As a proud adopted-Amsterdammer, it was about time I shared my favourite places in the Dutch capital, along with some little secrets. You may find all of them below in this adapted post from an article I wrote for ELLE Romania.
HOW TO GET THERE:
There are four daily flights from Bucharest Henri Coandă (OTP) to Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) operated by TAROM and KLM, so you have where to choose from.
WHAT TO DO:
Although the Dutch don’t have a vast gastronomical culture, they compensate very well with pastry products, sweets and coffee. Among my recommendations there are the white chocolate core biscuits from Van Stapele Koekmakerij, the almond creme croissants and lemon tarts from Simon Meijssen and the coffee from CT Coconuts, TOKI, Scandinavian Embassy, Bocca Coffee and Lot Sixty One.
During this whole sweet journey, don’t forget to discover the beauty of the canals by boat, explore the Albert Cuypstraat market, walk through VondelPark, Holland’s biggest park, visit A’Dam Toren, which hosts Europe’s highest swing and go through Bloemenmarkt, the only floating flower market in the world.
WHAT TO SEE:
Gathering under the same roof thousands of masterpieces from the Golden Age and not only, Rijksmuseum is a constant presence in global museum tops, alongside another one you will adore: Van Gogh Museum. The entrance to both museums can be facilitated also by electronic tickets or by the I Amsterdam card. Besides those two touristy landmarks, you should also go to some less known places:
Cinema Pathé Tuschinski
One of the most beautiful cinemas you will ever see, Tuschinski has been functioning since 1921, stunning movie-goers with its Art Deco and Art Nouveau design. The movies are not dubbed, so you don’t have to worry if you don’t know Dutch.
What happens when you work in the field of antiques and you end up owning a collection of more than 5000 bags? You open a museum. This is the story behind the biggest museum of bags and purses in the world. *Must see
Eye Film Museum
For all lovers of film, contemporary architecture and not only, the newest residence of the Dutch Film Museum, opened in 2012, is definitely worth paying a visit. To get to the OZN-like building it’s necessary only to go on a free three minutes ferry ride from Central Station to Buiksloterdijk.
WHERE TO STAY:
Being newly renovated in 2016, Pulitzer Hotel is made out of 25 interconnected canal houses. As Amsterdam’s XVII century canal network is part of UNESCO world heritage, the houses couldn’t have been modified on the outside, but inside there is a whole labyrinth of rooms. Antique Collector’s Suite and Book Collector’s Suite are probably the most beautiful rooms in Amsterdam.
Also located inside the canal ring, the Dylan is a hotel in the proximity of De Negen Straatjes area (a little quartier made of literally Nine Little Streets) famous for its small boutiques, artisanal spaces, cozy restaurants and shops with local products. Having a French specific restaurant, views over the canals and an elegant decor with traditional Dutch accents, it would be very tough for this hotel not to please you.
BEST TIME TO VISIT:
Starting with the last weeks of April, when the Tulip Fever begins at the Keukenhof Gardens and its surroundings and until the end of October, when the days are already too short.
You may also want to check out:
Hortus Botanicus (one of Europe’s oldest botanical gardens – 379 years)
And of course, Anne Frank House
This article originally appeared in ELLE Romania, December Issue, number 241