Amsterdam

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The first time I visited Amsterdam was with my family on a little Euro Trip during our stay in Poland. We stayed for about three or four hours and only to see the Van Gogh Museum and off we went to Groningen. I have to say that it did not leave an impression on me – Groningen I loved – there was an amazing weekend Farmers Market at which I purchased a lot of cheese at.

The second time was with my boyfriend. We also had a little eurotrip, which lead us from Paris to Brugge to Amsterdam and back to Paris. We had taken a car for our trip in hopes of driving down the autobahn – the next time we visit and if you are planning on doing on a eurotrip it is best to take a train – though a car does still have its benefits.

We arrived in Amsterdam in the early evening of mid March. We stayed at the Hilton for the first three days and moved to Hotel Vondel for an extra night – we really enjoyed our time in Amsterdam. I wanted to share with you all the places we enjoyed the most!

Bagels and Beans 

We do love to try new things, however when something is just so good there is nothing we could do but come back – three days in a row! We came into it hungry and slightly cold as it was March. The environment was warm, homey and tranquil – it was very welcoming!

My partner ordered a latte and I ordered a fresh mint tea. It was warm, strong and delicious. It took us a moment to look over the menu there were so many delicious things.  I settled on the Prosciutto sourdough bagel and he on a Sundried Tomato bagel with Smoked Salmon {with capers, red onions and lettuce}. It was amazingly delicious. 

The Bagels and Beans have Nine (9) bagels to choose from – which includes a gluten-free white bagel. They also have a wonderful assortment of Cream Cheese, which even includes a Vegan Cream Cheese with Red Bell Peppers. I personally enjoyed the Organic Plain Cream Cheese and my partner the Pesto and Sundried Tomato. 

Van Baerlestraat 40, 1071 AZ Amsterdam, Netherlands

On our second breakfast adventure here we enjoyed delicious hot chocolates ‘Chocomelt’. They have two one milk and one dark – we enjoyed both with whipped cream! They were absolutely delicious.

We both enjoyed the sustainable wild salmon that day and added a Power Bowl to our breakfast. It contained Organic Yogurt and superfoods; such as hemp hearts, goji berries, honey. It also included bananas and berries. 

I do believe that through the course of the year they switch up their menu a bit. We were in Amsterdam in March 2017 and looking over the menu in December 2017 there are now new items and old ones have disappeared – such as the Prosciutto, Parmigiano Reggiano and Arugula Bagel. 

I strongly recommend this place during your visit to Amsterdam, the prices are very reasonable and the portions will fill you up for a long day of walking. There are several of them so you can find one close to where you’re staying. This one is close to the Van Gogh Museum and Vondelpark.

Prosciutto, Parmigiano Reggiano and Arugula Bagel

 

Noorder Amstelkanal outside Amsterdam Hilton

Hilton Amsterdam

We began our trip at the Hilton. We had a wonderful room overlooking the Noorder Amstelkanaal, though it was mostly cloudy during our stay the rain and the fog was quite magical as it feel overtop the picturesque townhouses and homes. The room was wonderful, clean, cozy and the friendly staff were great.

 

We didn’t spend a great deal of time at the hotel as there was so much to be seen, however if you do happen to be there I do suggest that you visit the Half Moon Lounge. It overlooks the Hilton’s Marina and has a charming nautical feel to it.  We stopped by for an evening drink and snack. We choose the A’dam Snacks which were amazingly delicious and consisted of Ossenworst, Old Amsterdam cheese, Liverwurst, beef sausage, mustard and piccalilli. A wonderful and warm combination that we shared over Negronis.

One night we also ordered wonderful room service Hot Chocolate, rich and creamy served with cookies. On a cold night in March there is nothing s warm and comforting as a hot chocolate. 

Apollolaan 138, 1077 BG Amsterdam, Netherlands
A view from our window during the night time

Our stay at the Hilton was incredibly comfortable. Though it is a little away from the center and heart of Amsterdam the walk there and back was enchanting, the architecture is one of a kind and walking over so many canals is fantastic – moreover it brought on an appetite. The center in Amsterdam is quite the bustle, the large crowds that seem to swarm to and throw can feel rather uncomfortably crowded. The Hilton is so nicely positioned. The walk is not too far and it is quite, relaxing and tranquil. You will be able to enjoy your vacation to the fullest here. 

Hotel Vondel 

Situated in 18th century townhouse the Hotel Vondel is simply charming. As we had decided to stay an extra day we chose a hotel that was a little closer to the center so we could see as much as possible before we moved on to Paris. 

We stayed in the double small room with a lovely view of the street – street views are fantastic in Amsterdam. The staff were incredibly welcoming and the room was cheerful, comfortable and clean – there was also free wifi! The Hotel does contain two restaurants. 

Vondelstraat 18-26, 1054 GD Amsterdam, Netherlands

The hotel is fantastically situated, close to Vondelpark, the Van Gogh and Rijks Museums and if you are in need of a grocery store it is super close to Marqt Overtoom. You have city transportation close by as well, but truly when in Amsterdam you may as well just take a bike or walk. The Hotel offers bike rentals as well, just speak with the concierge. 

In addition it is super close to the Bagels and Beans, you can take a stroll through Vondelpark before you head over for an early morning bite and set your sights on the museums. 

Vondelpark

We spent a great deal of time in this beautiful park. Even with the cool March weather it was so pleasant to stroll through this park. After our later brunch we went to have a seat by one of the many ponds and enjoyed the coming of spring. Vondelpark is a 19th century park, constructed over muddy marshes that causes it to perpetually sink into the many ponds and rivers (every 30 years it is reconstructed to prevent the park from flooding).

Covering an area of approximately 120 acres it includes, several playgrounds, ponds, open air theaters and several restaurants. It is located to the south of Leidseplein and near both the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. Take an hour or more and go for a stroll. Grab yourself a tea or coffee, throw a cookie in your pocket and enjoy yourself. 

The trails overlooking the homes on Koningslaan Road were one of my favorite places to walk. The houses many built in the early 20th century are beautiful, with enormous windows overlooking wonderful gardens and the rivers, streams and ponds of the Vondelpark. 

You can enter the Park off of Van Baerlestraat (from Vossiusstraat or Roemer Visscherstraat) or off of Overtoom Street (from Gerard Brandstraat, Vondelstraat or Schoolstraat) .

The Pantry 

Though you can get here by bus, taxi or car you will need to walk to get to the door (you can always take a bike there too). It is a small cozy space, in a 19th century building with such an eclectic traditional dutch charm. 

Pea soup is a traditional Dutch dish and at The Pantry they do such a wonderful job of making it. It is served with rye bread, smoked bacon and is beyond delicious. On a cold March evening, it hits the spot, warms you up and fills you up! 

We walked in around 8 from a late night bite, we had been walking around and decided it was about time we ate before it was really to late. We were quite lucky to get a table as a couple was just leaving, so though you can walk in it is also a good idea to call ahead and place a reservation.

Leidsekruisstraat 21, 1017 RE Amsterdam, Netherlands

We began with the Pea Soup after which my partner ordered the Savoury beef and onion stew with red cabbage and mashed potatoes and I had the oven dish with cauliflower, ground beef – old Amsterdam cheese, curry onions and mashed potatoes (it was a sort of shepherd’s pie). It was amazingly delicious and it is a meal that I am going to make at home very soon.

The Pantry was such a cheerful and warm place, the staff were fantastic, very attentive and kind. It’s not fast food, so grab a glass of wine or a beer and enjoy your company and partake in good conversation. There is so much to look at so take some time to admire the walls and the decor. If you are looking to eat some traditional Dutch food this is the place to go!

Marqt  

Reminiscent of Trader Joe’s in the United States or an Organic Garage or Big Carrot in Canada, this very charming grocery store has your essential healthy and local food. It was very close to the Hotel Vondel which was stayed at, so we ventured over to pick up some bottles of Water and left with quite a bit of snacks and treats. We had one final day and an afternoon to spend in Amsterdam before our drive to Paris so we wanted to make sure that we had enough water and food to last us for our journey. 

There are several of them located around Amsterdam and they are definitely worth venturing into. We went to Marqt Overtoom. This group of groceries stores chooses local, organic food. They are environmentally friendly, sustainable and supportive of local farmers. If you are looking for something healthy to eat or snack on, perhaps you want to not spend too much on food but still eat healthy – this is the place for you to go to. 

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