By Megan Frei
We are all familiar with the reputation Amsterdam wields as a European party mecca, but it’s also an ideal city for a leisurely weekend away. Roughly an hour away by plane, Amsterdam is an accessible option for a three-day (or two-day) weekend. Behind every corner lurk cafes and markets; it’s hard to go wrong. However, if you need somewhere to start, here are a few weekend-worthy hotspots in Amsterdam.
Recently renovated, the A’DAM building has both a basement night club, Shelter, and a 20th floor nightclub, MA’DAM, which offers free entry after 9:30 pm. You can sip your cocktail with a view from the confines of MA’DAM nightclub or enjoy Europe’s tallest swing on A’DAM’s observation deck, Over the Edge. At 100 metres high, you’ll have a unique, and terrifying, view of all the sights Amsterdam has to offer.
Foodhallen, formerly a tram station, is a must-visit destination in Oud-West. Only a short walk from Vondelpark, you can select from a variety of cuisines, such as sushi, falafels, tacos, and waffles, before you head out for an afternoon stroll (or nap) in the park. Foodhallen offers over thirty different food stalls which cater to specialty diets, making it an excellent choice if you’re traveling in a group. P.S., the food hall is dog friendly, so don’t be surprised to see patrons feasting with their pooches in tow.
The Netherlands’ most famous park, also Amsterdam’s largest city park, is a must-do. Although you really can’t go wrong with any of the city’s idyllic parks, if, like me, you’re visiting Amsterdam for the first time, Vondelpark is worth a look. If Vondelpark is old news for you, then try Westerpark or Rembrandtpark.
Koffie and Koech
At Koffie and Koech, an all-vegan café, you can order all the oat milk cappuccinos Amsterdam has to offer. With fresh vegan croissants and scones, this unassuming café, situated west of central Amsterdam, is a relaxing way to see some of the city’s quieter neighbourhoods. Roughly a twenty–minute walk from the city centre, you can confidently ditch the crowds knowing there’s a plethora of homemade pastries waiting for you on arrival.
Dutch cuisine is notorious for indulgent (and delicious) pancakes and waffles, but if you’re craving a different start to your morning, swing by Vegabond and fuel up for the day with an acai bowl to help you power through to dinnertime. If you balk at acai bowls, swing by Vegabond and pick up some other wholesome options on a day when you’re in a rush. This restaurant has a casual deli complete with sausage rolls and sandwiches for all your grab-n-go lunchtime needs.
Rent a Bike
Join the locals and rent a bike. You probably will come close to crashing on more than one occasion, but biking is the easiest way to see the most of the city during a short weekend. It’s your trip, spend it seeing the sights that excite you! Rent a bike and visit the Albert Cuyp Market, Museumplein, Hortus Botanicus, the Jordaan, and anywhere else your legs will take you in the span of a weekend!
Beer at ANY BAR on the Canal Belt
Equally beautiful in winter and summer, Amsterdam’s historic canals are a stress-free way to take in the city without having to battle hordes of tourists. If sitting and drinking beer, or coffee, is your preferred mode of getting acquainted with a city, then take a seat at one of the city’s many, many canal-side bars or bistros and enjoy the view.
Whether you prefer lounging or spinning, one can spend a weekend in Amsterdam strolling the city with no particular destination in mind. Amsterdam has so much to offer that one visit will likely have you hooked. If you’ve previously visited in the summer, the winter months offer a beautiful and cosy backdrop for the perfect weekend getaway!