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
Often considered one of Amsterdam’s most charming neighbourhoods, wandering down the Jordaan’s narrow streets of quaint buildings feels like stepping back in time. Originally a working-class area, the Jordaan is now one of Amsterdam’s most desirable quarters, dotted with independent art galleries, bars and restaurants, antique shops and courtyard gardens.
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.
If you want to experience the true “Amsterdam feeling”, head to the Jordaan and visit the Noordermarkt. Every Monday and Saturday, the market takes over one of the most beautiful squares of Amsterdam near the Noorderkerk. Don’t forget to try the typical Dutch apple pie at café Winkel 43—the very best in town according to locals.
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.
ARTS & CULTURE
At Moco Museum, you will find a wide range of modern and contemporary art. Since its opening in 2016, the museum has showcased iconic works by renowned international artists such as Bansky. It’s only a two-minute walk from Max Brown Museum Square.
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.
Amaze Amsterdam is an immersive audio-visual experience created by creatives and showmakers from all over the world. Start off with a nice cocktail in the lounge and completely immerse yourself in the digital world afterwards. The only way out is in.
Amsterdam North is a breeding ground for new, young and experimental, and you get there by a free ferry. One of the best restaurants there is Pllek, and its menu is 75% vegetarian and 25% vegan. It also has a stage, and every genre takes the mic. During the summer, it becomes an outdoor cinema, a mini-festival venue, an art gallery and a yoga school. Check out their website for all their upcoming events.
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.
THE DIAMOND MUSEUM
Enter the Amsterdam Diamond Museum enchanted and leave an expert on the unique role diamonds have played in fashion, glamour and entertainment over the last 400 years. It’s the only diamond museum in Europe, and just a two-minute walk from Max Brown Museum Square. That’s a whole lot of sparkle, just a gem’s throw away.
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.
DUKE OF TOKYO
Let the city carry you to a holiday within a holiday. The owner and designer of this karaoke bar created a Japanese wonderland. You’ll feel like a duke of underground Tokyo. Book one of the rooms and let loose.
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.
ALBERT CUYP MARKET
This market has been a favourite 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.
VERSE GOOD STORE
In 2016 on an iconic canal in Amsterdam, Verse first opened its doors. It’s a female BIPOC-founded, one-stop-shop for ethical, sustainable and empowering brands.
This light and airy store offers a subtle glimpse into a greener future with its diverse selection of beautifully curated clothing, homeware, skincare, art, and accessories. Everything is made ethically from eco-friendly fairtrade hemp (arguably the greenest fibre our planet has to offer). Within the wondrous shop is a cosy café offering hemp teas and coffees alongside other tasty snacks and treats.
CHARLIE + MARY
If you want to shop some sustainable fashion and lifestyle products, make sure to stop by Charlie + Mary in De Pijp on Gerard Doustraat. The employees of this finely curated store are always up for a little chat.
Vegabond sells plant-based food and advocates itself to be a place for everyone. The place itself is cozy and homey, nurturing a community where everyone can grow and develop themselves while enjoying vegan food and doing a good deed for the environment.
MR. & MRS. WATSON
This cute restaurant is fully vegan, and their specialty is a cheese platter. Yes, they have an award-winning vegan cheese platter, because they understand that giving up cheese is a hard thing to do. Even if you’re not vegan, this restaurant in Amsterdam East is definitely worth a visit.
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.
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.