One of Europe’s more eclectic capital cities, Amsterdam offers an abundance of history, art, architecture and culture along with a heady mix of cosmopolitan dining and exotic nightlife. Here we explore some of the city’s seemingly endless possibilities.
Where to eat
Restaurant DS – De School
Situated in hip Amsterdam-West and better known as a nightclub, De School is also home to one of the coolest fine-dining restaurants in this fast-emerging part of the city. Located in a converted technical school, it serves a varied three-, five-, or seven-course dinner menu that changes daily and a drinks list heavy on local beer and wine.
The White Room
The White Room is one of Amsterdam’s longest-running restaurants and a mainstay of the city’s fine-dining scene. Featuring a gold-and-white dining room designed to evoke an Austrian palace, it’s little surprise that the French haute cuisine on the nine-course menu at this Dam Square icon remains popular with well-heeled locals and tourists.
Where to shop
The 9 Streets
Known locally as De 9 Straatjes, this network of narrow streets is where many of Amsterdam’s young and hip artists, designers and fashion brands are based. Situated alongside the Leidsestraat district are stores such as Scotch & Soda, King Louie and Pure Brands. For high-end shopping, head over to P.C. Hooftstraat for big international names like Chanel, Louis Vuittonand Ralph Lauren.
Where to stay
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam
For opulence, beauty and five-star luxury, the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam is one of the city’s standout hotels. Immaculately presented with décor that pays tribute to the hotel’s history dating back to the 1700s, the 93-room hotel has sweeping views across the city’s grandest canal, the Herengracht, and is also home to Amsterdam’s largest private garden. Nestled in the UNESCO heritage enclave, foodies are particularly well catered for thanks to the hotel’s two-Michelin star restaurant Spectrum, and brasserie Goldfinch.
Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam
Located directly across from Amsterdam’s bustling Central Station, the recently renovated Park Plaza Victoria provides luxury and business travellers with convenient access to major tourist attractions, shopping destinations and business precincts. First opened in 1890, the sprawling hotel is a neat starting point for easy strolls to highlights like the World Fashion Centre, RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre, Zuidas business district, or the notorious De Wallen red light precinct.
See & drink
Billing itself as a tropical cafe inspired by Paramaribo, the capital of Suriname, Waterkant is an unusual drinking establishment popular with the city’s young and trendy set. Oddly tucked away at the bottom of a multi-storey car park, the buzzy venue sits right on Singelgracht canal and serves a selection of Surinamese share plates along with its staple beer, wine and cocktails.
In a city known for its galleries and museums, the Rijksmuseum is a must-see. The museum, which is dedicated to the arts and history of Amsterdam, houses more than one million artworks and is the city’s grandest and most popular museums. Located at Museum Square, it contains iconic works of artists such as Van Gogh, Rembrandt and other Dutch masters such as Johannes Vermeer, Hieronymus Bosch and Frans Hals.