Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ capital, known for its artistic heritage, elaborate canal system and narrow houses with gabled facades, legacies of the city’s 17th-century Golden Age. Its Museum District houses the Van Gogh Museum, works by Rembrandt and Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum, and modern art at the Stedelijk. Cycling is key to the city’s character, and there are numerous bike paths.
Blink and you’ll miss the historic forecourt to The Dylan, Amsterdam’s only five-star boutique hotel. This hiddenness is definitely part of its charm, perfect for celebrities looking to slip under the radar or stylish locals needing respite from the busy Nine Streets, with wine by the fireplace or a bite at the renovated bar-brasserie Occo. The authentic 18th-century brick floors here are gorgeous. The award-winning restaurant Vinkeles occupies the building’s atmospheric old bakery. There are five room styles, the romantic Loft rooms featuring original exposed ceilings being the most coveted.
Reguliersdwarsstraat is not the obvious choice for enjoying a sophisticated drink, yet there is one unmarked door here that attracts well-heeled Amsterdammers. Hidden amid the throng of cheap bars, Door 74 is one of the city’s most respected cocktail spots. Credited as Amsterdam’s first contemporary speakeasy-style lounge – an intimate space in dark brown hues – it appears on the world’s best bar lists. Upbeat bartenders and a soundtrack that refreshingly shies away from prohibition-era pastiche add to its character. Its menu of house creations changes quarterly, but, despite the relentless experimentation, classics such as a negroni and old fashioned are perfectly prepared. Urban legend has it you need a password to get in, but calling in advance on the day generally results in a spot at the eight-seater bar or in a booth. And do simply try ringing the doorbell – if there’s space, Door 74 will accommodate.
Packed with personality and warmth, Gebroeders Hartering is a neighbourhood restaurant as fine as they come. Brothers Paul and Niek Hartering run the kitchen and the floor, respectively. Diners are steered towards a five- or seven-course menu of the day. Starters include amuse bouches, local oysters and charcuterie. Perfectly cooked, proportioned and seasoned, main courses include roasted pork served on a bed of chard and potato puree, and fillet of brill served with a punchy anchovy butter. Unlike at similar restaurants, a main course can be ordered on its own. At Hartering, the end of the food is not the end of the night – guests sit, linger and laugh over the last of their bottle of wine. Join them. Reserve a late seating and talk the night away.
First, a commendation to the architects who in 2013 seamlessly connected two monumental 17th-century canal houses to double the exhibition space of Huis Marseille. The exhibition route takes visitors across the threshold of the buildings no fewer than three times, from modernized attics to fully preserved historical rooms with original features, like the murals on the ceiling and dazzling red paint in the Louis XIV room. Huis Marseille, Amsterdam’s first photography museum, offers a varied programme of exhibitions of leading modern and contemporary photography. Among the museum’s permanent collection of over 500 prints, look out for the works of Amsterdam-based, fabulous colourist Viviane Sassen, as well as star South African photographers Zanele Muholi, Mikhael Subotzky, Guy Tillim and David Goldblatt.
Download our App to learn more