Amsterdam is a really great city and I love to head there for a few hours on a Saturday to experience all the different things going on.
There are so many things to do in Amsterdam but one of my favourite areas to spend time in is the Nine Streets (De Negen Straatjes). This picturesque neighbourhood sits in the heart of the Canal District – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and is a 15-20 minute walk from Centraal Station and a 5 minute walk from Dam Square. Within the Nine Streets, you can find an eclectic mix of designer and vintage boutiques, gift, book and record shops, cafes, restaurants and bakeries, and so much more.
How to spend a few hours in the Nine Streets:
Get yourself a coffee to go from Screaming Beans (Singel 276). They serve excellent coffee but you’ll be lucky to get a seat (as there are only about 8!), so better to start your time here with a take-away. Wander along Gasthuismolensteeg and stop for a browse through the extensive vinyl collection at Waxwell Records. Then cross the Herengracht onto Hartenstraat and spend some time clothes shopping in the independent boutiques alongside the branded, high-street stores. If you need more coffee already then H24 (Hartenstraat 24HS) is a good choice. Turn left at the end of Reestraat and head along Prinsengracht. I haven’t eaten at Envy (Prinsengracht 381) yet but it always looks incredible whenever I pass so it’s firmly on my list of restaurants to experience this year. I also love the clothes from Catwalk Junkie (Prinsengracht 419) – fun, stylish and comfortable. Walk down Berenstraat and stop to pick up some excellent vintage and second-hand clothes from Episode (Berenstraat 1) – they really know how to rummage through donated clothes to find some amazing gems.
Over Keizersgracht, on the corner of Wolvenstraat, you’ll find Marqt, a beautiful supermarket that reminds me of Whole Foods. Make sure you stop for brunch, all-day breakfast or lunch at Libertine Cafe (Wolvenstraat 22). I’m a big brunch fan so usually have their delicious Pain Perdu or the Yoghurt/Granola/Fruit but their lunch options look amazing too – the smell of their cauliflower cheese gripped me on my last visit but I was coincidentally cooking the same dish for dinner that evening. I love the atmosphere and decor and can happily spend a few comfortable hours tucked away here working on my blog. It does get busy on a Saturday from 1pm though so if you’re a larger group just bear that in mind – they don’t take reservations. Wijde Heisteeg, Huidenstraat and Runstraat have even more great finds. Stop for a taster and make a purchase of some yummy Dutch cheese at Amsterdam Cheese Company (Wijde Heisteeg 9), then check out all the lovely little clothing and homeware shops. A couple of my favourite picks are The Darling (Runstraat 4) and Mint Mini Mall (Runstraat 27) – they sell beautiful clothing and amazing bits for the home (so much rose gold, flamingo prints and pastels – a blogger & Instagrammer’s dream). Mint Mini Mall sells really cute baby clothing as well. Also on Runstraat is Burgerlijk (Runstraat 1), a great little burger place. It only seats around 12 inside, bar-style, with a picnic table (for 4 or 6) outside. The burgers are delicious though so even consider getting one to take-away if you can’t get a seat. If you’ve still got time after all the shopping, eating and walking then head to the Museum het Grachtenhuis (Herengracht 386) to learn about the history of Amsterdam and it’s world-famous canals. You’ll find out how the area you’ve just spent time in developed and hear interesting stories from across the ages.
If you’re planning a trip to Amsterdam, I hope you’ll enjoy some of the places I’ve shared above. Please also let me know your favourite things to do in Amsterdam as I’d love to try them out on my next day trip.