AM­S­TER­DAM: THREE WAYS

Whether you’re a first-time vis­i­tor to the Dutch cap­i­tal and look­ing to fo­cus on the fa­mous sights, or you’ve trav­eled here once or many times be­fore, Am­s­ter­dam never dis­ap­points. This guide o ers some­thing for ev­ery­one, in­clud­ing a canal­side neigh­bor­hood

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FOR FIRST-TIMERS

Anne Frank Huis

The house that con­cealed Anne Frank and her fam­ily for two years draws more than a mil­lion vis­i­tors an­nu­ally. With Frank’s melan­choly bedroom, and her ac­tual diary in a glass case, it’s a pow­er­ful experience. Choose a time slot and pre­pur­chase tick­ets on­line to min­i­mize

» wait time. an­nefrank

.org; Prin­sen­gracht 263–267

Dèsa In­done­sian $$

Am­s­ter­dam is one of the best places out­side In­done­sia to have a

r sttafel (mul­ti­dish ban­quet). Dèsa’s ver­sion is wildly pop­u­lar, while à la carte op­tions in­clude

ayam be­sen­gek (chicken cooked in saŸron and co­conut milk).

»

restau­rant­desa.com;

Cein­tu­ur­baan 103

D’Vi­jff Vlieghen

Dutch $$$

Spread across five 17th-cen­tury canal houses, the “Five Flies” is a jewel. Din­ing rooms have Del¡ Blue tiles and orig­i­nal Rem­brandt works.

Exquisite dishes range from goose with ap­ple, sauer­kraut and smoked but­ter to can­died had­dock with licorice sauce.

»

v vlieghen.nl;

Spuis­traat 294–302

Ri­jksmu­seum

The R¤ksmu­seum is among the world’s finest art mu­se­ums, with works by lo­cal he­roes Rem­brandt, Ver­meer and Van Gogh. To avoid the big­gest crowds, come be­fore 10 a.m. or a¡er 3 p.m., and pre­book tick­ets on­line for fast-track en­try. Start on the sec­ond floor, with the as­tound­ing Golden Age works. In­ti­mate paint­ings by Ver­meer and de Hooch al­low in­sight into 17th-cen­tury life, while Rem­brandt’s The

Night Watch (1642) takes pride of place. Other must-sees here are the Del¡ware (blue-and­white pot­tery), in­tri­cate doll­houses and the Asian

» Pavil­ion. r ksmu­seum.nl;

Mu­se­um­straat 1

’t Smalle

Dat­ing back to 1786 as a jen­ever (Dutch gin) dis­tillery, lo­cals’ fa­vorite ’t Smalle is one of the city’s most charm­ing bruin cafés (pubs). It was re­stored in the 1970s with an­tique porce­lain beer pumps and lead-framed

» win­dows. t-smalle.nl; Ege­lantiers­gracht 12

Van Gogh Mu­seum

It’s a mov­ing experience to visit this mu­seum, which traces Van Gogh’s life via the world’s largest col­lec­tion of his work, from ten­ta­tive be­gin­nings to gid­dily bright sun­flow­ers, and on to a frenzy of cre­ative bril­liance. Lines can be long; pre­booked e-tick­ets and a Mu­se­umkaart help speed up the process.

»

van­gogh­mu­seum.com;

Mu­se­umplein 6

Vlem­inckx

Fast Food

Fry­ing up frites (fries) since 1887, this take­away is Am­s­ter­dam’s best fri­terie. The stan­dard or­der of crispy, fluŸy frites is smoth­ered in mayo, though the 28 avail­able sauces also in­clude ap­ple, green pep­per, peanut ketchup, sam­bal and mus­tard. Lines are usu­ally a block long but move fast.

»

vlem­inck­xde­saus­meester .nl; Voet­boogstraat 33

FOR RE­PEAT VIS­I­TORS

Ajax Bike

Ajax rents bar­gain-priced city bikes, chil­dren’s bikes, tandems and cargo bikes. It also oŸers three-hour tours tak­ing in the De P¤p neigh­bor­hood, the city and coun­try­side.

»

ajaxbike.nl; Ger­ard Dous­traat 153

Café Tous­saint

Bistro $$

An en­chant­ingly pretty place, this ca­sual neigh­bor­hood spot feels like it’s straight out of an Edith Piaf song. Come to sip cap­puc­cino un­der the trees, or in the can­dlelit evenings for de­li­cious creations, such as poussin with fries, aïoli and ap­ple-apri­cot

» com­pote. cafe-tous­saint

.nl; Bos­boom Tous­saintstraat 26

Greetje Dutch $$$

Am­s­ter­dam’s most cre­ative Dutch restau­rant uses the best sea­sonal pro­duce to re-cre­ate tra­di­tional Dutch recipes, like pick­led beef, braised veal with apri­cots and leek stamp­pot

(mashed pota­toes and veg­eta­bles). A typ­i­cal dessert might be lemon but­ter­milk pie with crushed candy-cookie crust.

»

restau­rant­greetje.nl;

Peper­straat 23–25

Het Gracht­en­huis

Learn about the re­mark­able feat of en­gi­neer­ing be­hind the Canal Ring through this mu­seum’s holo­grams, car­toons, scale model of Am­s­ter­dam and other in­no­va­tive ex­hibits. Vis­its are by small groups; on­line tick­ets are cheaper.

»

het­gracht­en­huis.nl;

Heren­gracht 386

Moed­ers Dutch $$

Mum’s the word at “Moth­ers.” When this wel­com­ing place opened in 1990, cus­tomers were asked to bring their own plates and pho­tos of their moms as do­na­tions; the decor re­mains a de­light­ful hodge­podge. So does the food, from tra­di­tional pump­kin stamp­pot to stews, fish dishes and calf’s liver with ba­con and onion. Book ahead.

»

moed­ers.com;

Rozen­gracht 251

Mu­seum het Rem­brandthuis

Rem­brandt’s old home is where the master painter spent his most suc­cess­ful years, paint­ing big com­mis­sions such as The

Night Watch. You can visit his stu­dio, which looks as if he’s just stepped out, and take part in etch­ing

work­shops. Lines here are not as long as at some other at­trac­tions, but you can book ahead on­line.

»

rem­brandthuis.nl;

Jo­den­breestraat 4

’t Blauwe Thee­huis $

No, it’s not a blue-and­white UFO cake stand landed in the park. This is the Von­del­park’s most fab­u­lous and laid-back café. In sum­mer the ter­race is packed with seem­ingly ev­ery­one in town en­joy­ing co†ee and cake or cock­tails and

» din­ner. blauwethee­huis

.nl; Von­del­park 5

Von­del­park

Von­del­park oc­cu­pies a spe­cial place in Am­s­ter­dam’s heart. It’s a mag­i­cal es­cape, but also sup­plies a busy so­cial scene, en­com­pass­ing cy­cle­ways, pris­tine lawns, quaint cafés and ponds with swans. On sunny days, a party at­mos­phere en­sues when tourists, lovers, cy­clists, in-line skaters, stroller-push­ing par­ents, cartwheel­ing chil­dren, soc­cer-bal­l­kick­ing teenagers, joint-shar­ing friends and cham­pagne-swill­ing pic­nick­ers all come out to play. It’s rarely tran­quil, but al­ways a lot of fun.

»

het­von­del­park.net

FOR OLD HANDS

Braai BBQ Bar

Bar­be­cue $

Once a har­inghuis

(her­ring stand), this tiny place is now a street-food­style bar­be­cue bar, with a great canal­side set­ting. Braai’s spe­cialty is mar­i­nated, bar­be­cued ribs (half or full rack) and roasted sausages, but there are veg­gie op­tions

» too. braa­iams­ter­dam.nl;

Schinkel­havenkade 1

Co­bra Mu­seum

It’s well worth mak­ing the e†ort to visit this out-of-the-way canal­side mu­seum. The build­ing makes a light-flooded set­ting for work from the post-WWII Co­BrA move­ment. Its mem­bers pro­duced semi-ab­stract works known for their prim­i­tive, child­like qual­i­ties, and the mu­seum is full of boldly col­ored, avant-garde paint­ings, ce­ram­ics and

» stat­ues. co­bra-mu­seum

.nl; Sand­berg­plein

De Ri­dammer­ho­eve

Out in Am­s­ter­damse Bos, this re­mark­able or­ganic work­ing goat farm lets (hu­man) kids feed milk to (goat) kids in sea­son; there are cheese-mak­ing work­shops, and you can even do goat yoga.

»

geit­en­boerder .nl;

Nieuwe Meer­laan 4

Foam

From the out­side it looks like a grand canal house, but this is the city’s most im­por­tant pho­tog­ra­phy gallery. Its sim­ple, spa­cious galleries, some with sky­lights or large win­dows for nat­u­ral light, host four big an­nual

» ex­hi­bi­tions. foam.org;

Keiz­ers­gracht 609

Food­hallen

This glo­ri­ous in­ter­na­tional food hall in soar­ing for­mer trolley sheds has food stands sur­round­ing an open eat­ing area. Look out for Viet View Viet­namese street food and Jabugo Iberico Bar ham, and the Beer Bar, serv­ing drinks from lo­cal he­roes 2 Chefs and

» Oedi­pus. food­hallen.nl;

De Hallen, Han­nie Dankbaar Pas­sage 3

Nieuwen­dammerd k

Across the Ÿ in Am­s­ter­dam No­ord, en­chant­ing choco­late-box pret­ti­ness char­ac­ter­izes this long, nar­row street of wooden Dutch houses, now prime real es­tate, with hol­ly­hocks nod­ding be­side every porch.

Many houses here date from the 1500s, and num­bers 202 to 204 were where the ship­build­ing fam­ily De Vries-Lentsh lived. Num­bers 301 to 309 were once cap­tains’ houses.

Typ­i­cal Dutch houses and house­boats along the Sin­gel canal

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