T R A V E L / C I T Y G U I D E S
Discover our favourite hotels, restaurants, nightlife and things to do in Amsterdam right now.
Updated May 2017
This insider's city guide has been a long time in the making. We've eaten in countless Amsterdam restaurants, dined in the best local eateries and visited the latest hotspots. We've also asked the most discerning locals we know to share their favourite hangouts – whether brand new or classic institutions. We bring you our hand-picked selection of our favourite places in Amsterdam right now.
| AMSTERDAM |
Whether you're looking for the ultimate luxury hotel, a cosy boutique hotel, or an ultra-cool design hotel, here is our pick of the best places to stay in Amsterdam.
1. Wow Factor!
WALDORF ASTORIA AMSTERDAM
Historic architecture meets contemporary sophistication at this luxurious hotel ...
Situated in the heart of Amsterdam’s city centre, the 5-star Waldorf Astoria Hotel enjoys a magnificent setting across six adjoining 17th-century palaces overlooking the picturesque Herengracht canal. A testament to Amsterdam’s rich past, the hotel’s interiors boast a marble staircase designed by Louis XIV’s personal architect, Daniel Marot, and magnificent trompe-l'œil frescos designed by 18th-century Dutch master, Jacob Maurer. The hotel is also home to the 2 Michelin-starred Librije’s Zusje restaurant, an opulent Guerlain Spa and an indoor swimming pool – a rare treat in Amsterdam. Spend an afternoon exploring the world-famous collections of the nearby Rijksmuseum before retreating to the Waldorf’s tranquil courtyard garden, the largest in the city. €€€€
Herengracht 542-556, 1017 CG Amsterdam
waldorfastoria3.hilton.com | +31 20 718 4600
2. Cutting-Edge ...
ANDAZ AMSTERDAM PRINSENGRACHT
Expect cutting-edge interiors courtesy of famous Dutch designer, Marcel Wanders ...
Nestled between two of Amsterdam’s major canals - the Prinsengracht and the Keizersgracht - the Andaz Amsterdam blends contemporary style with a distinctly boutique hotel feel. Surrounded by art galleries and fashion houses in the stylish Jordaan neighbourhood, the hotel is set within a building which was formerly a public library. The Andaz Amsterdam’s designer-chic public spaces showcase designer armchairs, Delft-blue ceilings, clean-cut lines and graphic murals. Celebrated designer Marcel Wanders gives Dutch heritage a sleek, 21st-century spin throughout the hotel’s 122 rooms, which feature sunshine yellow armchairs, stylish wall art and garden views. After a day spent exploring the city on one of the hotel’s free bikes, unwind at the spa then reserve a table at Bluespoon Restaurant, known for its farm-to-table culinary ethos. €€€
Prinsengracht 587, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
amsterdam.prinsengracht.andaz.hyatt.com | +31 20 523 1234
3. Designer Haven ...
THE CONSERVATORIUM HOTEL
One of Amsterdam's most impressive luxury design hotels ...
The home of refined modern luxury in Amsterdam, the Conservatorium Hotel enjoys a breathtaking setting within a former music conservatory in the heart of Amsterdam’s Museum Square district. In the chic central lobby and lounge, enjoy a decadent afternoon tea or glamorous cocktail amidst soaring glass ceilings, lush greenery and bare bricks, then retreat to the Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Center to make full use of the yoga studio, swimming pool and lengthy list of indulgent beauty treatments. A sultry dining experience awaits at Taiko restaurant, where chef Schilo Van Coevorden crafts exquisite contemporary Asian cuisine as a traditional Japanese drummer performs every evening. €€€
Van Baerlestraat 27, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
conservatoriumhotel.com | +31 20 570 0000
4. Boutique Chic ...
Discover one of Amsterdam's most stylish design hotels in the tranquil Jordaan district ...
The gorgeous Canal House Hotel is set across three 17th-century merchant's houses on the picturesque canals of central Amsterdam. Evoking the light and dark palette of traditional Dutch paintings, the hotel’s 23 guest rooms blend a contemporary colour scheme of purple, black and white with silk wallpapers and velvet draperies. Original fireplaces and beams, gleaming hardwood floors, and black or copper mosaic tiles complete the glamorous look. Most of the high-windowed rooms offer views of the hotel’s private garden (one of the largest in Amsterdam) or the picturesque Keizersgracht canal. You’ll be only short walking distance from the trendy Nine Streets shopping district, the iconic Flower Market and Amsterdam’s city centre. €€€
Keizersgracht 148 1015, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
canalhouse.nl | +31 20 622 5182
5. Local Institution ...
This stylish hotel delivers designer accommodation, a prime central location and refined dining ...
Set within a former 17th-century theatre where the famous composer Vivaldi once performed, the Dylan Amsterdam is one of the city’s leading design hotels. Acclaimed British designer Anouska Hempel combines the building’s original 17th-century fixtures with sophisticated Eastern touches, referencing The Netherlands' Asian colonial history. An attraction in its own right, Michelin-starred Restaurant Vinkeles by chef Dennis Kuiper serves inventive French-inspired cuisine, while Bar Brasserie OCCO is a sophisticated hotspot for coffee, cocktails and relaxed dining. €€€
Keizersgracht 384, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
dylanamsterdam.com | +31 20 530 2010
6. Fun & Quirky ...
HOTEL DE HALLEN
Post-industrial chic meets Scandinavian vintage decor in the Oud-West neighbourhood ...
Formerly a vintage tram station dating back to 1902, Hotel De Hallen is situated in the vibrant Oud-West area, one of Amsterdam’s hippest quarters, buzzing with trendy cafés and bistros. Part of the lively De Hallen (“The Halls”) complex which features a library, cinema, boutiques as well as an indoor food market, the hotel is elegantly decorated with stunning Scandinavian furniture, combined with the owner’s personal collection of contemporary artworks. The hotel’s Remise47 bistro delivers funky industrial interiors and a crowd-pleasing menu – make sure to dine in the large terrace in warmer months. €€€
Bellamyplein 47, 1053 AT Amsterda, The Netherlands
hoteldehallen.com | +31 20 820 8670
7. Stylish Interiors ...
There’s no place like home, except at The Hoxton Amsterdam…
The former home of the Mayor of Amsterdam in the 17th century has now been transformed into one of the city’s trendiest hotels, consisting of five historic terrace houses built along the charming Herengracht canal. Enter The Hoxton Amsterdam and you’ll discover its monumental ceilings and spiral staircases, breathtaking canal views, and homely modernist-hip décor filled with quirky vintage elements. Don’t miss the relaxed neighbourhood vibes at Lotti’s, the hotel’s Italian-inspired restaurant. A delightful combination of sheer cosiness and industrial-chic design, The Hoxton is the home you always dreamed of, and all within walking distance of the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. €€€
Herengracht 255, 1016 BJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands
thehoxton.com | +31 20 888 5500
8. Cosy & Eccentric ...
SIR ALBERT HOTEL
A quirky and inviting boutique hotel that will feel like your home-away-from-home ...
Set within a former diamond factory, the Sir Albert Hotel’s imposing red brick facade of gives no hint of the irresistibly eclectic world that awaits within. Guests are encouraged to enjoy the antiquarian home of a fictional, charismatic aristocrat - who owns chic designer chairs, plush Persian rugs, funky canvases and library-worthy bookshelves. With such playful concepts at work, it’s no surprise that the hotel’s award-winning Japanese restaurant, Izakaya, attracts the neighbourhood’s design-loving foodies. You’ll be situated in the heart of one of Amsterdam’s trendiest neighbourhoods, surrounded by the lively restaurants and nightlife of the De Pijp neighbourhood. €€
Albert Cuypstraat 2-6, 1072 CT Amsterdam
siralberthotel.com | +31 20 305 3020
Average Price of a Double Room: € = Around €100 or less; €€ = Around €200; €€€ = > €300
| AMSTERDAM |
Whether you're looking for fabulous haute cuisine, the city's best foodie eatery, or a casual waterfront cafe, here is our pick of the best places to eat in Amsterdam right now..
1. Foodie Favourite ...
RESTAURANT DE KAS
Enjoy fresh and creative gastronomy cuisine featuring ingredients sourced from the surrounding gardens ...
Nestled within the picturesque Frankendael Park in southeast Amsterdam, De Kas Restaurant & Nursery enjoys a dramatic setting in a converted 1926 glasshouse. Keen to showcase the freshest possible vegetables, herbs and edible flowers – grown in the restaurant’s gardens and nearby sustainable farms – founder Gert Jan Hageman partnered with acclaimed local designer, Piet Boon, to transform the space into an open glass dining room. Homegrown produce features heavily throughout chef Bas Wiegel and Jarno van den Broek’s daily-changing creations, presented as a three-course prix fixe menu. Starters feature vegetable-based dishes and salads picked from the garden at sunrise each day. Closed on Sundays. €€€
Kamerlingh Onneslaan 3, 1097 DE Amsterdam, Netherlands
restaurantdekas.nl | +31 20 462 4562
2. Lobster & Steak …
Enjoy a minimalist menu of superb steaks and succulent lobster in an eye-popping dining space ...
Nestled in an ancient canal house on the picturesque Keizersgracht canal, Amsterdam’s glamorous Restaurant Red offers one of the city’s most unique dining experiences – with only two main dishes on its (very) short menu, feast upon either roasted Canadian lobster or South American beef fillet steaks. The most difficult decision will be deciding between the butter-baked, 7-ounce beef tournedos served with Béarnaise sauce; or the 500 gram whole lobster served with either mayonnaise or the beurré du chef. If you can’t decide between them, order the ‘surf and turf’ and receive a half portion of each dish. A fresh green salad and hand cut French fries offer the perfect accompaniment. €€
Keizersgracht 594, 1017 EN Amsterdam, Netherlands
restaurantred.nl | +31 20 320 1824
3. Fun & Lively ...
Enjoy the buzz at this lively, award-winning eatery ...
Offering a modern take on the traditional delicatessens of southern Europe, Envy brings sleek and sociable dining to Amsterdam’s dining scene with its tapas-style plates and unpretentious attitude. Earning a Michelin ‘Bib Gourmand’ for ten consecutive years, Envy boasts a state-of-the-art open kitchen which reveals the team of chefs at work crafting dishes such as steak tartare with quail egg, foie gras with caramelised apple and short ribs with Madeira jus. Admire the tempting selection of premium charcuterie and cheeses displayed in the 26 glass-door fridges that line the walls of Envy’s low-lit dining room, then enjoy a nightcap at Envy’s sister wine bar, Vyne, located on the same street. €€
Prinsengracht 381, 1016 HL Amsterdam, Netherlands
envy.nl | +31 20 344 6407
4. Heavenly Roasted Chicken …
A champion of fresh, wholesome and affordable French-Flemish cuisine in Amsterdam ...
The home of Amsterdam’s finest rotisserie chicken, Rijsel Rotisserie serves a mix of French and Flemish classics that has won the hearts of the city’s foodies. Housed in a former domestic science school, Rijsel’s trendy, industrial interiors sees rough wooden floors and high ceilings paired with vintage mismatched cabinets and crisp white linens. From the open kitchen, a steady stream of juicy meats, fresh fish, baked potatoes and crisp salads emerge. Be sure to book ahead. €€
Marcusstraat 52B, 1091TK Amsterdam
rijsel.com | +31 20 463 2142
5. Local Gem …
To spend an evening at Balthazar’s Keuken is to discover one of Amsterdam’s favourite dinner parties ...
Situated in Amsterdam's hip Jordaan district, Balthazar’s open keuken ("kitchen") spills out into a buzzing dining room, where founders and chefs Karin Gaasterland and Alain Parry introduce their weekly three-course menu, inspired by the freshest seasonal market produce. Balthazar’s menu is as inventive as it is affordable – expect everything from stir-fried mussels to Turkish flatbreads, succulent lamb ribs or rabbit confit. In the glow of industrial light-bulbs, the friendly staff weave through the cosy dining space, earning Balthazar’s its reputation as the neighbourhood’s home away from home. In the summertime, be sure to reserve a street-side table to soak in the animated local atmosphere. €€
Elandsgracht 108, 1016 VA Amsterdam
balthazarskeuken.nl | +31 20 420 2114
6. Trendy Scene ...
Enjoy designer dining at the ultra-stylish Andaz Amsterdam Hotel...
Renowned designer Marcel Wanders lends his inimitable flair to the Andaz Amsterdam, home to one of the city’s most stylish dining destinations. Swathed in blacks and midnight blues, Wanders’ dramatic dining room offers the perfect stage for Bluespoon’s open kitchen, where Chef Kaspar Stiekema and his team can be seen conjuring European flavours. With a menu that champions local farmers and artisan purveyors, Stiekema’s dedication to the fresh and seasonal is self-evident: while dining, guests can enjoy views of his herb garden. Begin an evening at the Andaz with a cocktail in the speakeasy-style Bluespoon Bar, before moving on to the restaurant to savour guinea fowl and coppa ham, beef tenderloin with pommes dauphine or single malt beef steak tartare. €€
Prinsengracht 587, 1016 HT Amsterdam
hyatt.com | +31 20 523 1234
| AMSTERDAM |
Whether you're looking for the perfect cocktail, the city's best alfresco bar, or a late-night club, here is our pick of the best places to drink and party in Amsterdam right now.
1. Wow Factor!
One of Amsterdam's most stylish dining and nightlife sanctuaries ...
In the heart of Amsterdam’s elegant Museumplein, The Conservatorium Hotel offers a seriously stylish medley of dining and nightlife experiences. Set within a cathedral-esque inner courtyard, the Brasserie and Lounge is an architectural showpiece for relaxed brunches, decadent afternoon teas and elegant pre-concert dinners. In the glass-walled kitchen at Taiko, chef Schilo Van Coevorden puts a contemporary spin on Asian cuisine. Cocktail lovers should head for the chic intimacy of Tunes Bar, with its reputation for pitch-perfect gin and tonics, weekend DJ sets and tasty Asian tapas. Don’t miss the chance to test the skills of the Sake sommelier which compliment the delicious menu of dishes such as Atlantic Lobster Tandoori, Scottish Salmon Sashimi or Duck Gyoza. €€
Van Baerlestraat 27, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
conservatoriumhotel.com | +31 20 570 0000
2. Hidden Speakeasy ...
This hidden, secretive speakeasy attracts the city’s cocktail aficionados ...
One of Amsterdam’s most secretive cocktail bars, Door 74 is hidden behind an inconspicuous and elusive black facade. In fact, you’d be forgiven for thinking Door74 doesn’t want to be found at all. However, as soon as you step inside this dimly-lit 1920’s-inspired speakeasy, you’ll discover a warm, cosy and welcoming atmosphere with a touch of glamour – the perfect setting for sipping expertly-crafted cocktails. Self-described as a place where you can enjoy "classic cocktails, champagne and proper late-night drinking", Door 74 also employs a crack team of mixologists who will craft you a fantastic cocktail, such as ‘The Liberation’ with Beefeater 24 gin, homemade marmalade-rose syrup, marjoram and lime. Call or email ahead to reserve a table. €€
Reguliersdwarsstraat 74I, 1017 BN Amsterdam
door-74.com | +31 6 34045122
3. Local Gem ...
A cosy, casual all-day cafe and bar in Amsterdam with vintage-chic appeal ...
Join the locals at this versatile hangout, which is a coffee shop by day and a laid-back neighbourhood bar by night. Stylishly shabby, Louis’ battered plasterwork reveals the beautiful red brickwork beneath, while vintage mirrors reflect ramshackle bookcases, industrial lighting and an easy-going crowd. People-watchers are best served by Louis’ towering windows, which frame an idyllic snapshot of Amsterdam life complete with weaving bicycles and a canalside backdrop. When the sun sets, platters of nachos, chicken-wings and burgers find their way to the after-work crowd who congregate at school-style tables to enjoy Louis’ range of beers. Don’t be surprised if you make a new friend in the form of the resident ginger cat. A welcome hideaway at any time of day or night. €€
Singel 43, 1012 VC Amsterdam
louis-amsterdam.nl | +31 20 752 6328
4. Late-Night Dancing ...
A high-tech fantasy world for late-night dancing and partying ...
Following a dramatic renovation by acclaimed Dutch designer Marcel Wanders in 2010, Club AIR came to life as one of Amsterdam’s coolest nightspots. Capable of holding up to 1,300 club-goers on any one night, Club AIR is a monument to high-tech fantasy, with configuration-changing movable walls and an electronic light-display wall measuring over 100 square meters. Colourful spotlights play off ceiling canvasses. Vibrations emanate from the state-of-the-art Void Acoustics Air Motion sound system. Aromatic fragrances waft through the nightclub to complete the sensory experience. Leave your wallet in your personal electronic locker at the door and credit your Club AIR card with funds to pay for drinks, avoiding the hassle of bar tabs and lost credit cards at the end of the night. €€
Amstelstraat 16, 1017 DA Amsterdam
air.nl | +31 20 820 0670
5. Neighbourhood Bar ...
Try 007’s own cocktail recipe at this late-night local bar ...
Located on a picturesque square in Amsterdam’s hip Jordaan district, Vesper Bar is an intimate night spot with black-leather bar stools, warm wooden tables and dark window shades. While James Bond photos and memorabilia evoke memories of Casino Royale's Vesper Lynd – 007's one true love – Vesper Bar’s award-winning team craft a tightly-curated menu of cocktails, combining top-shelf liquors with fresh, seasonal ingredients and exotic tea-cup shaped cocktail glasses. The signature Vesper Martini (from Bond's own recipe) is a house favourite Closed on Sundays. €€
Vinkenstraat 57, 1013 JM Amsterdam
vesperbar.nl | No Telephone
6. Wine Bar ...
A wine-lover’s haven in Amsterdam's trendy Jordaan District ...
One of Amsterdam's most sophisticated wine bars, Vyne showcases a wide selection of international wines by the glass. The narrow space designed by Dutch architects, Concrete Design features sleek communal tables and suede banquettes stretching from one end of the room to the other. The wine list features selections from France, Italy, Spain, South Africa and Australia, along with more unusual bottles from Lebanon and even locally produced wines from the Netherlands. Vyne’s sophisticated wine storage technology enables guests to enjoy an unparalleled selection of wines by the glass, accompanied by a delicious menu of bar snacks and sharing plates. For a more substantial meal, head to Vyne’s sister restaurant, Envy, only a few doors away. €€
Prinsengracht 411, 1016 HM Amsterdam
vyne.nl | +31 20 344 6408
7. Award-Winning Cocktails ...
TALES & SPIRITS
Discover one of the World's 50 Best Bars in Amsterdam's Red Light district ...
Awarded the title of the World's 18th Best Bar in 2016, this dapper drinking den situated in a 16th-century building is one of Europe's top cocktail bars. Known for its warm welcome and local atmosphere, Tales and Spirits is home to a crack team of mixologists dressed in sharp black ties and braces, who will craft you an excellent cocktail tailored to your preferences. Beneath the soft glow of crystal chandeliers, expect to find everything from vintage glassware to prohibition “teapots.” The late-night kitchen keeps hunger at bay with a sophisticated array of snacks such as shucked oysters, truffle risotto and deep-fried crispy prawns. €€
Lijnbaanssteeg 5-7 1012 TE Amsterdam
talesandspirits.com | +31 6 55 35 64 67
Average Price of a Drink: € = Less than €10; €€ = Around €20; €€€ = More than €30
SEE + DO
| AMSTERDAM |
Don't miss these incredible Amsterdam museums, cultural landmarks and local experiences.
Iconic Landmarks ...
Amsterdam boasts many fantastic landmarks and sights to visit during your time in the city. Make sure to explore Oudezijds (“Old Side”), Amsterdam’s oldest neighbourhood, where you’ll find the eyebrow-raising Red Light District with sex shops and legalised brothels. It's also home to Dam Square, Amsterdam’s main square, which acts as the city’s central meeting place, outdoor market, performance space and commercial shopping district; Koninklijk Paleis, the city’s imposing town hall; and the oldest church in the city, De Oude Kerk, with its 14th century Gothic basilica featuring wooden vaulted ceilings, beautiful stained glass and rare ceiling paintings. From June to September, book ahead to climb its octagonal Gothic-Renaissance tower which boasts spectacular city views. The Grachtengordel Canals represents a series of four major canals encircling the ancient city centre of Amsterdam, and can be easily navigated by boat or on foot. Earning the nickname “The Venice of the North”, the city’s Canal Loop incorporates the Singel, Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsensgracht Canals, a network that has surrounded the historic centre of Amsterdam since the 17th century. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2010, the waterways’ charming bridges and traditional houses are a sight to be seen. Cruising along the labyrinth-like canals is one of the best ways to see the city’s best sights and to sample a taste of the local Amsterdam way of life. Expect to see beautiful 17th-century mansions with large open windows, rustic houseboats, ornate bridges and beautiful architecture ranging from medieval to modern. Taking a cruise around sunrise or sunset will guarantee incredible views. The Canal Company offer a comprehensive regular boat service with three major routes throughout the city. You can also enjoy a private dinner cruise around the canals for a more romantic experience.
Museums & Art Galleries ...
Open to the public since 2000, the futuristic NEMO science museum by architect Renzo Piano is an imposing focal point of Amsterdam's waterfront, shaped like a battleship and with a roof that doubles as a public square, people visit this art museum as much for the architecture as for the exhibitions. A superb hands-on museum, expect an interactive experience amidst NEMO’s superb installations - extend your knowledge of chemistry, biology and computer science in a vibrant, fun environment. Celebrating the world of world-famous artist Vincent Van Gogh and other celebrated modern artists, the Van Gogh Museum is housed within an understated 1960s modernist building in the Museum Quarter. A dramatic exhibition wing by Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa was recently added to the museum and is a sight in itself, while the world’s largest collection of works by Van Gogh awaits. With a collection boasting over 500 drawings, 800 letters and 220 paintings, the museum exhibits 50 paintings at any one time, organised into five major chronological periods of the artist’s life. Devoted to fine arts, crafts and the artistic history of the Netherlands, the Rijksmuseum - affectionately nicknamed the Rijk - boasts one of the finest collections of the Dutch Golden Age. With a collection numbering over 30,000 art objects, 17,000 historical documents and 5000 paintings including masterpieces by Vermeer, Jan Van Huysum Jan Steen and Rembrandt, the museum is housed within a grand 19th century neo-Gothic building in the Museum Quarter. With one of the finest collections of modern and contemporary art in the Netherlands, the Stedelijk Museum nestles in a 19th-century building in the Museum Quarter. Expanded in 2012 to showcase the superb collection, the Museum primarily honours the artistic trends of the second half of the 20th century, including New Realism Pop Art and COBRA. Don’t miss the works of surrealist photographer Man Ray, set amidst an enviable collection of modern photography.
Design in Amsterdam
The Moooi Gallery is acclaimed Dutch artist Marcel Wander’s renowned art gallery and design store, showcasing a cutting-edge selection of his best pieces, including oversized black lamps and bold, modern furniture. The store also curates pieces from hot up-and-coming artists, along with books, accessories and much more. Frozen Fountain is a multi-level design store and art gallery which champions well-known local and international designers, including famous Dutch designers including Marcel Wanders and Piet Hein Eek. This is the perfect place to find limited edition homewares, furniture and design objects. Wonderwood design store specialises in vintage plywood designs, where owner Wiet Hekking curates a cutting-edge selection of wooden furniture and re-editions of rare mid-20th century classics by Egon Eiermann and Marcel Breuer.
Anne Frank House ...
The legendary story of Anne Frank’s House dates back to 1942 when the Germans began to capture the Jewish population in Amsterdam. The Frank and Van Pels families went into hiding for 25 months in a secret annexe in the Anne Frank House (Anne Frank Huise). Their daughter, Anne, kept a diary during the ordeal, detailing a harrowing tale of their life in hiding. The family were betrayed in 1944 and sent to a concentration camp, where they were subsequently killed. Anne was only 15 years old. Over 900,000 people visit this museum every year, where you can learn more about the family’s story and take a tour of the house, including its secret living areas. To avoid the lengthy queues, we recommend booking tickets for the museum online in advance.
The Flower Market ...
Whatever the season, a visit to Amsterdam’s famous Flower Market offers a unique local experience. The world’s only floating flower market, a riot of colour can be found on the market’s houseboats, which double as floating stalls filled with thousands of fresh flowers.
O U R O T H E R C I T Y G U I D E S . . .