When friends ask what are my favorite cities to visit for a short, easy-to-get-to weekend, Amsterdam ranks pretty high. I am also having a mini love affair with German cities for the moment but that is for another post.
Amsterdam is everything you’d like a city to be. Vibrant and young. Classic and artsy. Inspiring and fresh. Traditional and old. Every time we go to Amsterdam I discover another face of this Dutch city. And every time I fall in a love a bit more with Amsterdam. This time was no different.
More or less last minute (which really makes for the best city trips. ever!), we decided to spend a long weekend in Amsterdam. To keep it simple, we booked our train tickets and started to look for a place to stay. Due to its popularity with … everyone really, Amsterdam however tends to be quite expensive. Which is why, in the same last minute spirit, we also decided to give airbnb a try.
Although we travel a lot, and city trips are a pretty regular destination, we never tried airbnb. Friends did and recommended it. Strangers did and recommended it. Yet we were a little slow to get on the person-to-person rental wagon. I love the idea of airbnb and after getting over the initial non-voiced concerns – really? we are going to stay in someones ‘private’ apartment who we never met? what if it is all a scam? or worse, what if the owners turn out to be really weird and it all turns into a disaster abroad? … etc … we started searching for a place in Amsterdam. The choice of airbnb stays is great and some emailing later, we decided on a a cozy little apartment in the east of Amsterdam. As fate would have it our first airbnb experience was this owners too!
With our airbnb flat booked all we had to do was to ask the Twitter world (= food bloggers in Amsterdam) which places are hot right now and we set off.
(Talking of airbnb – anyone else tried it and do you have any recommendations of places to stay in … say … Berlin?)
Amsterdam didn’t disappoint. We had both the sunniest and the rainiest of days. Which helped us divide our time between biking around the 17th century canals, sipping koffie verkeerd, trying out some great food and whilst raining, visiting at leisure the Stedelijk and Van Gogh museums. All this, whilst returning to a truly Dutch young home, our own home away from home. Which in return allowed us to discover a whole new neighborhood in Amsterdam we didn’t know, yet is the location of the great ‘t Ij Brewery .
Our Amsterdam tips this time around:
- our stay at Maarten’s Place through airbnb
- dinner at Spar90
- lunch at Boca’s
- drinks at Bar Finch – Noordermarkt 5 H
- drinks at Baut
- dinner at Ron Gastrobar
- more drinks at ‘t Ij
They say a picture speaks a 1000 words. Late lunch and wine at Boca’s … how could you not go?!
Any more Amsterdam tips? Please share them in the comments. After all it is only a train ride away …