Three days in Amsterdam
This is a city made up of winding streets, independent start-ups and young creatives. Here's a few of my favourite spots during my first visit to Amsterdam.
This time last year I was travelling around Asia and since I got back, the travel bug hasn’t left me. Any opportunity to travel, I try and take it. I’m beginning to tick off more places in Europe this year… Munich, Copenhagen, Florence and now most recently, Amsterdam.
The team over at TOMS asked me if I fancied visiting the city and I of course said yes! Being able to escape work longer than a few days is tough. However, if you’re a keen city guide reader and determined to beat the previous day’s step count, then I think three days for any European city is enough time to suss it out. Equipped with a dedicated Amsterdam notes page, we (I tagged my mate George in for this trip) set about tackling it.
Where I stayed… Max Brown Hotels
When you’re away, you’ve got to get those Zz’s in a space you’re happy with. I stayed at Doris and Dicky’s boutique hotel, Max Brown Hotel Museum Square. It’s just tucked around the corner from the Rijksmuseum and though small, it was ideal for our Amsterdam stay. My bed was 10/10, though we somehow resisted the lie-ins – it’s just a waste of time in a new city! There were also some nice touches. Mustard yellow Hay throws and a helpful guide left on the side with some staff favourites noted down.
CT Coffee & Coconuts
Now I’ve been to my fair share of coffee shops, maybe too many, but I kid you not that CT Coffee & Coconuts is hands down one of my favourites. Three floors of airy, natural light and coffee goodness. The coffee was a necessity on the first day so we left one flat white and a double espresso later. It was a very early start!
I owe knowing about Hutspot down to fellow blogger Steve Booker. Hutspot brings together food, coffee, clothes and even a barbers. It’s a hub for everything you need, from your kitchen sideboard down to your wardrobe. You could tell it was thoughtfully curated, with each section having an ebb and flow to it.
This store is by one of the many canals in Amsterdam and it can give you sunglasses, bag and even travel envy – they stock the very handy Monocle travel guides. What I liked about the many stores we visited across our three days, was that most had a coffee machine inside with staff keen to top up your caffeine quota. Make sure you swing by this one on your way over to Nine Streets.
Lot Sixty One
Now I know what you’re thinking, ‘another café’. I face an internal dichotomy when travelling in that I really enjoy visiting coffee shops, but at the same time question as to what extent you learn about a new country from it’s cafés. What they do provide you with is an end destination to your city walking. I also enjoy being inside different interiors and seeing how each one ticks. Lot Sixty One proved to be a favourite with the locals.
The Pelican Studio
For shopping, The Pelican Studio offered plenty. I wasn’t out to shop and I’m at a really content place with my wardrobe right now (though I may of bought something in the next place we visited). TPS stocks brands like Daily Paper, CMMN Sweden and personal favourite Norse Projects. Again, mentioning my fondness of interiors, The Pelican Studio lets in some amazing light when the sun was up, as you can see.
On our final day, we only had ETQ left to tick off from our immediate to-do list. It’s arguably one of the best store fits I’ve been in for a while. Plenty of space for the rails to breathe and not overloaded with product. Plus, it’s a concrete and minimalism haven. I’ll always prefer physical shopping to online, for stores such as this. I walked out with a current season charcoal Norse Projects long sleeve.
In fear of this short guide turning into quite the opposite, I was selective on when I used my camera. But there are still plenty of places I urge you to go. We had a 25 strong list of places we ‘could’ve’ gone to (which I’m happy to share if you’re heading out soon) while we were in Amsterdam, but we didn’t even make a dent in it truth be told. And I’m okay with that. I’d much rather explore at a slower pace than feel like I’m going from point A to B without taking in what is in between.
Midweek, I flew back with a new city ticked off and a good first impression of Amsterdam. The trip was made possible by TOMS, who reached out and asked where I wanted to go. With a flagship in the city, it made sense for Amsterdam to be my destination. TOMS is all about giving, which I really urge you to read about if you don’t know the TOMS story. They gave me the chance to travel and I can’t thank them enough! jbicon