Dozens of iconic cheese and street food!
The Venice of the North and the capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is a beautiful city filled with quirky architecture and canals. Heineken, Canals and Red Light District are the three things that strike our mind on the mention of Amsterdam. But there is a lot more to Amsterdam than this triangle of attraction. Amsterdam makes for the perfect weekend getaway with friends and/ or family.
Whether it’s your first time to the Dutch capital or it’s your hundredth time, whether you are visiting for an amazing stag do in Amsterdam, or you’re travelling solo, here are some tips for visiting Amsterdam on a budget. Let’s get off the old beaten track and discover Amsterdam like never before.
What & Where to Eat
You can’t visit Amsterdam and not sample the world-famous Dutch cuisine and speciality foods. Dozens of iconic cheese – Edam, Gouda, Leerdammer and many more, all originate in the Netherlands. Also, make sure to try some of the famous street food available in the city.
While at the market, do not miss the opportunity to try warm stroopwafels. They are thin and crisp waffles dipped in chocolate with colourful candy toppings. These waffles are made by pressing two round wafer-thin crisp waffles between a layer of caramel syrup creating a gooey dessert.
At Van Wonderen Stroopwafels, you will get the opportunity to choose between several toppings, and you will get to design your deluxe stroopwafel by adding additional layers of candy, marshmallow and chocolate. Stroopwafels are available at a lot of bakeries, cafes and stores throughout Amsterdam. So you can go to the supermarket for souvenirs to take back home with you.
Who does not like free cheese? The Cheese Shops in Amsterdam offer a superb taste of Dutch life. A lot of these shops offer abundant free samples of cheese to nibble on.
Amsterdam Cheese Museum is a touristy ploy. The main floor of the museum forms the cheese shop while the basement contains a museum with the world’s most expensive cheese slicer and a handful of exhibits.
Amsterdam serves the best fries in the world. Vlaamse Frites are the Belgian style fries stacked in a cone and smothered in sauce. You can pick from a lot of options available – mayo, curry, Hawaiian, even pickle sauce. You’ll see a lot of windows selling Frites throughout the city.
Vleminckx Sausmeesters is a famous tiny hole-in-the-wall shop that serves the best fries in Amsterdam.
One thing in particular that is available on almost every street corner in Amsterdam is a Dutch speciality, Herring. The salty fish speciality is one of the signature foods of the Netherlands. You can eat it on bread, in a sandwich, however, you like it. Throughout the city, in the market and near the canals, you will see vendors selling fresh Herring.
Stubbe’s Haring is the most famous herring spot in Amsterdam.
The Italian Incanto is a high-end Italian restaurant that offers a unique view. This charming restaurant facing the Amstel River is a must visit for people who love Italian wine. The gnocchi served with lobster and wild duck breasts with mustard fruit are the chef’s favourite dishes.
A short walk from the Leidseplein area is a low-end dive restaurant, De Koe. It is a fantastic Dutch restaurant, that is tiny and quaint. They serve beers and seafood at a very affordable price. So, if you want to eat fancy and still save some money, this is the perfect place for you!
Where to Drink
When in Amsterdam, there is nothing better than sipping a drink sitting in a cosy cafe, letting the beautiful city take a toll on you.
When we think about Dutch drinks, the first thing that comes to the mind is beer, perhaps Amstel or Heineken. The Heineken Experience is Amsterdam’s one of the most famous attractions and serves the finest beer. It is a very touristy but still a delightful tour of their original brewery (sine 1864) in the city centre. The Heineken Experience includes a Heineken tasting session, an engaging self-guided walk through the factory, fun information about the history of the company and much more! As you walk through their old building, you’ll be able to see the old gigantic copper tanks used to brew the original Heineken beer. You will also be able to draft your own beer in the Museum Bar. And If you are looking for stag do activities in Heineken Experience, they have a long list of them.
TIP: Get your pass or attend one of their later tours to enjoy some time in their bar sipping free pints.
The Rooftop Bar
The DoubleTree hotel located near the Centraal Station has an amazing rooftop bar – Skylounge. It is a twenty-minute short train ride from the airport followed by a short walk from the station. Skylounge serves the best beers and cocktails in the city. It also serves everything from small bites to full meal.
You can conveniently get around on foot, or by trams which stop just a few steps away at the station. You can also rent a bike from the hotel.
Within walking distance to many of Amsterdam’s famous sights, the hotel has an exceptional view at sunset and at night.
‘T Nieuwe Diep is a small distillery located in an old pumping station on the water near the entrance to the Flevopark. It is a ten-minute walk from the tram stop. The distillery is famous for its jenevers (Dutch gin) and likeurs. The rural setting and the quaint architecture is enchanting, and it feels like you have escaped to a magical countryside retreat. This jenever paradise only opens a few hours every day.
‘T Nieuwe Diep is a truly unique local experience that need not be missed.