museums (see the cat museum, random), 32 markets, 400km of picturesque cycle paths and with Eurostar’s new direct service, you can be in the heart of the city in under 4-hours.

Let’s do brunch

A weekend break calls for lots of eating and the perfect day starts with a leisurely brunch.

Situated in the beautiful Sarphatipark in the Old South neighborhood of Amsterdam, Little Collins offers delicious mid-morning morsels like ‘The Harvest’ – seasonal vegetables, spiced carrot puree, feta roasted kale served with warm flatbread. Wash it down with one of their 4 Bloody Marys with Kimchee or bacon in the comfort of their stylishly modern restaurant, or sit outside and people watch.

No trip to the Netherlands is complete without pancakes and for some of the best head to the Upstairs Pancake House. Climb a flight of narrow, carpeted stairs in a 16th-century townhouse and sit at one of their four tables for an all organic pancake with toppings like bacon, brie and honey, or a more traditional Dutch strawberries and cream.

Hmm fresh lambada strawberries flambé

A post shared by Upstairspancakes (@upstairspancakes) on

Insta-pretty Ted’s is the perfect start to a day of milling/sightseeing/exploring. Favourite dishes include Norwegian Eggs, poached eggs with smoked salmon and hollandaise sauce served on a croissant; the goats cheese, honey, avocado and pear served on white sourdough toast, or the Philly Steak, diced (beef) bavetten with Cheddar cheese, onions, Jalapeño mayo served on whole wheat sourdough toast, will do the job nicely, plus there are over 15 cocktails to work through.

Best things to see and do

DGTL Amsterdam Festival will put a spring in your step this Easter weekend with multiple stages hosting the best new and established DJs and live acts in electronic music, set throughout the NDSM Wharf, a former shipyard and now enormous cultural hotspot, home to a huge variety of bars, restaurants and inside/outside venues.

Easter is the perfect time to see the Dutch flowers in all their colourful glory. Visit the Keukenhof Gardens to see over 7 million new blooms turn the ground into a rainbow, or take a trip to the world’s only floating flower market the Bloemenmarkt.

Possibly the most well known Amsterdam attraction, the Anne Frank Museum gives a unique and touching glimpse into the life of one of the most influential personas of the Holocaust. Book in advance as queues can get long. While the Rijksmuseum is the most famous art gallery in Amsterdam and a total must-see.

Renowned for its bikes and cyclists, peddling really is the best way to see the city. Cycle around the Vondelpark, which also has a lovely cafe. To get your bearings and a unique insight into the history of the city take a Sandeman walking tour that takes place at various times every day, it’s a great way to get your bearings and learn about the city.

On Monday morning the Noordermarkt is home to a small but delightful flea market, from 9 am, where you’ll find vintage clothes, furniture and jewellery. The same square becomes a buzzing Farmer’s market on a Saturday.

Lunch spots

Watch the world go by while sampling Boca’s selection of what is best described as tapas with sandwiches. Made with the freshest of ingredients, build your platter with a mixture of meat, fish or vegetable options including the ‘hamburger with foie gras and truffle mayonnaise’ and ‘carpaccio of scallops, jamon serrano shavings and piment d’Espelette’.

Could eat the #brunch #rolls again right now.#amsterdam

A post shared by Austen M (@_roguedraven) on

Situated on the bank of one the Amsterdam’s most graceful canals, Restaurant Jansz is just 5 minutes from the Anne Frank House, in the Pulitzer Hotel. Beautiful service and a private garden courtyard make this a lovely place for a spot of lunch made with locally sourced ingredients. Try the lobster, duck liver and sweetbread salad.

De Foodhallen is a brilliant food hall in an old tram depot with tons of culinary options from dumplings to sushi to oysters. Wander and eat to your heart’s content.

Best place for a beer

It would be wrong to visit the Netherlands and not sample some of their world class beers. After a hard morning of exploring head to In De Wilderman, regarded as one of the best bars in Amsterdam by beer aficionados. Frequented by beer-loving locals as well as enthusiastic tourists in a chilled out old brewery setting, ‘In De Wilderman’ offers some of the best Dutch and Belgian beers on tap as well as over 250 bottled beers.

Helden van de #loopgraaf

A post shared by Rick Kempen My Life With Beer (@mylifewithbeer_) on

De Pijp, Amsterdams’ lively Latin quarter and the home of Heineken is a cool spot for a beer just outside the main hub of Amsterdam. Drink Heineken and then check out all of the cool shops, cafes, restaurants and bars.

Best place for cocktails

There are many amazing options for cocktails in Amsterdam but you cannot beat the W Lounge in the W Hotel for views and service or mixology delights. A rooftop bar, with views over the city so sip on drinks made by The Fabulous Shaker Boys and have a dip in their rooftop pool.

Sun-day shine #wlounge

A post shared by W Amsterdam (@wamsterdamhotel) on

Dine in style

Envy is a unique gastronomic experience right in the heart of Amsterdam. There are no starters or mains at this restaurant instead choose from a range of sharers in 4 bite pieces. Try the steak tartare, chili pepper and coriander or the foie gras with coffee and hazelnut.

Happy Holidays!! Enjoy Your time with family and friends!

A post shared by Envy Amsterdam (@envyamsterdam) on

If you fancy escaping the tourists and exploring a lesser known area take a short ferry ride to the other side of the river for a meal at the trendy waterfront restaurant Pllek. This restaurant is passionate about vegetables and 75% of the menu is vegetarian but meat eaters fear not, there are wonderful organic free-range meat and fish options. Pan-fried cod with langoustine sauce, or the cajun-BBQ style portobello mushroom.

Dance ’til dawn

Amsterdam’s nightlife is nothing if not quirky, with a plethora of interesting venues and club nights. Try De School, a 700-capacity club showcasing local DJs with an unrestricted license and restaurant in the old school building that hosts cultural events during the day or OT301, a squat turned vegan restaurant home to concerts and dance nights as well as workshops and film screenings.

Forty winks

Stay in a 300-year-old townhouse at Seven Bridges Hotel located at the intersection between the historic Reguliersgracht canal and the beautiful Keizersgracht canal. Stylishly decorated rooms feature oriental carpets, marble and wooden floors, handcrafted artisan furniture and beautiful antiques including breakfast served to your room on fine china. Hotel Dwars offers simple elegance at reasonable prices set in a typical narrow-house, with exposed brick walls and simple design touches and just a stone’s throw from the Carré Theatre and the vibrant nightlife of the Rembrandtplein.

Don’t miss these gems

Take a tour with a difference with Amsterdam’s oldest working prostitutes. Twins Louise and Martine Fokken, 74, have nearly a century of experience in the industry between them and now host tours of the Red Light District as the prostitution industry dwindles. A truly unique Amsterdam experience and a wonderful glimpse into their extraordinary lives.

Shop ’til you drop in De Negen Straatjes or The Nine Streets located in the city’s historic canal district. Nine 17th century narrow streets are home to gorgeous restaurants, artisan jewellers, and boutique clothes shops and art galleries.

Do what you came here for and head over to Paradox cafe for a welcoming and relaxed place to partake in what arguably Amsterdam has become synonymous with weed. Grab a piece of space-cake and enjoy a wavy wander around the city.

Soho House are opening their latest venue in the city this summer, members can enjoy drinks and a swim on the roof.

Travel Eurostar to Amsterdam from £39 each way

Or Fly London to Amsterdam with KLM from about £200 return

Start the discussion

to comment