Dam Fine

Look’s @gisel­le­likes re­dis­cov­ers Am­s­ter­dam’s cool side

Look (UK) - - LOOK TRAVEL -

Am­s­ter­dam is just a 45-minute

flight away. How on earth I missed that in my ge­og­ra­phy les­sons is be­yond me. Be­cause I love Berlin, I’ve fallen for Paris, but Am­s­ter­dam al­ways felt out of reach. Note to self: pick up a map more of­ten. I di­gress. I’ve come to Am­s­ter­dam on a whim af­ter Ben, one of my BFFS, as­sured me it was the place to be. I’d been con­vinced it was stag-do cen­tral, but af­ter an hour or so me­an­der­ing the pretty canals, I see there’s more to it than meets the eye.

Firstly, it’s just so easy to get around. Am­s­ter­dam’s Air­port Schiphol is only 20 min­utes by train from the cen­tre and as much of Am­s­ter­dam is reach­able by bike or foot, we stay in a ho­tel a lit­tle out­side the city cen­tre in the up and com­ing ‘east Lon­don’ of The Dam. The Ho­tel V Fizeaus­traat is next-level hip­ster. The lobby is an In­sta­gram­mer’s dream only bet­tered by the ho­tel’s pet cat and sub­lime break­fast.

There’s loads to do in the Dutch cap­i­tal, and our ho­tel loans bikes, but walk­ing through the canal­ways with cof­fee is the best way to get a feel for the city. We head for a drink at the Cut Throat Bar­ber & Cof­fee – it’s also a great place for brunch. Try the red vel­vet waf­fles and fried chicken.

Nine Streets neigh­bour­hood is the place to shop, for not only your favourite brands, but also to dis­cover the cool in­de­pen­dent bou­tiques, too.

Our way back to the ho­tel takes us through the in­fa­mous red-light district, but we head for drinks at Bour­bon Street bar, a tiny blues club with amaz­ing cock­tails. An­other op­tion is to book into Sup­per­club. Housed in a cav­ernous gallery-type space, eat a five-course din­ner while mu­sic blares be­fore it turns into a club with per­for­mance art (from £70 per per­son).

We soon dis­cover cock­tail hang­overs are eas­ily cured in The Dam. Trak­teren Koffie is fa­mous for its latte art, so is worth a visit for that alone, fol­lowed by break­fast at Mook Pan­cakes, which is the ul­ti­mate post night-out saviour.

The Jor­daan is up next. It’s an area of the city that’s still quiet dur­ing peak sea­son and the per­fect place to spend the af­ter­noon walk­ing around with street art on every cor­ner. Our trip leads us to the Van Gogh Mu­seum (from £18 per per­son), which is a nice way to squeeze some cul­ture in should it rain. Post-art brows­ing we stum­ble across Food­hallen – a huge ware­house full of street-food stalls. We en­joy sip­ping craft beer while snack­ing on bao buns for around £15 per per­son.

Am­s­ter­dam is full on, but we sol­dier for­ward and spend our last night chill­ing, treat­ing our­selves to a swanky din­ner at Iza­kaya, which is the best Asian food around. We gorge on sushi, scal­lops and tem­pura be­fore rolling back to our ho­tel. Af­ter an amaz­ing trip, one thing’s for sure, I’d def­i­nitely re­turn to Am­s­ter­dam again.

The in­fa­mous red-light district

Uber-cool Ho­tel V Fizeausstraat

Red vel­vet waf­fle with fried chicken is a must-try

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