Keep it local
Amsterdam is a city of great contrast, rich cultural history and diversity, which is why I love living here. There are so many things I love to do and see, but starting the day off with a delicious breakfast at Buffet van Odette on Prinsengracht and their amazing truffle cheese omelette is always a good idea!
After brunch I hop on my bike and cycle to a 40-foot mural by Keith Haring. It was only discovered in 2018, having been hidden away behind insulation paneling for years, and is well worth the bike ride. I then take a detour and cycle through Vondelpark. I love the vibe of the park in the spring and summer. Locals running and cycling, concerts going on, children running about amongst the greenery.
After this I make my way to the neighborhood ‘Amsterdam East’, an area that is buzzing and firmly off the tourist map. The beautiful streets of the ‘Plantage’ and the old shipyards of the ‘Kadijken’ where you can see impressive old warehouses are well worth visiting. THE AREA IS ALSO HOME TO THE ROYAL ZOO, ARTIS, SO DON’T BE SURPRISED TO SEE THE CURIOUS HEADS OF THE LOCAL GIRAFFE STICKING OUT AS YOU PEDAL THROUGH.
At Czaar Peterstreet there are lots of quirky boutiques and cafés, amongst them a shop dedicated entirely to peanut butter! Next, I meet some friends and we board a private boat to enjoy the city from the water. We head for the Amstel river and from there we venture out to a little village beyond the city borders called ‘Ouderkerk aan de Amstel’: A pretty place oozing with charm. Along the way, we stop to visit one of my best kept secrets, a winery where you get to sample the local produce and take a stroll through the verdant gardens.
Back to the boat, where we pass by excellent restaurants along the riverbank. What most people don’t know is that these restaurants will also arrange for special ‘boat’ takeaways so you can dine on deck, enjoying a delicious meal as you sail your way back to the city. We settle on a brilliant Indonesian meal in the sunset as we sail back. The boat drops me off at Theater Carré, located on the Amstel river where I am greeted with a concert by a local singer-songwriter. To end the day, I have a final ‘night cap’ in the hip De Pijp area at one of the many “brown cafés” accompanied by my most ultimate guilty pleasure of all; deep-fried bitterballen with a smooth mustard dip…