AMSTERDAM CITY GUIDE
Amsterdam is full of wonders. From the Red Light District to the Begijnhof, from vegan fast food to caviar dinners, you can find whatever you’d like in this city. Here at Max Brown, we get that every day calls for something different, so we have selected insider tips for the broadest of cravings. There are always ways to get inspired and support our local communities. Here a few tips that we hope make your day a little brighter.
We’ve curated a list of our best insider tips for Arts & Culture, Amsterdam on a Dime, Indulgences, Conscious and Fancy.
AMSTERDAM ON A DIME
JORDAAN & NOORDERMARKT
Experience the old-world charm of Jordaan, a neighborhood steeped in history and character, hailed as one of Amsterdam’s most enchanting areas. Stroll through the narrow streets flanked by charming buildings and immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of this former working-class quarter. Today, it boasts an alluring mix of independent art galleries, trendy bars, quaint restaurants, antique shops, and courtyard gardens. Don’t miss out on the bustling Noordermarkt, which takes place every Monday and Saturday in one of Amsterdam’s most picturesque squares near the Noorderkerk. And, treat yourself to a slice of the best Dutch apple pie in town at Cafe Winkel 43.
Vondelpark is Amsterdam’s largest green space, and one of the city’s most popular attractions for locals and visitors alike. Located just minutes from busy areas like the Leidseplein and Museumplein, the park’s 47 hectares of grass, ponds, walkways and the odd café offer a true urban oasis that’s always within reach.
Who says shopping has to cost a lot? If you don’t want to spend too much but still feel like going on a little shopping spree, go vintage. You not only pay a fraction of the retail price, but it’s also better for the environment. Here are some options:
IJhallen (every three weeks at NDSM-wharff)
Bij Ons Vintage (has several locations in Amsterdam)
The Zipper (has several locations in Amsterdam)
We Are Vintage (has several locations in Amsterdam)
TAKE THE FERRY ACROSS THE IJ
Escape the bustle of the city centre and hop on the (free) ferry behind Central Station across the IJ river to Amsterdam Noord. During your short journey across, you’ll get to see eye-catching buildings like the ADAM Tower and the Eye Film Museum. Once you’re on the other side, enjoy a walk through the beautiful park of the Tolhuis and treat yourself to a picnic under one of the park’s iconic old trees if the weather permits. Fun fact: there is always a free exhibition on in the Eye Film Museum.
Discover the 9 Straatjes, a cozy neighborhood tucked away between the four main canals of Amsterdam. This picturesque area boasts nine charming shopping streets that exude a unique ambiance and offer an array of unique boutiques, museums, charming restaurants and cafes. Located a mere minute from the Palace on Dam Square and nestled between the Westertoren and Leidsegracht, the 9 Straatjes offers a great historical atmosphere and a chance to explore Amsterdam’s hidden gems.
BROUWERIJ ‘T IJ
Found in the former Funen bathhouse next to the De Gooyer windmill, this small, certified organic brewery was opened by former musician Kaspar Peterson back in 1985. You’ll find their standard selection here and across the city, along with their unique seasonal and special occasion brews. Opt for one of their guided tours or tastings, then grab a spot in the pub or on the sunny terrace outside.
ALBERT CUYP MARKET
This market has been a favorite for Amsterdammers since 1905, but tourists, students, day-trippers and entrepreneurs are also at home here. Located in one of the most popular districts of Amsterdam, it’s a place to experience an authentic atmosphere and all-around happiness.
TWO CHEFS FOOD BAR
Indulge in a sensory explosion of bold flavors and unique brews at Two Chefs Food Bar. In 2012, two visionary chefs embarked on a journey to create daring flavor combinations and brewed their own beers at home. Today, their passion has blossomed into a thriving brewery and two cozy restaurants and bars in Amsterdam. Sample their Funky Falcon Pale Ale or Bon Chef New England IPA, crafted with the finest ingredients, and savor their delectable lunch and dinner menu. Whether you’re a beer aficionado or food lover, Two Chefs Food Bar is a must-visit spot in Amsterdam’s West or Zuid district.
DE HALLEN AMSTERDAM
De Hallen is located in Amsterdam Old-West and is home to multiple different cultural and entrepreneurial initiatives. Inside De Hallen is De Foodhallen, which is a well-known place by locals, as you can choose from many different cuisines while dining together. Whether you want to visit an exhibition, food market or cinema, De Hallen is the place to be.
ARTS & CULTURE
FABRIQUE DES LUMIERES
Fabrique des Lumières offers an unparalleled art experience, where cutting-edge technology is seamlessly integrated into the vast open spaces of Amsterdam’s Westergasfabriek. This immersive exhibition showcases the works of the greatest artists in history through digital imagery and sound, providing a modern and captivating experience. Alongside classical and modern art, the museum also features contemporary creations that are sure to leave a lasting impression.
Its world-famous masterworks from the Dutch Golden Age include “The Milkmaid” by Vermeer and Rembrandt’s “Night Watch”. The Rijksmuseum itself is also a masterpiece. The collection is presented in a stunning building with amazing interior design. In 80 galleries 8,000 objects tell the story of 800 years of Dutch art and history, from the Middle Ages to Mondrian.
VAN GOGH MUSEUM
Explore the world-renowned masterpieces of Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries at the Van Gogh Museum. Housing the largest collection of Vincent van Gogh’s works in the world, this museum provides insight into the artist’s inspiring life and art. Marvel at his famous painting “Sunflowers” and take a moment to compare his works with those of other 19th-century artists.
Nestled in the former NDSM shipyard, Straat Museum is Amsterdam’s premier destination for street and graffiti art. From the iconic works of Keith Haring to Banksy’s subversive creations, this museum offers a fresh and invigorating perspective on contemporary art, fashion, design, advertising, and culture.
Experience the future of art at NXT Museum, the first museum in the Netherlands dedicated to new media art. This innovative space in North Amsterdam showcases progressive art forms that blur the lines between art and technology. The tools used reflect our current era, inviting us to reflect on our own realities and the world around us.
ANNE FRANK HOUSE
Discover the poignant story of Anne Frank and her family at the Anne Frank House. This museum is housed in the actual house where the Frank family hid during World War II, and aims to increase global awareness of Anne’s life story. If you’re interested in learning more about Anne Frank’s diary and the Secret Annex, a visit to this museum is a must.
The Stedelijk Museum is a world-renowned contemporary and modern art museum in the centre of Amsterdam. Even from the comfort of your sofa, you have access to an abundance of fascinating content in the form of audio tours and exhibition walk-throughs with curators. There you’ll find art from a wide range of movements, from Bauhaus to CoBrA.
Tropenmuseum is one of the largest museums in Amsterdam. It’s dedicated to world cultures and shares interesting stories throughout its extensive and regularly changing exhibitions about people.
FOAM, located on the pituresque Keizersgracht, is a photography museum featuring national and international talent. The exhibitions vary from photography to visual installation to graphic works. The combination of the exciting exhibitions in the historic building is an experience in itself. Keep an eye on the website for updates on the current exhibition.
L’ÉTOILE LUXURY VINTAGE
Amsterdam locals love their vintage shopping, and l’Étoile’s Luxury Vintage’s three designer bag outposts always top any list. With new finds arriving weekly, it’s the perfect place to indulge yourself in a little pre-loved luxury to take back home (at some of the best prices in the city, no less).
THE EYE FILM MUSEUM
A modern-day Amsterdam icon, the Eye Film Museum is also home to a cinema and water-view café with a huge collection of Dutch movies, foreign films and film posters. Explore the history of cinema, grab a drink in the café, then catch a foreign art-house film or restored classic before hopping on the 5-minute free and easy ferry back to Centraal Station.
Indulge in the cozy ambiance and delectable treats at De Wasserette, a charming daytime café nestled in the heart of Amsterdam’s vibrant Pijp area. Start your day off right with a morning coffee while watching the early visitors of the famous Albert Cuyp Market stroll by. Open daily from 7:30 AM until 6 PM, De Wasserette serves a delectable array of breakfast dishes, homemade pastries, sandwiches, salads, and more.
Discover your new go-to spot for an unforgettable evening at Ceppi’s, located in the heart of Amsterdam. Savor their authentic Italian goodness, including delicious pizzas, linguine with clams, ravioli with lemon and ricotta, and more. Stay late for strong cocktails and local mingling, and enjoy a cozy ambiance that invites you to gather and celebrate with friends.
Step into a world of artistic ambiance at Door 74, tucked away in a hidden location. Admire the dark wood and antique barware as you savor the perfectly balanced, classic and creative cocktails. The innovative menu offers a range of heavier and easy-drinking cocktails, alongside imported cocktails, wines, and champagnes. It’s the perfect spot to indulge in a high-quality drink and escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Experience a fusion of French and Amsterdam cuisine at Gertrude Amsterdam, located in Amsterdam West. Chef Amadou Dia creates pure and simple dishes using seasonal vegetables and responsibly-sourced fish and meat. Share the love with perfectly paired dishes, and ask for expert advice on which wine best compliments each dish.
If you’re looking for a glass of champagne and an elevated slice of pizza, look no further than TONI LOCO, the quick, casual Italian-American pizza spot right in Amsterdam’s buzzing De Pijp neighborhood and just down the street from famous Albert Cuyp Market. Get the exact giant slice you want by choosing your own toppings, and be prepared to lose your train of thought when you take a bite.
Satisfy your sweet tooth cravings with a visit to Van Stapele, where you’ll find a mouthwatering cookie that’s worth the wait. Sink your teeth into a crunchy dark chocolate exterior filled with a soft white chocolate cream. The lovely ladies at Van Stapele bake these treats all day long, and you might even get lucky and snag a warm one. Prepare to queue up, but trust us – it’s definitely worth it.
Feel like having the best burger in town? (Who doesn’t?) The Butcher is where to go. You can choose from one of four locations in Amsterdam. Each location, just like the food, has an easy-going vibe, and any dish you order is great. We strongly recommend the truffle burger accompanied by some sweet potato fries. If you have room for a milkshake, don’t hesitate to order a spiked one.
Escape the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam’s center and relax in the serene greenery of Hoftuin. Dignita offers all-day brunch options, delicious breakfast, lunch, and a peaceful ambiance. Sit inside their cozy restaurant or outside on the terrace to soak up the atmosphere and indulge in some quality time with friends and family.
Experience a casual shared dining concept with a twist at Chez Nina. Led by Swedish chef Nina Olsson, the menu is based on plant-based ingredients that change with each season. Savor the flavors of neo-bistro cuisine and complement your meal with their lush cocktails and natural, vegan wines. Whether it’s a tasting menu, à la carte, or brunch, Chez Nina is a must-visit for foodies seeking a unique culinary experience.
Nestled near Amsterdam’s Museumplein, Yerba offers an innovative and sustainable dining experience, with a focus on plant-forward dishes that are both creative and seasonal. Yerba sources locally from farmers, producers, and fishermen, and even grows their own vegetables and plants on-site. If you’re craving something non-vegan, Yerba also offers the option to add sustainable, ethically sourced meat or fish to select dishes. On weekends, indulge in Yerba’s brunch offerings, which include vegan and gluten-free surprises.
LENA FASHION LIBRARY
Looking for a way to revamp your wardrobe without compromising your commitment to sustainability? Look no further than Lena Fashion Library. Their impressive collection consists exclusively of high-quality, pre-loved clothing that can be borrowed for a fraction of the retail price, and each item can also be purchased if you fall in love with it. By opting for this eco-friendly alternative to fast fashion, you can refresh your style with a clear conscience.
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in the tranquil beauty of Amsterdam’s Hortus Botanicus. As one of the world’s oldest botanical gardens, Hortus Botanicus is a verdant oasis that houses a diverse range of flora and fauna, including a breathtaking hothouse that features three distinct tropical climates. Afterwards, relax in the serene surroundings with a beverage from the garden’s charming café.
Indulge your sweet tooth and caffeine cravings at Saint-Jean, a sleek plant-based bakery and specialty coffee shop located in the vibrant Jordaan district. Admire the minimalist decor and enjoy some of their delectable pastries and sustainably-brewed coffee at one of their marble-topped tables.
A dining experience like no other, De Kas offers Mediterranean cuisine made with the freshest ingredients. Situated in a former greenhouse surrounded by lush greenery, the produce is grown on-site and in local gardens. Indulge in a culinary adventure with their impressive wine list, and enjoy the perfect setting for gatherings with friends and family.
FASHION FOR GOOD
Fashion for Good is a global initiative that is leading the charge for sustainable fashion. Collaborating directly with the fashion industry, they are committed to creating positive change for both people and the planet. Immerse yourself in their sustainable fashion museum and learn about the stories behind the clothes you wear, and how your choices can make a difference.
Discover the unexpected at PLLEK, located in the creative and vibrant Amsterdam North. They focus on sustainable food, with most of their vegetables grown in-house and their meat and fish sourced from the North Sea. But it’s not just about the food – PLLEK hosts weekly live music, movie nights, dance events, and more, making it a hub for culture and creativity.
A one-of-a-kind concept store and art exhibition space set in the historic W Hotel Amsterdam, the 450-square-metre store is a destination for the best in Dutch art, fashion and design. A meeting and event space for the local creative community, X BANK hosts both small and large-scale public expositions, lectures and gatherings, with changing artworks to keep the creative community inspired.
Vedder & Vedder
Looking for a little something special? Stop by this Amsterdam atelier to to check out the gorgeous, personalised jewellery created by two Dutch sisters (and get a sneak peek behind the scenes). It’s a popular spot, so don’t forget to make an appointment over on their website first.
The most luxurious shopping street in Amsterdam, the PC Hooftstraat is well-known across the Netherlands and beyond. Drawing in visitors with its chic ambiance and international allure, there’s no shortage of beautiful brands from around the world to explore. If you’re looking to treat yourself to something luxurious and high-end, add this one to your list.
Experience the perfect blend of modern steakhouse cuisine and chic lounge atmosphere at Mr Porter. With a prime location on the top floor of the W Hotel, this unique concept serves up sophisticated and surprising takes on steakhouse classics alongside mouthwatering cocktails. The cozy ambiance and stylish decor make Mr Porter the ultimate destination for a memorable evening out.
For seafood aficionados seeking a culinary adventure, John Dory on Prinsengracht 999 is a must-visit. With menus ranging from four to seven courses, every dish is crafted with the freshest, most seasonal ingredients available. Enjoy delectable North Sea crab or tuna with inventive garnishes, or opt for a specially curated menu of meat or vegetarian dishes. Be sure to let the team know your preferences in advance.
Sundays are made for gathering and indulging in a lavish dinner, and Domenica captures this feeling six days a week. Their daily-changing menu features classic Italian and European dishes made with the freshest, in-season produce. Additionally, the chef’s four-course menu offers an elevated dining experience. Come for the mouthwatering cuisine, stay for the cozy atmosphere and warm hospitality.
If you want a locally-sourced, mesmerizing dinner experience, go to this restaurant located on a small dock and in a former warehouse space. For once, veggies are the stars of the show and meat takes a backseat. We recommend that you to go all out—order as much as you possibly can and get the wine pairing. It’s worth every penny.
MOMO Restaurant, Bar & Lounge
MOMO is culinary hotspot located next to Vondelpark in the heart of Amsterdam. Go for fancy dining with cocktails in a timeless, cosmopolitan and sparkling atmosphere. During weekends, you can find many locals getting together there for cocktails and bites.
IZAKAYA Asian Kitchen & Bar
The words “Asian fusion” don’t do IZAKAYA justice. If you can get a reservation, the concept of this sleek Amsterdam hotspot is Japanese with a South American twist (think padron peppers with yuzu miso), and their cocktail menu will change the way you think of sake.