Although Amsterdam has always been in our European-cities-we-must-visit list, this time we got there by accident. I had a work meeting there on Friday, so as a last minute we decided that Dani could also travel with me and we would stay the weekend discovering the city as tourists.
I had the idea of a trendy city with lots of cafés, decoration designy-ish shops, canals, and… yep, lot of people & fast bikes, I was warned. It didn’t let down one bit, except that it was incredibly mesmerizing: I loved having the sight of a canal every other street, I loved to step a slim couple of streets of the main (and more touristy) road to wander all alone (not really, you know) surrounded by beautiful brick buildings, calmness, watching nice people’s smiles and pretty kitties in every window seal or shop window. A city of cat lovers I must love :)
Our first stop was Jordaan. We had read on some blogs and in our Lonely Planet mini guide that we couldn’t miss an apple tart from Winkel in the neighborhood, and that it was always very crowded. As this was Saturday we decided to have breakfast at Winkel and start our Jordaan tour from there, which is quite on the north of that zone. We arrived before 10:00 am to find the place almost empty: lucky us! On Saturdays, when the nearby grocery market takes place, we were told that the menu is reduced to a couple of dishes due to the big demand of appletaart. I like apple pies, but I am not that big fan, so believe when I say that this was delicious, with a strong cinnamon taste, a well-cooked apple and not too sweet aftertaste.
After breakfast we pretended to be an Amsterdam local (well, the camera was not helping as a camouflage) by visiting the food market. I love to have the chance to see the local street markets, how they display all the veggies and to see how vendors and locals interact. This time it was a feast to see the cheeses stall and we learned you say kaas in Dutch, this would be useful for our last day; we could not leave the city without buying some gouda. The market also has some vintage clothes and furniture stalls, so I think although not that big it is complete and very fun to visit.
All our morning was spent on Westergasfabriek, but that will be the following post story, so we skip to lunch time. Yasmine from Sugar&Dinosaurs had written in her Amsterdam posts about The Pancake bakery and as big crepe fans we had to taste that Amsterdam’s variety. We liked it!, the pancake is like an in-between of the american ones with crepes. The place was very crowded, mostly tourists, but their service was fast and the food was good, so thumbs up. During the afternoon we just wandered around and made sure to stop by the 9 streets (De 9 Straatjes) because we have read in Louise’s lovely blog 00:23 that this was a place she visited sometimes with friends. We bought a bag of easter chocolate eggs for my mom as souvenir at Pompadour, a fancy and mouth-watering chocolaterie.
We ended that day on the central part, paying our visit to the red light district (is it something you must at least see for a second?) and yes, it was kinda creepy, I was not expecting so tiny windows, and the bachelor parties atmosphere was yelling this was not our thing :) Nevertheless the visit was worthy because it lead us to Bird, a delicious Thai restaurant that we recommend! The queues here are long, but the place is big which means shorter times to wait, and definitely the food and ambiance pays off. We loved the Beef Panang Nua at Bird, oh! and they serve a big bowl of rice for every main menu, you won’t end hungry.
Have you ever been to Amsterdam? Which was your first impression? Come with us in our first walk around the city! And stay tuned for the following chapter.
** This post is part of our Amsterdam series **
Hallo Mooie Amsterdam! Can’t think of a better way to start a day in the city than this view of a canal with pretty pink trees.
The entrance of this boat house looked promising. Although we saw several entrances and terraces it still remains a mistery how this houses look inside. We should have dared to ask for a little peek, shouldn’t we?
If you stay close to the city center you can go almost everywhere with a reasonable walk distance, but we took the tram card for 48h which is quite affordable, 12€
Winkel has a pretty wood beams ceiling.
You can see in our sneak peek the final result of my phone pic ;) and apparently I need my pinky up to take a picture.
Yumm! The big chunks of apple!
Aww, love pretty smiles! The three vendors from the cheese stall worked non-stop.
I liked the display of herbs with tin bowls in this stall.
The house boat on Dani’s back even had a bbq on the terrace.
I found this heart necklace on sale for 6 € I had to get a J for Juno ;)
Bakkerswinkle is divided in two floors and three rooms, we stayed on the smaller one of the second floor, which was lovely to have a view of all the place.
We ate two scones with clotted cream and homemade jam and two brioche. This is the “aftermatch” look of the table :)
The fresh mint tea with honey!
And to end this post the last view we had before going to sleep, this was the bridge on the street next to our hotel, not bad..at all! Hope you like this first walkaround in Amsterdam, more to come soon!