An Independent Guide to Amsterdam
The Netherlands capital is home to some of the best art, design and fashion schools in Europe, making it one of the most exciting cities to discover young makers, independent boutiques and emerging brands alike. Here are our top picks.
MELTING POT AMSTERDAM
As the name promises, Melting Pot Amsterdam is a real treasure trove for mix-and-match homewares, interior goods and unique gifts. You’ll always leave the store feeling inspired.
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Located in trendy neighbourhood De Pijp, Groen+Akker curates a unique selection of classic brands like Ferm Living and HAY merged with up-and-coming designers and labels.
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With its curated selection of timeless Japanese home and lifestyle brands, independent boutique Salt Water aims to bring you serenity to the everyday.
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Looking for the best places to stay in Amsterdam’s city centre or with a view of one of the city’s iconic canals? We’ve handpicked some of the most unique stays in town for you…
THE HOXTON AMSTERDAM
With an ideal location on Herengracht canal in Amsterdam’s city centre, The Hoxton Amsterdam is the perfect base for all your excursions. Expect the design you know and love from The Hoxton hotel group also featured in our independent guide to Barcelona. This location’s interiors are influenced by Dutch heritage and history.
HOTEL THE CRAFTSMEN
Nestled in a historic building in Amsterdam’s canal district, this boutique stay offers Dutch heritage combined with contemporary luxury. They had us at freestanding bath tubs with views of the canals, making it one of the best places to stay in Amsterdam for couples.
Searching for Amsterdam’s most sustainable stay? With four eco locations across the city, every Conscious Hotel has its own unique style, but each destination focusses on a guest experience that is as friendly to the planet as possible.
A Local’s Guide to Amsterdam
“Located in an old theatre, this hotspot for breakfast, lunch or home-roasted coffee brings a tropical vibe to Amsterdam.”
“On the bustling Gerad Douplein, you’ll find Petit Caron, a small French bistro with a nice terrace to enjoy the trendy passers-by with an oyster and a good glass of wine.”
“This is our favourite and just 50 metres away from our shop. Enjoy the best Pita sandwiches and great Middle Eastern street food in the evening.”
“This green oasis in our busy neighbourhood De Pijp is perfect to have a drink or a picnic when discovering this lively part of Amsterdam.”
From farm-to-table dining to authentic Dutch food and restaurants with a memorable atmosphere, these are the hottest tables in Amsterdam right now.
RESTAURANT DE KAS
This stylish restaurant focuses on local, sustainable, green produce, resulting in a weekly changing menu. With dishes influenced by what’s currently growing in their own gardens, anything you’ll find on your plate was freshly harvested that morning.
Restaurant Moeders translates to ‘mother’s restaurant’, as it serves up the authentic Dutch food that matriarchs traditionally served in The Netherlands. With a buzzy and fun atmosphere and quirky design, this is the ultimate feel-good dinner destination.
Enjoy a taste of Modern Dutch cuisine at Wilde Zwijnen, where local and seasonal ingredients are transformed into standout dishes with a contemporary twist. Open seven days a week, this spot is always a great idea for lunch or dinner and one of the top restaurants in Amsterdam.
After an exciting day of exploring the city, head to one of these local spots to join Amsterdam’s creatives for a sundowner.
ALEX + PINARD
Head to charming Amsterdam wine bar and bistro Alex + Pinard and try the wines that Amsterdam’s locals are currently loving. Make sure to head there early to catch a spot on their popular terrace on sunny afternoons.
The Hoxton’s Lotti’s is an easy choice when it comes to Amsterdam’s best rooftop bars, serving up perfect drinks for a summer day in the city - from frozen cocktail slushies to iced lattes.
Bar Botanique is a green oasis in the lively neighbourhood of East Amsterdam. Whether your order is a great cup of coffee, a fresh cocktail or dinner, this Instagram-worthy hangout is a definite Amsterdam hotspot.
Soak up the city’s rich history of art, culture and design with hotspots you may not have heard of.
GALERIE GERHARD HOFLAND
If you’re searching for free galleries in Amsterdam, add Galerie Gerhard Hofland to your list. What we love most about this gallery is that it works closely with up-and-coming young artists to help them take their first steps in the art world.
HORTUS BOTANICUS AMSTERDAM
Hortus Botanicus is one of the world’s oldest botanical gardens and a must for plant-lovers visiting Amsterdam. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a tranquil time spent amidst unique flora and fauna.