If you ask a random tourist in Amsterdam how many days they need to visit the city they would automatically answer 2 or 3, as they focus on the “obvious” sights as Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum and The Red Light District. Those who want to experience more than just the highlights can have a challenging time in Amsterdam, as it has more than thousands of entertainment options – which can be divided in “frequented by tourists” and “frequented by Dutch”.
We are often inquired by travellers about authentic places to eat, shop and hang out. For this reason, we decided to consult our Dutch friend Maaike Taris – who hosts travellers from all over the world in her beautiful apartment in Amsterdam – about the best way to spend a weekend in the city. Enjoy Maaike’s hints and do as the Amsterdammers do on your next trip to Amsterdam!
“When on Friday it’s finally 18.00u and you can kick off the weekend with a drink, Panache in Amsterdam West is a perfect location to go to. It’s not only crowded with the coolest kids on the block, it’s also beautifully designed. Their great wine menu will have you tipsy in no time and craving for a lovely dinner!
Dinner at Panache is not cheap (and you must book a table before), but it is worth your euros! My ultimate favourite dish there is BBQ Shellfish. Yum-my. But if you already had an expensive go at the wine menu and want to have a simpler dinner, just go around the corner to Bar Brå for 2 euro taco night! Amazing tacos there from Best Coast Taqueria!
After this, you’ll definitely be ready for a good dance! If you want something different than the pop and R&B hotspots in the city centre, go for a good rock and roll party at Pacific Parc in the Westerpark.”
“Where Friday night is usually a no-brainer (also because the first place after work that sells alcohol will do just do fine), the Saturday is more difficult because there are SO MANY GREAT PLACES to go to and so little time to visit most of them… So for now, I’m just going to name my favourite spots in Amsterdam West.
When you’re hung-over and really really hungry, start off with a big brunch at Staring at Jacob. They have only great anti-hangover dishes on the menu there. Or for a sweeter tooth go and get pancakes at the breakfast club.
After this, you should definitely do some good shopping in the neighbourhood. You will find everything except big retailers in the Jan Pieter Heijestraat. Clothing shops like Gesponnen Suiker en Following Lucy offer a lot of unique brands and hip clothes. Or buy some nice presents to take home at Mashed. The Jan Evertsenstraat, not too far from there, also has cool shops as Things I Like Things I Love, De Balkonie and TOON, a shop in a shop with a lot of small creative artsy fartsy brands (and also good coffee!)
Hungry again!? I would be. So I would go for a plate of the best Hummus in town at Sir Hummus. Freshly made warm hummus with pita bread and a salad is a great starter before you go out for another dinner. Because you are not too far from the Spiegelstraat now, visit The Public House of Art. Here you find a lot of cool new artists and usually a glass of free bubbles while you’re glancing around.
Time for dinner! Hooray! Not expensive and the best pizza in town; Faam! Not expensive and a Brooklyn kind of hipster chicken/grill bar; Rotisserie. Just a little more expensive and the best pasta in town; Cantinetta.
“Sunday early and late sleepers can go to The Foodhallen for all kinds of different foods and a very chilled Sunday atmosphere. Most of the Sundays you will also find creative markets here (food, art, clothing, jewellery) for cool stuff you really don’t need but have to have anyway when you see it.
If the weather is sunny and warm, go to Hannekes Boom and just hang out there in the sun all day.
Other cool stuff…