Amsterdam is a lovely city, but we would say that, right? There is so much to see and do. In our shop in the Kerkstraat, you can buy truffles which should turn your city trip into a real city trip.
Where to go to after you've stocked up on truffles? Well, we as Amsterdam-trip connoisseurs know what to do. Drum roll, please! Here is our advice on where to trip, followed by a list of recommendations for the finest terraces in Amsterdam. Just to sit back, relax and recover from your city trip or city trip.
Let's get right to it: we discourage you from visiting a museum while tripping. You probably will think that a colourful bird figure from a huge painting by Karel Appel urgently needs to tell you something, while you try to avoid eye contact with the attendant and attempt to avoid a horde of families, guided tours and other slow walkers. One of the heaviest things during a trip is being in a situation where you can't change things yourself, like the presence of fluorescent light.
“The most dangerous thing in the city is an Amsterdammer on a two-wheeler who is in a hurry.”
Find your salvation outside! You could decide to stroll through the city centre, but pay attention to the locals on a bike. The most dangerous thing in the city is an Amsterdammer on a two-wheeler who is in a hurry (which they somehow always are.) More pleasant, both mentally and physically, is to trip in a green environment. Like the well-known, centrally located Vondelpark. But there you probably will find thirty other groups who came up with exactly the same idea as you, at exactly the same time and, besides, it’s always crowded.
Well, any other option? Below is a list of parks, forests and nature reserves that are totally worth a visit.
Citytripping: the parks of Amsterdam
Flevopark on the east side of the city borders on water (yay!) and is quite spacious. There are plenty of Amsterdammers who have never taken a step in this direction. You know the score from now on!
In Amsterdam East, you will also find park called Frankendael, which is slightly smaller but very idyllic. There is a variety of large, open lawns and historic gardens where you can smell all the flowers in the shade.
Then there is the Amsterdamse Bos which, as its name suggests, is more of a forest than a park. It is also Amsterdam's largest 'forest park', including some big ponds. There are also expansive fields alternating with a variety of hiking trails and sheltered places. The park is technically out of town but totally worth the bike ride!
The Rembrandtpark is located on the outskirts of the city and is just an excellent park! It does what it has to do, namely to be green and spacious.
The Erasmuspark is not very large but it is lovely: atmospheric and surrounded by water. This park is underrated, so take advantage of it.
Up north, also outside the city, you can find a huge nature reserve called 't Twiske. The cycling route takes you through rural Amsterdam and is an experience in itself. It features plenty of water and there is even a beach. Here you can take a refreshing dip and discover the surroundings by following numerous cycling and hiking trails.
And last but not least, in case you like something more adventurous, there is Ruigoord. Ruigoord is a village outside Amsterdam that was squatted by a group of artists in 1972. Since then, it has hosted innumerable workshops, cultural activities and festivals. Ruigoord is a special place with beautiful gardens, views on a gigantic harbour and a rare atmosphere of freedom and quirkiness that some say is slowly fading away from the city itself. Every now and then a party is thrown in the church from 1892 including a campfire. This is the place for a healthy dose of wonderment. From Sloterdijk station there is a direct bus connection but our suggestion is to take a bicycle with you on the train to Halfweg station and then ride from there to the village. You pass through a beautiful park where nightingales sing their most beautiful song. Fun fact: Hans Plomp and Gerben Hellinga, who were among the squatters, wrote Uit Je Bol: Gezond verstand bij het gebruik van bedwelmende middelen, a famous Dutch book on drug use that we sell!
“Even terraces, no matter how pleasant, can be overwhelming and turn something as simple as ordering a drink into an adventure…”
After city tripping: terraces
To be on the safe side we want to advise again, that you do not look up the hustle and bustle during your trip experience. Even terraces, no matter how pleasant, can be overwhelming and turn something as simple as ordering a drink into an adventure you would have preferred not to have experienced. If you are coming down or 'just' want to drink a beer, these are some Azarius-rated city spots that are perfect for this kind of activity. Some of them will be transformed into clubs for the late hours! Take advantage.
Roest is located in an old shed but also has a café outside and a real city beach. People often take a dive here. They organize festivals and during weekends there is always a party that gets out of hand.
Bar and restaurant Bret is next to Sloterdijk station and features a garden that is all about recycling and sustainable construction. They stock plenty of local beer and a hip party is thrown every now and then.
Noorderlicht has found a spot on the characteristic NDSM terrain and looks out over 't IJ. The restaurant menu is mainly vegetarian/vegan and is located in a real glasshouse with surrounding lawn. There are regular parties and festivals but it is especially nice to just sit and enjoy the great view.
On the list of eye-catching restaurants, the hip Skatecafé ranks pretty high. It has an indoor skating rink (!!!), different cooks everyday and parties from Thursday evening to Saturday evening.
De Ceuvel is a sustainable “breeding ground” in a former shipyard, also in North. Their café-restaurant is made entirely of recycled material and has a menu that is as sustainable as possible, including homemade lemonade and home-grown vegetables. They have their own pizza oven, porch swing and floating terrace. You can even take a swim!
Please note that in The Netherlands local ordinances probably do not allow for toking in most public spaces. Do you fancy a joint on a terrace? Ask the staff if it is allowed!