Okay! So, I don’t mean to head into the New Year with another city guide, but seeing as this little trip was in November, I wanted to post it sooner rather than later so I hope that’s ok! I headed over to Amsterdam with a few of my best girl friends for a few days with KLM in November, and took a lot of time getting to know the city and discover lots of hidden gems to share with you all (all whilst stumbling across Demi Lovato’s hotel and not waiting for her outside, and spending a lot of in-room time giggling until we had mini six-packs. Ahem) I couldn’t believe how quick it was to travel to the city (45 minutes FYI- which is nearly quicker than my journey into central London) so if you do get a chance, I definitely recommend a visit! Now on to the places…
Hotel V Nesplein:
For our first night in the city, we stayed in the beautiful Hotel V Nesplein– which is a very short walk from the very centre of town and beautiful flower markets. The room (although a standard double) was incredibly spacious and modern, and perfect for some girlie sleepover time- with the beds making for a wonderfully sound nights sleep after a busy old day of exploring. My favourite part of the hotel was the gorgeous restaurant downstairs, The Lobby, which boasted one of the tastiest breakfasts (and also lunch and dinner), and included everything from delicious poached eggs, cinnamon French toast and everything in between. Spoilt for choice? Never!
Visit: Nes 49, 1012 KD Amsterdam
Our second night in the city was spent in the cosy Albus Hotel, tucked away on a busy street- right in the centre of town- ideal for rolling out of bed and straight into the action! Although a little smaller than Hotel V, this place was clean, simple and incredibly welcoming (plus, we certainly look advantage of the amazing room service from the top rated downstairs restaurant- ordering brownies and treats for late night pick-me-ups)! The staff were incredibly helpful, and if you’re after a central place to stay look no further.
Visit: Vijzelstraat 49, 1017 HE Amsterdam
Anna + Nina:
Anna + Nina was without a doubt one of my favourite shops in the city, and after visiting both branches- it took a lot of self restraint to not wipe my debit card and take the whole shop home with me (I’m not sure the luggage allowance would have allowed it sadly)…! Filled with beautiful crockery, stationary from my one true love’s Rifle Paper Co and beautiful books and trinkets; this place is a girlie heaven filled with everything from gifts to home ware, and lots of loveliness in between.
Visit: Gerard Doustraat 94, 1072 VX Amsterdam
Upon one of our afternoon explores, we stumbled across ice-cool concept store Droog– home to minimalistic home pieces, recipe and art books and new independent beauty brands that I was excited to stumble across. Although this place is a little more suited to those with an eye for quirky design and something a little more clean cut, there were so many gorgeous books (including some slick recipe ones)- I could have easily spent a couple of hours just reading through.
Visit: Staalstraat 7-A, 1011 JJ Amsterdam
What girl can say no to walking past a chocolate shop that looks this cosy? Not many, that’s for sure! On our last day we stumbled across Vanroselen, and spent a good half an hour browsing through the shelves stacked with Willy Wonka style bars, and some of the most intricately designed chocolate I’ve ever laid eyes on. On top of that the shop owner was absolutely delightful, and chatted to us for ages about the products, and even searched for things that weren’t on the floor- perfect for treats to take home!
Visit: Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 72, 1017 DH Amsterdam
A little clothes and accessories shop near Toos and Roos (they have two stores opposite one another, with Maison Rika actually doubling up as a wee guesthouse overlooking the canals and Rika being the main clothing store), Maison Rika sits pretty next to the canals, and boasts everything from art and fashion books, stationary and home ware pieces- ready for you to take home. The staff are also exceptionally friendly, and happy to offer any last minute local recommendations for any other Dutch novices’ like ourselves!
Visit: Oude Spiegelstraat 9, 1016 BM Amsterdam
Another one of my favourite picks, Love Stories is a stones throw away from Rika, and sits beautifully next to the canal- while holding host to some of the most beautiful underwear I’ve ever seen. With everything from delicate lace, stars and silk prints- this shop is the perfect place to spoil yourself, with all purchases coming in a story-book style box- which is definitely the cherry on top!
Visit: Herengracht 296, 1016BX Amsterdam
If you’re a bit of a stationary fiend like me, you’ll probably get just as excited about Kitsch Kitchen as I did- and quite possibly want to leave with all of the notebooks, prints and ceramic bowls in sight. It’s natural, ok! The shop is the ultimate place to pick up anything a little twee, kitsch and playful (the clue’s in the name)- so if you’re a fan of cute animals, cute stationary and even cuter decor- this one is for you!
Visit: Rozengracht 12, 1016 NB Amsterdam
For any vintage and retro loving ladies, a visit to Juffrouw Splinter is a must. With shelves loaded up with more antique tea tins than I’ve ever seen, and endless shelves of china, ornate and ceramic ornaments- this little quirky shop is the perfect place to get lost in and lust over! Sadly I had to leave empty handed (never. bringing. a. little. suitcase. again)- but would recommend popping by.
Visit: Prinsengracht 230, 1016 HE Amsterdam
Paper Planes is a gorgeous brunch place next to the canals, and was probably one of my favourite places to eat during our time here. Although the menu boasts lots of brunch favourites and delicious sandwiches- I actually opted for a salad, and it was probably one of the tastiest I’ve ever had- I’m now determined to recreate it at home! Plus, if you want to curl up with your laptop, or a good book- this place has lots of gorgeous areas to work from- if only it were more local ; )!
Visit: Rokin 81, Amesterdam
De Laatste Kruimel:
A bustling bakery in central Amsterdam, we stopped off here for some cheeky afternoon treats- and picked up some traditional cakes to keep up our fuel. With windows loaded with everything from French Toast, delicious apple and cinnamon cakes and more quiches than the eye can see (really, I’m serious) this place is a must-stop, and perfect to sit in with a cuppa if you’re happy to wait for a table.
Visit: Langebrugsteeg 4, 1012 GB Amsterdam
Toos & Roos:
If you’re after a hideaway that can offer delicious salads, paninis and arguably the best soup in town (as well as catering to gluten free diets) Toos & Roos is the perfect place to hit up for some elevenses. With Dunya and I treating ourselves to the biggest salad on the menu, hummus and fresh bread and the most warming soup ever- we certainly felt ready to brave the cold after curling up for lunch here.
Visit: Berenstraat 28, 1016 GH Amsterdam
Nutella Ice Bakery:
Now, I know there are some dedicated Nutella eaters out there, so this ones for you, folks! If you fancy stocking up on more Nutella jars than you can shake a spoon at (plus some cute shaped penguin ones), trying a Nutella brownie (or an eclair or some gelato) or even fancy going the whole hog and loading up on some merchandise- this shop is for you. Nutella eaters rejoice!
Visit: Leidsestraat 102, Amsterdam
It may have been the amazing leafy graphic wallpaper that lured us in (it seems we always have instagram on the brain)- this cafe was the most delicious lunch stop, offering everything from delicious (and extremely filling) open sandwiches, big cheesy pizzas and everything in between. It’s also huddled in an area packed with little streets oozing independent shops- so great for spending an afternoon around too.
Visit: Wolvenstraat 23 1016 Amsterdam
As always I’d love to hear any recommendations you have for the city- so please comment below!