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Exploring | A Guide to Amsterdam


For the past few days I have been in chilly Amsterdam with my family for a short city break, very short actually; we went on Wednesday and came back on Friday! After an amazing whirlwind (or should that be snowstorm!) trip I thought what better to do than to write a blog post all about what we got up to. Firstly, so you guys can find out all the hotspots and places not to miss in Amsterdam if you are planning a trip (if you aren't you soon will be!) and secondly to act as an amazing  record of all of the beautiful places that my family & I visited together to look back on in years to come. Let's get exploring! 

Stay 

Hotel Pulitzer - Made up of 25 Amsterdam Canal Houses, the Hotel Pulitzer is a quirky and beautifully put together hotel, with incredibly friendly staff and gorgeous, individual rooms. Located in the trendy Nine Streets area of Amsterdam, five minutes walk from the Anne Frank House and on the Prinsengracht Canal, this hotel is in the perfect position for exploring the city. Despite its central location they have managed to create such a relaxed vibe and I for one couldn't think of any hotel I'd rather go back to after an exciting day of exploring.


Eat 

Ree7 - My favourite meal  of the day is breakfast, so when we stumbled across Ree7 on Reestradt I instantly knew I was going to love it.  The multi-level, chic, but homely cafe served damn tasty, Instragram worthy breakfast, lunch and snacks and had the cutest decor. Yes, there were cacti and yes, there were pink cushions. They even served our granola in cute gold rimmed glasses. What more could we want? If you are in the Nine Streets area & on the look out for a cool spot to grab a snack then this is the place. 


Lotti's Cafe, Bar & Grill at The Hoxton Hotel - One of the best travelling tips I have ever picked up is not to be scared to go into hotels that look amazing and have a coffee or dinner there. Just because you aren't staying there doesn't mean you can't go in, and so often the food and atmosphere is amazing. Lotti's was a buzzing restaurant with lovely staff and equally lovely food. I would highly recommend. 


On a side note for food I would just like to highlight some of the things that you just have to try whilst you are in Amsterdam, the first being their chips with mayonnaise. Now, I know that doesn't sounds particularly inspiring, but trust me you will feel as though you have been transported to heaven. What they do to make them so amazing I do not know, but boy are they delicious! Talking of delicious, another delicacy that you have to try is Bitterballen. I would try and explain what they are however I'm sure I would get it wrong, so you might want to look it up. Nonetheless they are super yummy and you should for sure give them a go next time you are in the Netherlands. 

Shop 


Dille & Kamille - We actually came across this shop by accident whilst wandering around the city and it really was a great surprise. It is what you might call a 'home goods' store, you know the sort that sell wooden spoons, teacloths and cutlery? Now something that I have learned whilst in Amsterdam is that the Dutch do pretty much everything cooler than we do, and this shop was no exception. All the fabric had the most gorgeous prints on and everything seemed to be so stylishly displayed and crafted. I mean how can they make a wooden spatula look so trendy?! Anyway, this is a must go for anyone interested in homewares or beautiful, practical things. (Note: they also sold stationary & houseplants! Yes!)




Atelier Sukha - I think this was perhaps the coolest shop that we visited, a mixture of clothes, art and home/personal accessories - all in gorgeous warm neutrals. The staff were so friendly and the product styling was impeccable. This shop had natural and sustainable basket bags, sheepskins, scarves and really anything you could want to become cosy, yet trendy in Amsterdam. After looking up the shop I discovered that Sukha means the joy of life, which is really fitting for this gorgeous shop. It was a joy to discover and I can't wait to return one day. 




I could list shops for days in Amsterdam because it is so full of quirky, independent places with so much going for them. I think if I ever win the lottery I may have to return and have a spree! Anyway, to avoid me droning on forever about shopping (which I could!), a few more shops you should check out include the 100% Dutch design shop Spiegel, the beautifully styled & sustainable Verse, and the Museum Shop of the Stedelijk Museum. 

Visit 

Anne Frank House - I last visited Amsterdam on a school trip when I was about 12 years old and on that trip we visited the Anne Frank House. For me this was such an incredibly moving experience, that I remember so clearly. When I learned that we were returning to Amsterdam as a family, and knowing that none of my family had been to her house, I knew we had to visit. Going a second time I found the experience equally as interesting, difficult and moving, and found that I appreciated how well the museum had been done to really explain Anne's experience and legacy. On visiting Amsterdam I think that this visit is something that everyone should do, to go into the rooms that the family hid in for 2 years, to fully understand their story and to fully understand why we can never allow something like this to happen again is an invaluable experience. 


Moco Museum - Amsterdam is well known as a home of amazing art, with Rembrandt's house and the colossal Van Gogh Museum, however an art museum I only recently discovered was the Moco ... and what a discovery it was. Never before have I seen anyone even advertising a Banksy exhibition, yet there I found myself surrounded by a full floor of Banksy's genius. It was so amazing to see so much of his amazing, provocative work and to find out more about the artist we know nothing about. A brilliant exhibition. If that wasn't enough inspiring art for one day, downstairs was a huge exhibition of work by the pop artist Lichtenstein. There was even a 3D painting that you could go and sit in. Brilliant. I could not recommend more highly.


Photo Booth at The Hoxton Hotel- This last one isn't exactly an attraction in itself, although I would argue that maybe it is. Adjacent to the entrance to Lotti's at The Hoxton is a beautifully refurbished, vintage photo booth. I love these things and for only 2 euro, how could we resist? I love the instantaneous nature of photo booths and I think they are so great for capturing a moment in time - in this case my brother & I loving life in Amsterdam. 

As you can read, Amsterdam is an incredible place to visit for a short break and you can experience so much thanks to its small, but beautifully formed centre. We loved every minute of our trip, and did so much more than there is time to share, but I hope you enjoyed an insight into our time away. What would be top of your list to do if you visited Amsterdam?

Love Holly x

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