Tourists on track

Shop­ping, city tour or sight­see­ing trip – what­ever takes your fancy, Am­s­ter­dam’s Tram­line 10 will get you there. Run­ning east to west across the Dutch cap­i­tal, this route passes unique shops, must-see spots and enough restau­rants and cafes to keep you goi

Nadia - - CONTENTS -

Ex­plore Am­s­ter­dam by tram, stop­ping at top shops and cafes

The streets of Am­s­ter­dam boast more bikes than cars, a flat, pedes­trian-friendly land­scape and scores of boats lan­guidly cruis­ing the iconic canals. That said, one of the quick­est ways to get around this cul­ture-filled cap­i­tal is by tram – a bonus for time-poor tourists keen to soak up all the city has to of­fer. While there are myr­iad tram routes to choose from, tram­line 10, which runs east to west across the city, of­fers a won­der­ful cross-sec­tion of Dutch de­lights including high- and low-end cloth­ing and decor stores as well as cafes and eater­ies to keep you go­ing.

Get up early and start your shop­ping route at the Azart­plein on KNSM Is­land in the Eastern Dock­lands, with a trip to mod­ern fur­ni­ture and home decor store Sissy-boy Home­land. Here you’ll find cloth­ing, decor, good cof­fee and food to kick-start the day. For more home­ware, stroll along to Pols Pot­ten at Knsm-laan 9. Es­tab­lished around 30 years ago, this well-known store is a great place to browse, es­pe­cially if you’re seek­ing some in­te­ri­ors in­spi­ra­tion. A lit­tle fur­ther down the street at Knsm-laan 301 you’ll find con­cept store Loft, of­fer­ing an ar­ray of hand­bags, jew­ellery, cloth­ing, home­ware and fur­ni­ture. You can’t miss it, ei­ther – just look for the im­pres­sive steamship tableau at the en­trance. Feel­ing peck­ish? Cafe De Kom­paszaal is just a stone’s throw away at num­ber 311. At the top of the stairs you’ll be charmed by the 1950s-in­spired at­mos­phere and a panoramic view along the IJ River.

Once you’ve had your caf­feine fix, hop back onto tram­line 10 un­til you reach Ri­et­land­park. Get off here for a lit­tle slice of history at the Lloyd com­plex, a col­lec­tion of dock build­ings from the pre­vi­ous cen­tury built on two hectares of land. It was in this part of the dock­lands that freight and pas­sen­ger ships once docked and steam­boat com­pany Konin­kli­jke Hol­land­sche

Lloyd would carry peo­ple and goods to South Amer­ica.

Th­ese days, three of the build­ings are home to eater­ies that are well worth a visit. KHL, at 44 Oostelijke Han­del­skade, has been a cof­fee house since the build­ings were first in use in the early 1900 sand of­fers a de­li­cious slice of history. Can­tine, in the for­mer dis­in­fec­tion build­ing at 373 Ri­et­land­park, has a re­laxed at­mos­phere and tasty lunch menu. The Lloyd Ho­tel next door, which used to ac­com­mo­date Euro­pean em­i­grants in tran­sit, is now a fully ren­o­vated ho­tel with rooms dec­o­rated by lo­cal artists.

For those after more bou­tique shop­ping, the next tram stop is a high­light: Eer­ste Leegh water straat on Czaar Peter­straat. This street was awarded the ti­tle of ‘best Dutch shop­ping street’ in 2016 and the shops here are small and spe­cialised with not a chain store in sight. Fash­ion store CP113 is a good place to start if brands such as Mads Nør­gaard, Cheap Mon­day and Carin Wester float your boat. Across the street at 137 Czaar Peter­straat is the Fro­magerie Abra­ham Kef, a tra­di­tional cheese shop that can’t be missed. Other spe­cialty shops in­clude De Pin­dakaaswinkel at num­ber 169, sell­ing nu­mer­ous types of peanut but­ter (honey-wal­nut, cof­fee, sea-salt caramel and raisin-fen­nel, to name a few), and florist An­toesa at num­ber 151, which sells flow­ers by the stem if you wish. If you’re feel­ing hungry (de­spite all that cheese), He­lena Pri­makoff, on the cor­ner of the Li­jn­den­straat just a few steps away, makes a truly spec­tac­u­lar roasted egg­plant and hum­mus sand­wich.

Re­fu­elling is a good idea be­fore you visit the next shop on the itin­er­ary – once you step in­side vin­tage store On­ley­de­sir­ables at 193 Czaar Peter­straat you could be gone for some time. The pre-loved pieces here are se­lected not only for their de­signer la­bels but for their unique­ness and qual­ity, with good-as-new or “gen­tly worn” cloth­ing and ac­ces­sories from the likes of Chanel, Yves St Lau­rent and Moschino. If your shop­ping buddy needs a break, send them down the street to Mac Mae Whisky for a tip­ple while you pe­ruse the racks for a one-off.

Op­po­site the next tram stop at 1e Coe­hoorn­straat, you’ll find In­stock res­tau­rant (21 Czaar Peter­straat). The chefs here pre­vent food go­ing to waste by cre­at­ing de­li­cious dishes us­ing sur­plus un­sold food from lo­cal su­per­mar­kets and pro­duc­ers. The menu is constantly chang­ing to adapt to the food sup­plied. You’ll need to make a reser­va­tion for din­ner, but if it’s break­fast or lunch you’re after – just walk on in. By now you will have done your fair share of shop-hop­ping, so it’s a good time to get on the tram, sit back and ride it for a few stops, tak­ing in the city as you glide by.

Hop off the tram at Weesper­plein, grab a fresh juice at Bakhuys bak­ery (6 Sarphatis­traat) and stroll to­wards the Theater Carré stop. Linger a while at the nearby Am­s­tel River and watch the boats of all shapes and sizes mo­tor busily up and down, of­fer­ing a quin­tes­sen­tial Am­s­ter­dam scene. Once you’ve taken in the sights and sounds of the river, take tram­line 10 to Elands­gracht for a peek at the in­door an­tique mar­ket Looiers­markt. Fos­sick here to your heart’s con­tent – you’re sure to find a vin­tage bar­gain with an interesting story to tell.

If you still have the en­ergy for a fi­nal burst of shop­ping, take the tram fur­ther west to Marnix­plein and head to Rare Bird at 127 Marnixs­traat. This gift store sells charm­ing pieces, both sec­ond­hand and new, in an in­trigu­ing mix­ture of mod­ern home ac­ces­sories and prac­ti­cal items such as high chairs, bags and knit­ted throws, plus trea­sures un­earthed in owner Nancy’s mother’s at­tic. On Van Lim­burg Stirum­straat (an­other tram stop away) you’ll find vin­tage store Hippo, with fur­ni­ture and vin­tage clothes, and the rel­a­tively quiet

Wester­park, where we rec­om­mend you end your day with a re­lax­ing sun­set stroll. The nearby cafe De Bakker­swinkel is our pick for an evening wind-down and wine. Sit out on their ter­race near the en­trance to the park and take it all in. Proost! (Cheers!)

“Am­s­tel River is al­ways busy with boats of var­i­ous sizes chug­ging up and down, of­fer­ing a quin­tes­sen­tial Am­s­ter­dam scene”

Dutch by de­sign

Op­po­site: Dream­boat De­sign Store and Stu­dio on Czaar Peter­straat stocks beau­ti­ful cloth­ing and ac­ces­sories. Be­low: Home decor stores Sissy-boy Home­land (left) and Pols Pot­ten (right) are both lo­cated on Knsm-laan in the Eastern Dock­lands.

Ci­tyscape Above left: Lloyd Ho­tel in Ri­et­land­park. Above right: Tram­line 10 runs past Fred­erik­splein square. Op­po­site, clock­wise from top left: Fash­ion store CP113, florist An­toesa, cheese shop Fro­magerie Abra­ham Kef and cafe He­lena Pri­makoff are all found on Czaar Peter­straat.

Pic­ture-per­fect pit stops Op­po­site, clock­wise from top: The Am­s­tel River; Rare Bird gift store on Marnixs­traat; Bakhuys bak­ery on Sarphatis­traat. Above: After a day ex­plor­ing along tram route 10, Wester­park is great for a stroll, fol­lowed by some down­time at nearby cafe De Bakker­swinkel.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.