Blot out jet lag
Before you can start exploring Amsterdam’s winding canals, countless museums and cannabis cafés (not necessarily in that order), drop off your bags and check in via tablet at the newly opened INK Hotel. As the former headquarters of De Tijd newspaper, the building has rich history that’s been incorporated into every aspect of this chic boutique hotel. Each room features a unique chalkboard mural whimsically depicting the city’s various neighborhoods, along with a bed so comfy that it will lull you to sleep in no time.
Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 67, 1012 RE, Amsterdam, +31 20 721 9178
A royal presence
End a day of travel with a visit to The Duchess, a glamorous resto-lounge that opened last week to much fanfare. Housed in a former bank with soaring ceilings, this luxurious space is decked out with gold ornaments and other touches of Viennese grandeur. But the pièce de résistance is the majestic marble bar, which begs you to pull up a stool and stay a while. Which you will, as choosing among the punches, shrubs, tonics, cordials, digestifs and other inventive cocktails could take a while. Then again, you do have all night.
Spuistraat 172, 1012 VT, Amsterdam, +31 20 811 3322
The early bird gets the pancake
Rise and shine! Fuel up for your busy day ahead with a breakfast of Dutch pannekoeken, a crepe-like pancake that trumps the American flapjack. There’s no better place to try this most quintessential Dutch food than at De Pannekoekkelder (literally translated: The Pancake Maker). Tucked out of the way just off the busy shopping thoroughfare of the Kalverstraat, this gem serves the best pannekoeken in the city. For a surprising sweet-and-savory flavor combo, order the apple and cheese pannekoeken, then top it with the requisite icing sugar and syrup found on every table. A delicious way to start the day.
Sint Luciënsteeg 9-11, 1012 PM, Amsterdam, +31 20 622 6411
The heart of the city
Located smack dab in the middle of Amsterdam is Vondelpark, and a stroll through its lush grounds offers a glimpse of daily life in the city. Grab a seat at one of the numerous cafés scattered throughout the park and enjoy the prime people watching, or pretend you’re a local and hop on a bike (available for rent near the entrance) for a spin through the winding pathways, around the peaceful ponds and gardens.
1071 AA, Amsterdam
Shop till you drop
Located on the Damrak close to Amsterdam Central Station, Drake’s is an uber-trendy boutique stocked with a well-curated selection of luxury goods you didn’t even know you needed. It’s the only shop in the city where you can scoop up champagne coolers, the world’s first marble iPhone case and 3-D printed sweatshirts with the meme du jour all in one place. Alongside the clothing, fragrances, lingerie and tech gadgets, we spotted some of the most absurd — yet eye-catching — home accessories we’ve ever laid eyes on, including glass LED skull lamps and a coffee mug with a pistol for a handle. No doubt, Drake’s has something for every taste.
Damrak 61, 1012 LM, Amsterdam, +31 20 627 9544
Warung Mini Van Wou
A meal to remember
As the Dutch were prolific explorers, food from its former colonies can be found all over Amsterdam, including Surinamese cuisine. The food from this South American country combines influences from Indian, Chinese, West African, Dutch, Indonesian, Portuguese and Jewish cooking, so you can expect complex flavors unlike anything you’ve experienced before. Make a beeline for Warung Mini Van Wou and you’ll be rewarded with some top-notch homestyle cooking. Opt for an order of telo, a dish of fried cassava topped with shredded salt cod and a fruity pepper salsa, along with a broodje stuffed with egg curry. Embrace the unfamiliar. We guarantee it’ll be worth it.
Van Woustraat 19, 1074 AA, Amsterdam, +31 20 662 5515
For your last day in Amsterdam, an excursion to the picturesque community of Zaanse Schans is on the itinerary. Less than an hour outside the city, this working village harkens back to life in 17th-century Holland. It’s essentially an open-air museum showcasing a traditional Dutch way of life, complete with functioning windmills and a historic distillery. Watch the clog makers carving in the wooden shoe workshop, sample distinctive varieties of Gouda at De Catharina Hoeve cheese factory and swing by the bakery museum to grab some sweets for later.
Schansend 7, 1509 AW, Zaandam, +31 75 681 0000
Sip on this
Before you say doei to Amsterdam, pop into the Pressroom inside INK Hotel for a relaxing final cocktail. We’re partial to the Gin Mare, served with Indian tonic, mango peel and a touch of black pepper. But perhaps the most fitting farewell drink is the Zuidam, made with Dutch Courage dry gin — one last touch of the Dutch before you say good-bye. Until next time!
Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 67, 1012 RE, Amsterdam, +31 20 555 1727