Eh not quite the one night stand you may have imagined. So sorry ;) This is the second edition of my "One Night Stand," series, which consists of a one (or two) night weekend guide, similar to the NY Times 36 Hour guides, but with a name that is a little more playful -- just like the cities they are about. In this case it's Amsterdam.
Often a gateway to Europe for many American travelers, Amsterdam has everything people fantasize about when dreaming of a European city. Cheap beer, legalized weed, cozy coffee shop corners, history, architecture, art, etc. etc. etc. What can I say? Amsterdam is the perfect catch. It is quite a pity that I have lived two hours away for the past two years and have yet to explore. In fact, I have never really gotten to know the Dutch capital, so what better time to get to know this wild party of a city than my 24th birthday with my parents (a surprise if I may add).
With a two hour train ride to plan the weekend, I was rather overwhelmed when I started looking into what type of Amsterdam experience I wanted to have considering there are SO many options. I figured I would cross off clubbing and bar hopping as I was with my parents, and decided to go down a more 'classy' route for the weekend. Let's get real though, we still spent hours wandering around the red light district as people watching is our favorite sport.
So here we have it, a one night stand in Amsterdam ~with photos~ for ladies and gentleman looking for a brunch & champagne filled weekend.
the first date (the touristy stuff, let's get to know Amsterdam)
Anne Frank's House & A canal cruise
Things I wish I knew the first time: Pre-order tickets to the Anne Frank house, which will give you more than enough time to have another drink instead of waiting in line to get in (the line opens to the public at 15:30). Also, get the hop on, hop off canal cruise ticket. This will enable you to wander around with the ability to get back on the water to the next best neighborhood.
second base: wining & dining at Jansz.
Part of the historically trendy Pulitzer Hotel, Jansz. was far more than a restaurant. From the moment I stepped inside, the interior was beyond tasteful. From marble table tops, embroidered napkins, modern light fixtures & eclectic art, the interior designer perfectly captured Volkert Jansz's style from the 17th century. It was as if my dream Pinterest board came to life.
the interior -
Make sure to look up, down, left & right because this space is all about the details.
Beyond the interior, the food was crafted just as beautifully. Not to mention, each dish was filled with flavors that eluded a new world of simple elegance.
Even the bill comes in an adorable paper sleeve. Design Win.
my place or yours?
Where to sleep is always the question. While Amsterdam has some of the best boutique hotels in the business (The Hoxton, Pulitzer, etc.), we were not planning on spending the night in the Dutch capital until the day before arrival. This led us to the recently renovated Marriott which suits the city quite well. A minimal take on a classic Marriott property, we booked a Junior Suite (with points from our rewards credit card). The room could have fit a small family, and had L'Occitaine amenities which had me smelling like sweet lemongrass in my plush bathrobe.
the morning after: brunch?
Brunch culture is big in Amsterdam, and just like choosing a restaurant, where to Brunch on a Saturday or Sunday morning is just as difficult. Of the five brunch spots I had on my list, we were able to make it to four of them. Unfortunately, I will have to save the Scandinavian Embassy for a later date. With that, we were able to make it to the Corner Bakery, Lotti's at the Hoxton Hotel, Coffee & Coconuts, and High Tea at The Duchess, W Hotel.
Lotti's - a sunday brunch favorite
The Tea Room at The Duchess (W Hotel)
Coffee & Coconuts
"I'll walk you home?" (sunday strolls)
Make sure to get lost in Jordaan & De Pijp, two beautiful and trendy neighborhoods that are a must to explore in downtown Amsterdam. With coffee shops & quaint boutiques down each and every side street, you will be far more than busy for a weekend away.
Until next time Amsterdam,