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.

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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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…

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.

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.

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.

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.

With the philosophy of good food, good wine, and good hospitality, Cantine de Caron is based in a former factory, and its romance will win you over. Grab a seat on their terrace for a sun-drenched view of Westerpark as you partake in their classic French cuisine with a Mediterranean twist.

Potentially the best pasty spot in town? We’d certainly like to think so. From pistachio cream-filled croissants to their signature gooey cookies and seasonal offerings, this one is not to be missed.

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.

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.

Situated just off De 9 Straatjes, Bar Parry is the ideal place to stumble into once you’ve wandered the canals and indie shops the quaint area has to offer. With an extensive wine list and small plates to boot, you might just stay there all night.

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.

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 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.

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. Trusted Site