ESSENTIAL AMSTERDAM The country code is 31.
Bike like a local. Amsterdam is one of the most bike – friendly cities in the world, with paths throughout its center. Rent a bike at MacBike (macbike.nl), which also offers tours, including one that highlights the modern architecture of the Eastern Docklands. Cruise the canals. The other favored way to get around in this watery city is by boat. Hop on one from Canal Bus (canal.nl/bus) or rent your own (privateboattours.nl).
Do the Nine Streets. This shopping – centric area (theninestreets.com) offers a lively mix of cafes and boutiques, like Van Ravenstein (Keizersgracht 359), with fashions by Dries Van Noten and Viktor & Rolf, and DR Wonen (Hartenstraat 27), a cool home shop.
WHAT TO SEE
Eye Film Institute, IJpromenade 1, 20-589-1400; eyefilm.nl: This futuristic – looking center in North Amsterdam is the city s latest architectural and cultural icon. On offer: topnotch film programs and a stylish restaurant. Museum of the Amsterdam Canals, Herengracht 386; hetgrachtenhuis.nl: For insight into the cityoriginal urban planning, check out the newly renovated Het Grachtenhuis museum, which celebrates the engineering and creation of Amsterdam s historic canals and townhouses.
Museumplein: A verdant square near the city center is the setting for three world-class museums: the Stedelijk contemporary art and design museum, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Rijks – museum, home to RembrandtNight Wotch and VermeerKitchen Moid.
Andaz Amsterdam, Prinsengrocht 587. 20-523-1234; ondazomsterdom.com: Marcel Wandersmuch – anticipated luxe boutique hotel opens this summer in the city s former library. Conservatorium Hotel, Van Baerle – straot 27, 20-570-0000; conservato riumhotel.com: A luxury property with 129 rooms and suites, stellar service, an expansive spa, and a hard – to – beat location across from the Museumplein. The Dylan, Keizersgracht 384, 20-530-2010; dylanamsterdam.com: Connected historic canal houses accommodate an elegant boutique hotel thatjust undergone a handsome renovation by local talent FG Stijl. Ita chic spot for “high wine” —four half glasses matched with innovative small plates from the hotelMichelin – star restaurant.
Grand Hotel Amrath Amsterdam,
Prins Hendrikkade 108, 20-552-0000; amrathamsterdam.com: The Art Deco details of this former shipping house have been meticulously preserved, but the rooms are spacious, with a modern take on Art Nouveau style. Those on the upper floors offer stunning water views.
Miauw Suites, Hartenstraat 34, 646-036-688; miauw.com: In the heart of the Nine Streets, each of four suites boasts big windows overlooking the canal, pastel lacquered floors, and a desktop Mac.
Blue Pepper, Nassaukade 366,20-489-7039; restaurantbluepepper .com: Excellent Indonesian dishes with a modern twist (soft-shell crab with mango; codfish with lemongrass). Bolenius, George Gershwinlaan 30, 20-404-4411; bolenius – restaurant.nl: Chef Luc K?sters is getting raves for his new Amsterdam cuisine (monkfish with smoked eel and guacamole).
De Culinaire Werkplaats, Fannius Scholtenstroat 10, 654-646-576; deculinairewerkplaats.nl: At this stylish eatery, a five-course meal highlights seasonal vegetables and fruits. Gartine, Taksteeg 7,20-320-4132; gortine.nl: A tiny caf? that uses local ingredients, Gartine is a popular spot for high tea and pastries.
Grand Caf? – Restaurant 1e klas, Cen – traal Station, 20-625-0131; restaurant 1eklas.nl: This bustling caf? in Centraal Station is a practical meeting place for coffee and cake amid an outstanding Arts and Crafts interior.
Momo, Hobbemastraat 1,20-671-7474; momo – amsterdam.nl:The mod,
Asian – inspired boite is packed with a youthful, trendy crowd nibbling foie gras rolls and sipping sage – pineapple margaritas.
Restaurant Anna, Warmoesstroat 111, 20-428-1111; restourantonna.nl: A sleek space with an open kitchen that offers innovative European cuisine; the terrace is the place to be in good weather. Restaurant Lastage, Geldersekade 29, 20-737-0811; restaurantlastage.nl:
An ambitious restaurant on the edge of the red – light district, Lastage was recently awarded a Michelin star. Rijsel Rotisserie, Marcusstraat 52B, 20-463-2142; rijsel.com: A new bistro serving simple, hearty French country fare, such as poulet a I estrogon with potatoes roasted in goose fat.
Droog, Staalstraat 7b, 20-523-5059; droog.com: The pioneering firm that introduced the Dutch design movement to the world also runs a must – see shop and gallery.
Eduard Kramer Antique Tiles, Nieuwe Spiegelstraat 64, 20-623-0832; antique – tileshop.nl: Antique tiles dating back to the 13th century jam this closet – sizeshop.
Friday Next, Overtoom 31,20-612-3292; fridaynext.com: The brainchild of two interior designers, this 4,000 – square – foot space is filled with an eclectic mix of vintage furnishings, modern Dutch design, and hip fashion accessories. The Frozen Fountain, Prinsengrocht 645, 20-622-9375; frozenfountain.nl: This legendary shop sells a dynamic mix of contemporary furniture and ceramics, as well as charming tea towels. Moooi Amsterdam, Westerstraat 187, 20-528-7760; moooi – gallery.com: Enter the playful world of Moooi. where whimsical lighting and mod furniture is on full, eye-catching display.
The Otherist, Leliegracht 6, 20-320-0420; otherist.com: The pair of San Francisco expatriates who operate this shop have filled the small space with all the objects that have caught their fancy —from a cardboard moose head to ceramic glove molds to mounted butterflies.
Pols Potten, KNSM – laan 39,20-419-3541; www.polspotten.nl: A quirky design emporium of furniture, tableware. and accessories thatworth the trip to the Eastern Docklands area. Restored, Haarlemmerdijk 39,20-337-64 73; restored.nl: A design – concept shop specializing in the work of up-and-coming talents.
Store Without a Home, Haarlem merdijk 26, 65-474-3062; storewith outahome.com: Amsterdamroving design shop has finally found a home on a lively street near Centraal Station.
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