Hi, everyone! My friends and I just got back from traveling to Amsterdam and Venice for a mini-week long Europe trip. I’ve only been to one other European country, but Amsterdam in the Netherlands has become one of my favorite cities. The people are kind, the food is diverse, and the transportation is super convenient. Here are my favorite stops, both food and sightseeing, in Amsterdam:
1.) Moco Museum
Honthorststraat 20, 1071 Amsterdam, Netherlands
I wanted to visit Moco Museum for the two current exhibitions: Banksy and Roy Lichtenstein. Banksy is one of my favorite graffiti artists of all time. His work, Balloon Girl, has been a top inspiration for me and my #betweenballoon photos. I loved exploring his beautiful pieces on show at Moco. Another great exhibit featured Roy Lichtenstein’s famous pop art. Before you leave, you can take a photo with an actual pop art room as pictured below! Overall, the museum is small and cozy and, in my opinion, more interesting than the Rijksmuseum (which is great in its own).
Tip: Student discount! Also you can buy your ticket online to save some time.
2.) MOOK Pancakes
De Clercqstraat 34, 1052 MZ Amsterdam, Netherlands
Mook Pancakes was one of our first brunch stops on our trip. It was a fun experience and the space here is gorgeous. If available, sit in their back room as it’s decorated so cute with plants and open lighting. We got the Blue Magic Deluxe, The Pink Lady, Avocado Mix starter, and a few juices! The presentation is on point here and everything was good! A solid brunch place before you start on your adventures for the day.
Tip: Get the avocado mix starter to get a taste of each of their unique avocado combinations.
3.) Litedark Utrechtsestraat
Utrechtsestraat 22, 1017 VN Amsterdam, Netherlands
Litedark is a great cafe to stop by for an afternoon power snack. We had just finished walking around Amsterdam and were in need of some sustenance. There’s only a few tables inside but afternoons seem to be a bit slower so I would recommend going around then. We ordered some paninis, tropical bowls, and juices! The juices are super good but they come room temperature. I would ask for a little ice if you like your juice cold! We got #detoxisbullshit, pink elephant, and beet this shit. Fun names, right? And you have to love those bottles!
Tip: View the menu on the iPad and order at the counter when you’re ready.
4.) Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam
Plantage Middenlaan 2a, 1018 DD Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hortus Botanicus is a more low key sightseeing spot and it’s pretty extraordinary. It’s huge and easy to get lost in. All the rooms are gorgeous and one of my favorites was the cacti room with a pink wall. You must go here for the butterfly room. There are dozens of butterflies that fly around and some even land on you! It’s a magical experience and I think the price is worth just for that room. I saw some people doing a painting/drawing class too so that would be fun for people who have more time in Amsterdam!
Tip: They have a cafe here where you can also use the bathroom! The cafe is decorated lovely and we wish we had time to try it.
5.) Van Stapele Koekmakerij
Heisteeg 4, 1012 WC Amsterdam, Netherlands
If there is one stop you can make, go get these cookies from Van Stapele Koekmakerij. They are seriously like crack (don’t worry, there isn’t any actual crack inside or any hard drugs). They are warm dark chocolate cookies with white chocolate inside. They are very addicting so be warned! The line can be out the door at certain times of the day but it’s always worth the wait. Just be patient and know the workers are doing their best. The decor inside is so cute and the shop itself is in a super cozy alley.
Tip: If the cookies don’t fill you up, check out the french fry shop across the way and the cheese market around the corner (get the truffle cheese and try the beer cheese!)
6.) Restaurant Blauw
Amstelveenseweg 158-160, 1075 XN Amsterdam, Netherlands
Did you know that Indonesia was once a Dutch colony? I didn’t either until we got a tip from a local who said we had to try Indonesian food in the Netherlands. Restaurant Blauw was on our list and we tried to go for dinner without a reservation and they were all full for the night. They kindly made us a reservation for the next night when they first open. It was pretty empty when they first opened so there might be no need for one if you show up early. As you can tell in the picture above, there is a huge variety of dishes here! I would recommend one of the preset menus as you can get a taste of everything.
Tip: There was 6 of us so we did have seafood preset and half meat preset and shared everything.
7.) Pluk Amsterdam
Reestraat 19, 1016 DM Amsterdam, Netherlands
Pluk Amsterdam is such a cute cafe! You must stop by if you’re in the area. They serve drinks, food, and baked goods and they even sell knick knacks. We got the adorable unicorn bowl, acai bowl, and poke avocado toast for food. They have smoothies and coffee drinks to help you get some energy for your day ahead. You order downstairs at the counter and then their seating is upstairs. It can get kind of tight upstairs but it’s a fun experience.
Tip: Ree7 is also a cute cafe that’s on the same street if Pluk is busy inside. We didn’t get a chance to try Ree7 but it looks just as nice.
Bilderdijkstraat 165F, 1053 KP Amsterdam, Netherlands
When I first found Wildernis exploring on Instagram, I fell in love! I’m a huge plant shop/cacti shop lover and this one is decked out with plants everywhere! Unfortunately, we weren’t able to buy much since it’s hard to travel with plants internationally but it was great to look around. They have workshops too! If I lived in Amsterdam, this store would be empty by now.
Tips: A short 5-10 minute walk from Mook Pancakes!
9.) CT Coffee and Coconuts
Ceintuurbaan 282-284, 1072 GK Amsterdam, Netherlands
CT Coffee and Coconuts was our favorite brunch spot on the trip! I know we went to many cafes, but this one stands out as it’s HUGE! It has three stories and is basically a converted theater into a cafe. The decor is such aesthetics with cute beach-shack vibes. We sat on the third floor upstairs and sat on beanbag sofas! The breakfast menu is delicious. My favorite dishes were the coconut pancakes and the carbonara. Get both! I want to go back to try their lunch.
Tip: The workers will seat you so let them know where you want to sit!
10.) The Pantry
Leidsekruisstraat 21, 1017 RE Amsterdam, Netherlands
We only had a short amount of time in Amsterdam and we had to try a lot of local dishes. Going to the Pantry was the best decision because their menu features a lot of Dutch food we were trying to get like the salted herring, hutspot, and poffertjes. It’s a cozy spot for sure (every place is small in Europe it seems) so reservations are highly recommended. We were able to call a few hours before and make a reservation for 6.
Tip: Super catered to tourists: workers speak English, menu is in English. Food seems legit!