Weekend Breaks in Amsterdam
I Amsterdam has quickly become a major city landmark. The structure has become the “face” of the city’s marketing efforts that provide “your guide to visit, enjoy, live, work & invest in Amsterdam.”
But for this blog, I Amsterdam – yes, me!
Before becoming a resident of the Dutch capital city some five years ago, I visited Amsterdam as a tourist. Central Station, Museum Square, Leidse Square and the Kalverstraat were the must-see spots, which I visited alongside the 5 million tourists that flock to the city each year. Now, as a local, no – I do not wear clogs or a traditional costume, have a garden full of tulips or use cheese in every dish I cook. My windows do not have red lights and I do not visit coffee shops.
Instead, I simply explore and enjoy the city. I frequent restaurants and bars, and occasionally partake in the nightlife, knowing there are many gems I have yet to discover.
Please accompany me for a weekend adventure in Amsterdam…
It’s Friday at 5:00 p.m., and the weekend has started! I have my bike ready to get me around the city throughout the weekend. (We can rent you a bike, too!) As to not be a danger to ourselves or other road users, we start at Vondelpark – a beautiful 150 year-old park in the middle of Amsterdam that is worth a visit. We take the time to practice cycling, as no cars are allowed inside, and once we get the hang of it, I give you one last tip to watch out for the tram rails as we make our way to our next stop.
Biking has made us hungry, so we head over to the “Biertuin” in Oost, frequented by many trendy locals. We choose one of the many local beers and a roasted chicken, which we watch getting skewered on a spit.
The next day we get up early, hop on our bikes and cross the “IJ” thanks to a free ferry ride. Following a 10-minute bike ride, we are in Waterland and you will be amazed by the typical Dutch landscape. Next, we visit the traditional villages of Volendam.
In the afternoon, we visit Noord – the fastest growing area of Amsterdam. We try out “Vuurtoreneiland,” an island restaurant that is only accessible by boat. We escape the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam for 5 hours.
On Sunday, we enjoy Amsterdam from the canals. We do not just jump on a hop-on/hop-off tour, but rent our own boat. This way we are free to enjoy the canal houses at our own pace. We bring our own picnic and enjoy lunch on the water, then visit “Pannenkoekenhuis Upstairs” where teapots hang in the quirky 16th-century house-turned-restaurant, famous for its traditional pancakes. We make sure to enter Groenburgwal from the river Amstel, where you get out your camera to take a magnificent picture of the Zuiderkerk.
We finish our weekend with a dinner in “Bar Huf,” a rustic-chic cafe serving American style favourites in the middle of one of the city’s most famous diverse and bustling streets, Reguliersdwarsstraat.
Thank you for joining me in Amsterdam!