Amsterdam – the city with many canals, coffee shops and bicycles.
I’m curious, why have they named them coffee shops. The main reason to go there are not for a home-brewed espresso. No it’s more likely because you can, “kind of” legally buy weed, hash, and marijuana there. The government is slowly changing the law and they are not allowed to have coffee shops close to school anymore. But hey, Amsterdam is much more than coffee shops.
A Peking duck saved the evening
We have been in Amsterdam many times and as usual we where really looking forward to visit our favourite Teppanyaki restaurant. We took a short walk from our hotel but as soon as we came by the restaurant we went worried. We saw signs about Sushi and “eat as much you can”, that weren’t right. We went inside and asked the waitress and indeed, it wasn’t a Teppanyaki restaurant anymore, duh. Slightly disappointed, we walked back in the same direction as we came from and remembered that there where another old-time favourite restaurant on the way back. Not a Teppanyaki, but a Chinese restaurants – “Sichuan Food” that actually is the first Chinese restaurant in Europe to get a star in Guide Michelin. Anyway, we went in and talked to the owner and asked if it was possible to get a Peking duck, even if we hadn’t made a reservation in advance. He said something in mixed languishes that we didn’t understand and then he pulled out a chair, so we assumed that it was ok then.
Even if we where disappointed that the Teppanyaki restaurant wasn’t there anymore, the Peking duck really made that evening.
To top Chinese Peking Duck we decided to go for a real Italian Espresso with a Grappa. On the same street as the Chines restaurant just 5 minutes walks towards Rembrandtplein you will find Ristorante d’Antica. An Italian restaurant where I assume the whole crew are native Italians. I have only heard great reviews about this restaurant and if the food is as good as their Espresso and Grappa, they will have a star in my book as well. Ristorante d’Antica is in my bucket list for next visit in Amsterdam.
If you are in the district of the restaurant we mention above you are only a minutes walk to Bloemenmarkt, the worlds only floating flower market. Among other things, You can even buy wooden as well as inflatable clogs over there.
Whiskey aged with pride
If you are in Amsterdam and are up for some really good whiskeys, then you need to visit whiskey Café L&B.
I have been there a couple of times and they are increasing the whiskey menu every time. On my last visit they had over 1800 different whiskeys! I’m quite curious to know how that even can be possible! They even have their own bottling’s called 1001ste, 1101ste, 1201ste, 1301ste 1401ste which all are available in the café and they are made up on Caol Ila, Bunnahabhain, Laphroaig, Glendronach and Clynelish.
Earlier they had all whiskey´s written on the wall, like a huge menu. You could walk around in the bar and find about everything you can expect and obviously much more. Few years ago the café went trough a restoration and it lost a bit of its soul in my opinion, but the whiskeys are still there which is the reason for the visit. You can easily lose a few hours just by talking to the guys in the bar about the whiskey they are selling and you would probably find a few new favourites on the way.
Time a for a beer or two
There are a few places you shouldn’t miss when visiting Amsterdam. One of them is Rembrandtplein. It’s a square with a lot of restaurants, sports bar’s and coffee shops. So if you have no clues whatsoever where to start en evening, this is the place to go. Many people are also ending their night there as well.
Fun fact: In 2006 they installed a huge LCD screen at the square, at the time of installation it was the largest in Europe (114 m2). The LCD wall is mainly for advertising but people who are passing by can upload videos from their blue tooth enabled smart phones.
Another nice square is Nieuwmarkt with a lot of restaurants and coffee shops. Nieuwmarkt belongs to Amsterdam´s China Town and are also close to “De Wallen” or as some other knows it – “Red Light District”. Red Light District has gone trough a major clean-up lately and isn’t really that bad as it was for a couple of years ago.
More attractions in Amsterdam
Addresses & Google maps
Muséums, Monuments & other attractions
Rijksmuseum – Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam
Van Gogh museum – Paulus Potterstraat 7, Amsterdam
Rembrandt House Museum – Jodenbreestraat 4, 1011 NK Amsterdam
Anne Frank-house – Prinsengracht 263-267, 1016 GV Amsterdam, Nederländerna
Café & Restaurants
*how to use the Google map links