weekend escape: amsterdam.
by Jessica Wright comment


editor’s note: i’m so pleased and excited to introduce you to our brand new contributor, jessica from bon traveler. jessica really gets around (the world!) so i think you’re going to enjoy these mini-holidays!

amsterdam city scape reflection in water. / sfgirlbybay

There are some cities in Europe that have a way of drawing you back, time and time again. Amsterdam is no exception — its flower-lined canals provide a whimsical playground for those willing to get blissfully lost along the way. The draw to Amsterdam, for me, has always been the “human-sized” feeling to it. Brick homes line the streets, where seamlessly you can walk or bike from one neighborhood to the next. Cozy spaces are sprinkled throughout, with endless boutiques to browse and cafes to corner up in for the afternoon. Between meals, there is art and a whole lot of it. At an estimated seventy-five museums ranging from modern art to film, there is something for everyone. Certainly, a weekend is never quite long enough to soak all that Amsterdam has to offer. Here’s a look at how to spend a weekend escape in this city.

happy travels! bon traveler.

building exterior during fall in amsterdam. / sfgirlbybay

vine-covered building in amsterdam. / sfgirlbybay

Eat + Drink
As a melting pot of cultures, I find myself leaning towards more international cuisine when in Amsterdam. With a large Indonesian community, eating Indonesian food is a must at Tujuh Maret. The classic experience is “rijsttafel” or the rice table, where you can try an arrangement of multiple small dishes here. Another great find in the Jordaan on my last visit was Raïnaraï — a North African and Moroccan influenced restaurant, with savory dishes changed out daily.

cocktails on wood table in amsterdam cafe. / sfgirlbybay

alley in amsterdam. / sfgirlbybay

Throughout the city, other favorite cafes include Café George, Brasserie Van Dam, and Bar Fisk.

For coffee, it’s never a visit without a stop at Bocca Coffee and Toki café with its pretty terrazzo tables.

latte on terrazzo cafe table. / sfgirlbybay

Toki café in amsterdam. / sfgirlbybay

pair of orange leather chairs in amsterdam lobby. / sfgirlbybay

If you’ve come for good design, the hotels in Amsterdam are plenty. The Conservatorium Hotel is an icon and has a perfect address amidst the Museum Quarter. A former bank and music conservatory have been transformed by Milan-based designer and architect, Piero Lissoni. His clean lines and signature pops of color take the best of the historic building and combine it with an intimate feeling.

The Conservatorium Hotel in amsterdam. / sfgirlbybay

amersterdam's iconic Conservatorium Hotel./ sfgirlbybay

Some of the most wonderful moments in Amsterdam are found in exploring the neighborhoods. Start in the Jordaan and work your way along the canals as it’s here you’ll find local shops to pop into. A boat ride on the canals is another highlight and often can be touristy, but there is a way around the packed boats. Pure Boats offers a small group tour on their boat, taking you back into the canals often not visited by the bigger companies. Accompanied by local cheeses and beer, it’s a great way to take in the city.

boat canal in amsterdam. / sfgirlbybay

boat canals in amsterdam. / sfgirlbybay

Rijksmuseum in amsterdam. / sfgirlbybay

When it comes to museums, I would start with the Van Gogh and the Rijksmuseum for the classics. Most of these museums are open later into the night, so I always find it a great way to spend the evening after dinner.

charming building exterior in amsterdam. / sfgirlbybay

• all photography by bon traveler.

3 responses to “weekend escape: amsterdam.”

  1. Just came back from a fabulous week in Nosara, Costa Rica. Its definitely something to put on your travel list and totally fits your vibe. I also met an amazing woman, Gonca Gul, who owns La Casa Nosara (restaurant/club) and also mens & womens boutiques — FAB clothes. She’s Turkish, travels all over the world, designs her clothing line in Bali — amazing! She also is on instagram @goncastyle and #fincadreamland is her little design paradise playground. Check her out. I also told her about your blog and she said if you find yourself in Nosara to connect up with her personally and she’ll show you the best of the area! Thx for such a beautiful and inspiring blog!

  2. Over the years Amsterdam has been the closest by big city for me growing up. So I know it very well. In these 30+ years it has transformed beyond recognition. While some parts have improved, in general the city has become so so so incredibly busy with people. A huge factor in this are tourists. Fortunately the municipal is cracking down on tourists in a lot of different ways.
    Two years ago I was in Venice, I truly wondered why they had not put an entry fee in place there (and better policing). While it was a truly beautiful place, it was covered with tourists like a man covered in honey besieged by ants.
    What I am trying to say is that going somewhere for a weekend away is not only bad for the environment but also for the local experience and life. It kills the spirit of the place you are visiting. The exact spirit you claim to love and that makes you want to visit it in the first place..

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