Wednesday, February 20, 2019

A Guide to Amsterdam

The Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review
Oh hey there! It's a while since we've had a wee travel post around these parts, isn't it? Well, just like waiting for a bus, after a dry spell there's a whole host of them now coming at you. There's Edinburgh, New York & Brooklyn (that's a whopper so maybe prepare yourself an entire Sunday roast never mind a cup of tea to accompany that one) and today's: Amsterdam. I've been a few times now and so have been gathering recommendations like a wee squirrel with nuts (is it weird to refer to yourself as a wee squirrel? It felt a bit weird) so brace yourself for those.

WHERE TO STAY
The Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review The Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review The Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review The Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review The Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review The Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review The Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review The Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review The Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review The Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review The Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review The Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review

It's somewhere that's so, so easy to get to from the UK so is perfect for a long weekend away. This time around we checked into The Pulitzer for a few nights after a brisk 50 minute flight from Liverpool. And what a stay it was! Before I get to the good stuff, one thing I will add quickly is that the first night we were put in a room directly across from the bar and were awake until the early hours of the morning with the noise - if you're a heavy sleeper then you might be ok but, if you're like me, and a bit more a light sleeper then it might not be the best room if you've got an action packed weekend ahead. Now - I'll give you a little bit of background to the hotel first because it's got a really interesting history; back in 1960, twelve 17th and 18th century canal houses were purchased by Peter Pulizter - that's right, Grandson of Joseph Pulitzer, Pulitzer Prize founder, there's some pub quiz trivia for you - to make Amsterdam's first ever five star hotel. Since then, the number of canal houses that make up the hotel have grown to twenty five to make it the grand ole property that it is today. Location-wise, it couldn't be more perfect - it's slap back in the middle of De Negen Straatjes, or the Nine Streets, which I'll come back to in the 'what to do' section and is a five minute walk from Anne Frank House and Dam Square. Jordaan, which is one of my favourite neighbourhoods, is also only a short wee walk away.

Breakfast was a beautiful affair with fluffy pancakes, heavenly truffled eggs and fresh fruit. I'd also recommend a dinner at the hotel's restaurant, Jansz, whether you're a guest at the hotel or not. As well as serving incredible food, they were so understanding and careful about my many food allergies - I won't go into how many there are because I don't want to depress you but it's in the double digits - which doesn't always happen. You can expect beautiful fresh fish, lobster risotto, steak and much more... I've actually just seen that it was voted Time Magazine's number one place to eat in Amsterdam which is very exciting. There's also the Pulitzer Bar which sadly we didn't get to visit (we were there right before Christmas so it was super busy) but looked incredibly cosy and welcoming. As the hotel describes it themselves it's, 'the kind of place where the glasses weigh more than your shoes and sitting on the leather lounges feels like a really good man-hug' which, as well as being apt, is incredibly adorable. As well as their standard rooms, the hotel also has themed suites. We got a wee tour of the Pulitzer Suite and the Music Collector's Suite, which you can see above, and I'm desperate to go back to have a nosy in the Book Collector's Suite at some point in the future (an archway made of BOOKS. Heaven).

WHERE TO EAT
The Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review The Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review The Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review The Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review The Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review The Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review
The Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review The Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review The Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review The Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review
Now, where to eat. I have many recommendations when it comes to food so I'm going to pop them all down in list form to make things easier:

- Omelegg: More omelette options than you could ever imagine! It's in the De Pjip area which is great for a wander round. It can get quite busy, especially on weekends, and they don't take bookings so make sure to get there nice and early!
- Coffee & Coconuts: located in a former 1920s cinema with very minimal, Scandi decor, serving up some extremely tasty brunch. There are even gluten free pancakes on the menu (rejoice!)
- Cottoncake: A lovely boutique shop that not only has a beautiful selection of jewellery and clothing but also has a tiny cafe inside serving up more than you'd imagine - from smashed avo to homemade cakes. One of my favourite stops in amsterdam!
- Bakers & Roasters: Described as a 'New Zealand style cafe with a heavy dose of Brazil', you'll find yourself one truly delicious - and very hearty - brunch here. 
- Foodhallen: I think you might have guessed what this is. A huge big food market with lots of different stalls and bars. I haven't tried it myself, but I have it on good authority that the veggie popcorn hot dog is amazing.
- Things I Like, Things I Love: This is not food at all so I'm not sure how I've managed to sneak that in there, but one of my favourite shops in Amsterdam! Lots of lovely homewear and clothing at a really good price (it's great if you're on the hunt for gifts, especially around Christmas time)
- Jacketz Global: Oh. My. We had the biggest jacket potato of our lives here a few years ago and I still think about it often. They have loads of different topping options and cater for gluten free, vegan and veggie
- Chocolatl: A little chocolate shop claiming to have 'the best drinking chocolate in Amsterdam'. You, or your stomach, will not be disappointed
- Pancakes Amsterdam / The Happy Pig Pancake House: Two lovely pancakes houses that both have GF options! 
- Vegabond: I've lost count of the number of times I've been here now. A little vegan cafe that does the most incredible cakes and healthy juices! They also do lunch but I've never made it past the cakes.
- Piqniq: A really lovely little cafe in Jordaan!
- Hiding in Plain Sight: We didn't make it ourselves but a few people recommended this speakeasy-style cocktail bar. 
- De Silveren Spegel: 'mucho expensive, special wan' is what I had down as the description for this in my phone notes. It dates right back to the 17th century (Mamma mia! I know) in a building that has been totally kept in its original state and serves up delicious traditional Dutch food.
- De Kas: Another one at the higher end of the price scale but it sounds pretty fantastic. It's set in greenhouses that date back to the 1920s and all of the vegetables and herbs are grown right there on the property. 
- Greenwoods: Another one that we've yet to make it to but has been recommended lots - they're supposed to do a great breakfast!
CafĂ© ClichĂ©: Very, very cosy and welcoming - you'll feel right at home here. The home of a very good cook, that is.
- Mastino: The best gluten free/vegan pizza I've ever eaten. The dough doesn't taste gluten free and the cheese doesn't taste vegan and I have that on record from someone who is neither coeliac OR vegan (and you know how much they like to complain about... 'our' food).
- Little Collins: Aussie/Dutch owners serving up more delicious brunch
- Meatless District / Vegan Junk Food: As you've probably guess by the names, both of these restaurants are vegan paradise and come highly recommended
- Koffie Academie: their coffee beans are imported from all around the world and, as well as coffee and cakes, the art and the handmade furniture here is on sale as well! Another highly recommended coffee bar is Lot Sixty-One, run by two Australians serving up some delicious coffee.
- If you're an afternoon tea fan, then The Duchess and De Bakkerswinkel are both supposed to be fantastic!

WHAT TO DO
The Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review The Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review The Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review The Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review The Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review The Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review The Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review
What to do, what to do. On one of our previous trips we picked up an Amsterdam City Card on our first day which I'd really recommend because, as well as unlimited public transport, it'll get you free and discounted entry to lots of attractions and museums around the city. 

The Tuschinski Cinema: An old theatre that's a beautiful building both inside and out and was built in 1921 for a cool 4 millions guilders. We went to see Bohemian Rhapsody in the main auditorium which, before the tears blurred my vision, was a truly magnificent sight to behold and a gorgeous room to watch a film in. One I'd definitely add to your list!
Canal tour: You can't really go to Amsterdam and not see it from the water, can you? We've been on  a few but this time we went on the Pulitzer's own canal boat which dates back to 1909 and just so happens to be the first canal boat built with tourists in mind. 
Dam Squaare: Always worth a wee wander through to a) look at the buildings and b) see what's on as there's always different events popping up; we once saw a Christmas Choir materialise out of the blue which, yes, I cried at ok.
 The 9 Streets: My favourite place to wander; nine lovely streets that run between the canals and are filled with cafes, concept shops, florists, vintage boutiques and more. 
Anne Frank House - Harrowing, of course, but somewhere that I'd definitely recommend visiting if you haven't before. Book online if you plan to go as the queues can get very long. 
Van Gogh Museum: Which, I am ashamed to say, I still haven't been to. It has the world's largest collection of Van Gogh pieces and is also worth noting that it's open late on a Friday. Just around the corner it the Rijksmusem, which is admiring for the building alone if you don't quite have time to make a trip inside, as well as the Moco museum which I loved! You'll also find the ice rink here in Winter time.
Vondelpark: Beautiful at all times of year but well worth visiting in Spring/Summer to either walk or cycle round with a picnic in tow. There's often open air concerts popping up so keep an eye out for those! 
Heineken brewery: I'm not normally a huge fan of brewery tours but I really enjoyed this one! There's a wee tasting room at the end too which is always a fun way to end things. 
The Amsterdam Lookout: We went here at sunset which I'd say is the perfect time. Get the free Buiksloterweg ferry over from behind Central Station and it's 12e entry (and 5e extra if you dare to do the over-the-edge swing) and then finish your time there with a cocktail - or, like me, a delicious hot chocolate - at the bar on the 20th floor which has view across the city.
Hoxton Photobooth: Another lovely and well-located hotel in Amsterdam! It has an old photobooth right at the entrance which I'd recommend squeezing into your itinerary at some point.
Drink outside, whatever the season: There are lots of outdoor bars lining the canals that are equipped with patio heaters and I'd recommend a wee drink at one, whatever the weather. They make a great spot for people watching and taking in the atmosphere. 
NDSM: Not somewhere I've managed to visit myself yet, but it's a former shipyard that's now home to bars, cafes, restaurants, a beach (that shows outdoor films on a Tuesday from June to August) as well as a flea market and live music performances. There's also a huge industrial crane there that's now a three-room-hotel, complete with a hot tub right at the tub for guests and a bungee that's open to the public. Again, a free ferry service will take you there. 
Street markets! One of the most popular being the Albert Cuyp Market, where you'll find everything from flowers to vintage clothing to delicious stroopwafels. 

And in regards to when to visit Amsterdam, anytime! That's the joy of it. I've now been in Autumn, Winter and Spring and saw and loved a different side to it each time. You can walk most places in Amsterdam - just have your wits about you as those cyclists aren't slowing down for nuthin' or no one - or, of course, you can grab a bike yourself. I'm sure it was voted the most bicycle friendly city in the world but, if you're feeling nervous, then you can always start with a guided tour to ease yourself into it. Now of course this is by no means an extensive guide to Amsterdam; there's SO much to do, SO much to see and SO MUCH to eat, but I hope it gives you a good starting point! I'd also recommended checking out the I Amsterdam website as they've always got new and amazing recommendations on what to do, where to eat, where the best rooftop bars are and everything in between.

AmyThe Little Magpie Guide to Amsterdam Pulitzer Hotel Review

Our stay with The Pulitzer was part-hosted!Most of the snaps are mine and a couple are by Kirsty McLachlan from a previous visit 

5 comments:

Kristina Maggiora said...

I'm definitely planning a trip here this year :)


Creepers & Cupcakes

The Gold Lipstick said...

I'd love to travel there!

Mireia from TGL
https://thegoldlipstick.com/

Zoey Olivia Davis said...

My husband and I went to Amsterdam a few years ago and loved it! That hotel looks amazing!

Zoey | www.zoeyolivia.com

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