Travel: Franzi in Amsterdam

©Collage / Franziska Steinle

A short break to Amsterdam – Franzi reveals her tips on all matters of shopping, food, and culture in her travel report

In post-Brexit times, there are many reasons why Amsterdam is exuding unfathomable charm for international companies and forward-looking strategists: 90% of the population is able to hold a conversation in English, rental prices are considerably less than they are in London, and the same goes for the price of beer. True story!

If there are still some people left unconvinced by these arguments, after my recent trip there I can add at least another hundred plus-points to the list – also for those who won’t be staying for a year, but maybe just for a weekend.

The city, which despite a significant number of inhabitants (and just as many bikes) and tourists never seems crowded, will captivate you with its charm as soon as you’re five minutes southwest of the central station and find yourself immediately in the center of Amsterdam and surrounded by water, bridges, and timbered houses – 700 of which are under historical protection. One cliché follows the next! However: The city has much more to offer than just canals, gables, and weed – as Max Beckmann raved during his time in exile spent in Amsterdam: “My god, life is worth living!”

The transport from the airport to the main station takes just around 20 minutes and then it was another 10 minutes on foot to our Airbnb, which was located in the middle of the popular Jordaan neighborhood and from which you can actually reach everything on foot or bike (as long as you’ve got a good appetite for risk) and from which you can also take wonderful strolls with no destination in mind. Surrounded by cafés, bars, and restaurants, this somewhat quieter northern part of the city is a great place to be headquartered.

Culture:

Westerkerk

This church – and its impressive architecture – lies between Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht and visitors have the opportunity to climb the bell tower. You have to register on location for the guided tour and select one of several timeslots. The climb takes a little bit of effort, but it’s worth it: a 360° view over Amsterdam.

Wersterkerk
Prinsengracht 279
1016 GW Amsterdam

Webseite: westerkerk.nl
Telefon: +31 20 624 7766
Openings: Monday to Friday between 11am and 4am. From 1st April until 1st November the church will be open additionally on Saturdays from 11am until 4pm. On Sundays you aren’t able to visit the church.

Rijksmuseum

A must if you want to get a picture of the former naval power’s cultural heritage – Vermeer, Rembrandt, Van Gogh…and and and in all their glory.

Rijksmuseum Amsterdam
Postbus 74888 
1070 DN Amsterdam 

Ticketpreise:
Erwachsene: € 17,50
Kinder bis 18 Jahre gratis

Webseite: rijksmuseum.nl

Begijnhof

The Begijnhof can be found in the middle of the city center and is a courtyard reached by a small door – an oasis of calm for a brief jump out of the hustle and bustle of the city. There are two churches here, one of which is hidden and integrated into the façade and the English Reformed Church. There’s the Boekenmarkt right in front of it as well, where you can find old books and all kinds of odds and ends.

Gegevens R.K. Begijnhofkapel
Begijnhof 30
1012 WT Amsterdam

Öffnungszeiten:
Montag: 13:00 – 18:30 Uhr 
Dienstag – Freitag: 09:00 – 18:30 Uhr
Samstag bis Sonntag: 09:00 – 18:00 Uhr

Food:

Café Caron

You can combine going to Café Caron with a trip to the Rijksmuseum. The restaurant is located in the hip Oude Pijp neighborhood and offers enchanting décor and atmosphere. Cool, cooler, Caron!

Café Caron
Frans Halsstraat 28 H
1072 BS Amsterdam

Telefon: 020-6758668
Öffnungszeiten: täglich 18:00 – 01:00Uhr

Webseite: cafecaron.nl
Instagram: @cafecaron

Noordermarkt

The farmer’s market at Noordermarkt on Saturday is a must! Oysters, cheese, vegetables, and other delicacies from local companies can all be purchased there. Directly next door is the Noorderkerk – with a little luck, you’ll also be able to attend an organ rehearsal. Get a coffee and a little pick-me-up at Café Hegeraad, which has the best view of the market bustle.

Noordermarkt
Herenstraat 39
1015 BZ Amsterdam

Webseite: noordermarkt-amsterdam.nl

Spanjer En Van Twist

At Spanjer En Van Twist, as the name suggests, you can order delicious Spanish-Dutch tapas to enjoy from a front row seat on Leliegracht.

Spanjer En Van Twist
Leliegracht 60
1015 DJ Amsterdam
Telefon: 020 639 0109

Openings:
Monday – Friday: 9am – 2pm
Saturday – Sunday: 9am – 3pm

Webseite: spanjerenvantwist.nl

Shopping:

Wildschut

The antique store Wildschut already describes perfectly what you can find there with its own subtitle: Antiques & Oddities. If your heart beats a little faster over shibori-printed textiles, baroque chandeliers, model airplanes, or neo-classical furniture from Italy, get yourself over here and ask owner Michiel Wildschut about the origin of the objects – a trip into the past.

Wildschut
1e Looiersdwarsstraat 8b hs
1016 VM Amsterdam

Michiel : + 31 {0} 6 218 76724
Baukje : + 31 {0} 6 266 94381

Instagram: @wildschutantiques
Webseite: wildschut-antiques.com

Boutique Bloom Prints

You’ll find the prettiest pajamas, throws, towels, and silk jackets in the lovingly designed boutique Bloom Prints on Prinsengracht and it’s easy to spend hours in this rose-scented shop while getting the best advice.

Boutique Bloom Prints
Prinsengracht 272 
1016 HH Amsterdam

Webseite: blooprints.nl

If the weather’s good, a trip to the beach might be a consideration, or – if you trust your captaining capabilities – a boat tour through the canals. You can take in the city from a completely different angle from the water.

What captivated me the most – with the exception of the highlights already mentioned above – was the incredibly relaxed atmosphere that the city exudes – why I’ll certainly be coming back here again and, in the meantime, I warmly recommend it.

Keep calm and eat Bitterballen!

Find all the places here:

Images: FRANZISKA STEINLE (@OHFRANTASTIC) / SOPHIE HEIN {@BEINGELLIOTPENG)