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An Independent Guide to Amsterdam

Whether you’re doing 48 hours in Amsterdam, it’s your first time visiting the city or you’ve already done classic sites like the Rijksmuseum and Vondelpark, our independent guide to Amsterdam will serve up local favourites that look beyond the fresh tulips and stroopwafels.

Where to Shop in 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
@meltingpotamsterdam.nl
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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GROEN+AKKER
@groen_en_akker
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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SALT WATER
@saltwater_amsterdam
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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DREAMBOAT
@dreamboatstudioandstore
Browse cult home and lifestyle classics curated for interior and art lovers alike, ranging from brands like Serax to Fog Linen Work and Puebco.
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Where to Stay in Amsterdam

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
@thehoxtonhotel
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
@thotelthecraftsmen
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.

CONSCIOUS HOTEL
@conscioushotels
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.

Where to Eat in 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
@restaurantdekas
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
@restaurantmoeders
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.

WILDE ZWIJNEN
@wildezwijnenrestaurant
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.

Where to Drink 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
@alexenpinard
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.

LOTTI’S
@lottisamsterdam
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
@barbotaniqueamsterdam
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.

What to See in Amsterdam

Soak up the city’s rich history of art, culture and design with hotspots you may not have heard of.

GALERIE GERHARD HOFLAND
@gerhardhoflandamsterdam
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
@ortusamsterdam
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.

OUDEMANHUISPOORT
@poortbooks
Follow the footsteps of Vincent Van Gogh by exploring this ancient passage where the artists used to draw inspiration from the antique and second-hand book stalls.


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