Over the last months, my job/blog/private life priorities have shifted more towards job so it has become really quiet on my blog. But since more and more friends have asked me for advice on a weekend trip to Amsterdam, I have thought: why not share it with everyone? So here are my top 5 to dos for a weekend in Amsterdam:
No. 1 – Feel the vibe
Every city has a very individual vibe to it which you might not feel if you just run from one tourist feature to the next. Instead of making a tight timetable, just go into the city and walk around the canals, alleys and parks and let the vibe of Amsterdam flow through you. You will realize that Amsterdam has a lot more to offer than coffee shops, museums and souvenir shops.
No. 2 – Markets
Let’s get a bit more specific. One thing Amsterdam is known for are the numerous markets that can be found throughout the city. When I lived in Amsterdam, I always felt like a „real Amsterdammer“ when I strolled through the markets, looking for a great bargain or just enjoying the busy atmosphere. If you are into second hand clothes and beautiful old junk, visit Waterlooplein Flea Market. If you want to buy fresh fruit or homemade bread, go to Westerstraat Market in the Jordaan Quarter. If you are down for a quick and delicious snack, visit the NeighbourFood Market that can be found in different locations. http://www.neighbourfoodmarket.nl gives you the details. My favourite market is Albert Cuyp Market which offers anything you could wish for – from sewing equipment over cosmetics to the most delicious waffels I have ever eaten.
No. 3 – Café Brecht
If you have taken my advice number 2 and went to Albert Cuyp Market, schedule some time to visit Café Brecht just around the corner. It is named after the German author and decorated like an old-fashioned living room. You will instantly feel welcome, warm and safe – especially during winter. It offers a lot of cold and warm drinks and snacks. I can recommend hot chocolate with cream which will make you forget all your worries and leave you with a great and comforting feeling.
By the way, Café Brecht shows the German „Tatort“ every Sunday evening.
No. 4 – Jordaan Quarter
The Jordaan Quarter situated in the west of Amsterdam, can easily be reached by foot from Amsterdam Central Station. Along „Haarlemmerdijk“ you will find cute cafés, small boutiques and design shops. If you do want to get a souvenir, try out one of these design shops in order to find something special.
No. 5 – Amsterdam Light Festival
One of my favourite experiences during my exchange semester and during my last visit to Amsterdam was the Amsterdam Light Festival. I have reported about it a few times on this blog but let me offer a quick resume: from November to January, there are many light installations strewn across the city made by artists from different countries. In my opinion, this perfectly underlines the international atmosphere of Amsterdam. You can marvel at these installations along two different routes: one will take you around the city centre, the other one is a bit longer. Both are illuminated with small lights so that you will always find the right way. If you visit Amsterdam during the winter, you should definitely not miss this awesome festival! Find the details about this year’s festival on www.amsterdamlightfestival.com/en/.