I'd been waiting to get in early enough for cheap flights to Amsterdam over the 4 day weekend to take advantage of not having to take any days off work and to finally spend Easter somewhere new. As we booked this back in July as soon as the flights came out so it was still on the cheap side with British Airways for less than £100 – we checked the price a week before and it was almost up to £400! So we felt pretty lucky. The flight time from London is also so short, it was amazing! You literally have time to eat your lunch, then you're already there!
On arrival we got the train from the airport to Amsterdam Centraal station which cost about 3 euros then took the metro from there to Volkshotel. The hotel is really quirky with hostel vibes so they have really cool rooms and a couple of special themed rooms too. We stayed in the cinema boudoir themed room which featured a Netflix projector and a bubble bath for 2. In was situated in the area of De Pijp which was about a 40 minute walk from the centre or 5 minutes by metro.. we loved this area as it felt local and chilled in comparison to the touristy areas in the centre. The hotel also had a rooftop with jacuzzis and a sauna - we forgot our swimsuits which was super annoying but at least the bubble bath in our room made up for it! If you do stay here, remember your swimsuit!
After checking in, we settled in and then headed to dinner close by as we wanted to take it easy and save our energy for our first full day. We stumbled across a bar called Cafe Bloemers that served food including amazing burgers, tapas style dishes, traditional dishes such as bitterballen and loads of cocktails too! This wasn’t on my list of food places to go but we really enjoyed it and were so full and satisfied by the end of it. It was nice and cheap here too :)
The next day we had an early start the next day and went to Bakers & Roasters which we had heard was very popular. They have a really sophisticated queueing system where they basically text you when your table is ready and you can check on the app/website to see how much longer you’re expected to wait. We did wait over half an hour though and we were actually pretty disappointed with the food despite so much hype and excitement around it! In our opinion we’ve had much better brunch.. it was average and really pricey! Perhaps we didn’t order the right dish but other places we visited for brunch were beyond better!
After this disappointment, I realised we were very close to Harewood Bakery which I'd seen on Instagram. I really recommend the honey lavender one!
After this we walked walked walked and explored the city centre. It was a lovely sunny day, and I stumbled across Anna + Nina, a sweet shop that’s lovely for homeware and gifts, similar to Anthropologie.
The centre had so many gorgeous houses along the canal! There was a photo opportunity everywhere you looked. Especially when the sun is shining as it was that day :) You're surrounded by lots of antique stores, book stores and bakeries too mmm.
For lunch we went to MOOK Pancakes, which I was dying to try! We also queued up here but we felt it was worth it this time! They were so delicious and they even left a huge maple syrup bottle on our table so we were free to drown our pancakes in as much as sugar as we wanted mwahaha..nothing is worse than dry pancakes.
Cameron had the Blue Magic and I had the Blue Magic Deluxe.
After this we strolled around and just enjoyed our time. We didn't have anything in specific we wanted to see - although there are lots of lovely galleries and museums, we wanted to take it easy and chill, especially as it was sunny :) A place we passed on the way was a cute plant shop I would recommend called Wildernis.
We headed back to our hotel, watched friends on Netflix and had a bath to re-energise and after this we headed to Geflipt Burgers for dinner. The veggie was good but the ingredients was exactly the same as the Cafe Bloemers place we went to on the first night and I have to say the burger there was better, even though it wasn't a hyped up Instagram spot. Cameron really liked his chicken burger though! Also the cheese sticks were dangerous but divine, good fries too!
The next day was Easter Sunday so we headed to Dignita for brunch (they have a few branches but we went to the one in Hoftuin). I have to say, this was the BEST brunch we had here. They had an Easter special on, but we decided to order off the menu, with mimosas to celebrate Easter. I had the blueberry & lemoncurd pancake stack and Cameron had the benny boy. All I can say is YUM. My mind was blown. Yes, amazing pancakes blow me away okay? I would actually go back to Amsterdam just for these pancakes. London brunch places, take notes.
After this we walked to Centraal station and met my good friend Denise (you may remember her from my Madrid blog). She lives in The Hague and came to Amsterdam to spend Easter with us, we felt so special ;) Denise showed us around some more, included the Red Light District which was not like anything I'd ever seen before.. not my favourite part of Amsterdam haha.
We went for drinks at CT Coconuts & Coffee, also a popular brunch spot, and caught up whilst waiting to become hungry again haha (the struggles of being a foodie). After this we walked to the Vegan Junk Food Bar in hope of a table, only to find a queue! We weren't keen for queueing, especially as none of us were actually vegan and it was quite cold this day too. Instead we went to Thrill Grill, another burger place that reminded me of a mix between Honest burgers & GBK in London, but better.
I had the falafel burger with added cheese and fries - Denise's truffle parmesan fries were also delish!!
We were so full and satisfied and we walked back to our hotel from here to refresh and charge our phones haha. We of course then asked Cameron to take some photos of us on a really pretty street just minutes from Volkshotel.. wannabe Blair & Serena coming up.
So casual. Thanks for not exiting just yet haha. After this we called an Uber to a pub that Denise recommended called Brouwerij ‘t IJ which serves traditional Dutch craft beers (I'm not a fan of beer so this one was for Cameron!). It was at a windmill with a really chilled out vibe and outdoor seating. I can imagine it being really nice in the summer for meeting with friends! I didn't take any photos of it but Denise took these of me and Cameron all happy and high on life.
After the pub, we walked to a Asian restaurant for dinner that Denise suggested (small dishes too, as we were still not starving after burgers and pancakes!). It was called Happyhappyjoyjoy - love the name. The vibe in here was so cool! I would recommend the plum wine for a drink - I usually don't like wine but it was sweet and you could hardly taste the alcohol. I would really recommend this restaurant for casual dining and drinks and for catching up with friends.
On our last and final day, our flight wasn't until 9pm, so we checked out at 11am and had a lot of time to kill, but that was fine! I still had a few places in mind to eat (of course haha). For breakfast, we headed to a French place called Metropolitain. I'd seen it on Instagram and read recommendations on blogs. It was quite dark inside, but the prices were good, the food was good, not AMAZING (like Dignita haha) but it had a quirky vibe and plus we got a free mimosa shot as it was Easter Monday.
The coffee wasn't great at Metropolitain, so we were on a mission for good coffee. We headed for Back to Black which was a recommendation from Cameron's mum. With a hint of Amy Winehouse mixed with a cottage vibe, the place was cosy, cute and popular! Serving only coffees and pastries, we knew it had to be good. We almost left without waiting for a table but when you need coffee the struggle is real. Two chairs at the bar became available and we jumped for them. We both ordered flat whites and they were the best we had in Amsterdam. Really really good. I recommend this place for a good coffee hit!
After some more exploring, we headed for Pancakes Amsterdam, as I'd been dying to try traditional Poffertjes. After sitting down, we realised they didn't serve any here - the vibe was more like My Old Dutch in London, not so Dutch. I then googled where to get them nearby and found a place called De Vier Pilaren. You could tell this place was legit and filled with locals too. We ordered a large portion to share, with nutella drizzled on top and my oh my was it the best way to end our trip here in Amsterdam! They're served with icing sugar and butter on top which melts over... dangerously good. So delicious, and so so soft. You must try these when you're here! I'm drooling just looking at them.
After this, we still had some time to kill - it was about 4:30pm, so we headed back to Volkshotel (where we had left our suitcases), chilled out by the communal bar area and ordered some veggie bitterballen to snack on and relaxed before our journey home. We had such a great time!
Some places I'd like to have tried but didn't have enough time were Pluk, Vegan Junk Food Bar, Burgerlijk and Sticky Fingers. Oo I also really recommend Tony Chocolonely chocolate which you can find in any supermarket - especially the sea salt & caramel flavour.
Until next time Amsterdam! Let me know what I missed!
Thanks for reading,