Amsterdam is perhaps one of the most stereotyped cities in Europe. For many the first thing that pops into mind when mention of trip to Amsterdam is “coffee shops” and Red light district. Well after some visits to this city we have aimed to see and experience other areas/neighborhoods which are not typically known of by visitors. Amsterdam is more than “coffee shops” and sex shops, it’s a diverse, dynamic city with lots of happenings and very friendly people. First of, if visiting in warmer seasons do as the locals, get on a bike and cycle around to capture the city’s spirit.Take a stroll and a picnic at beautiful and cozy Vondelpark.
If wanting to avoid the “trashy” and noisy areas in town core central, try the Oud-Zuid (Old – South) area, also known to be Amsterdam’s nicer (exclusive) area. In this area you will find the fanciest boutiques and luxury brand stores along PC Hooftstraat street.You will also find nice cafes and fine restaurants here. Two restaurants we really enjoyed in this area was Americano bar and kitchen and the stylish Izakaya. If a fan of good coffee try the Coffee concepts in Oud – Zuid Area. Another (well kept secret) neighborhood to check out at Oud-Zuid is Cornelis Schuytstraat, a nice, leafy area with high-end stores/ boutiques.
If your bank balance is more red than black- try L’etoile de Saint Honore, a treasure chest for those wanting the upscale vintage accessories from Chanel, Hermes, Gucci, LV etc. This place has a more high-end feel than the dusty second hand stores. The products usually come with a certificate of authenticity.
For a more laid back, less pompous area – try the 9 streets in the Jordaan area. These are a collection of streets with a very relaxed atmosphere and packed with unique small concept stores, cozy cafes, vintage stores, art galleries. You will also find some known high street stores, but fortunately they are not in a majority. You will find some really lovely dining treasures as well in this area. We enjoyed the winebar Vyne and restaurant Envy.
Another area to check out is Oud-West, also a relaxed area, with nice stores/boutiques, restaurants and concepts.
One of our favorite restaurants in Amsterdam is MOMO, a uber trendy restaurant near Museumplein. If wanting to try different foods in a very relaxed and informal environment with the locals – try the Foodhallen.
Enjoy your trip to Amsterdam!!