Mrs Frampton you’re coming to Amsterdam! This is so exciting – it’s your first time and I haven’t seen you since I moved here so I can’t wait! Never mind that, we have a day, just a day where I can show you around this beautiful city. So where shall we go? Walk or cycle?! I’ve made a list ….
Well, first things first, forget about what the weather is going to be like – we’ll be Dutch for the day and hope for sun and see what we get! Let’s start with an early morning stroll through a crisp and blooming Vondelpark – if it’s a nice morning we might stop for a glass of mint tea at the lovely Blauwe Theehuis. We’ll head out of the park and walk along Van Baerlerstraat to Museumplein where we will find ourselves rather impressively flanked by the Concertgebouw (Concert Hall), the nearly completely renovated Stedelijk (Modern Art), the Van Gogh Museum and the stately Rijksmuseum. All of these are stunning, and worth visiting but we’re pushing on so I can point out the important places like Cartier and Chanel on the delightful P C Hooftstraat!
Next we’re going to take a stroll down Nieuwe Spiegelstraat which is elegantly lined with Antique shops, crossing over the bridges of the canal ring towards Herengracht where we head due east towards the Hermitage (the classical art museum) and over Amsterdam’s main river, the Amstel and over to Waterlooplein. This is the bit where I weave my magic and use my local knowledge to walk through some of the most beautiful back streets I’ve ever seen and emerge in the rather impressive Dam Square. Gosh, it must be time for lunch and a glass of wine by now?!
After lunch we’ll take a gentle a stroll through the grachts (canals) that make up the canal ring, which by the way is a World Heritage site and truly deserving as they are just beautiful. As we have the luxury of time let’s just stroll and enjoy the scenery as there is so much to take in, remembering to stop and look back every so often as the view along the canals is impressive in both directions! Let’s try to take in some of the Nine Streets too, which are an enjoyable cross between Covent Garden in London, and the Lanes of Brighton, before heading over to Jordaan which is a little bit like Chelsea and little bit like Camden. Most importantly though, it’s where I take you for an early evening cocktail and Mrs Frampton, fingers crossed the Frenchman is working as he’s delightful!
- Take a trip to see the tulip fields of the Keukenhof which are spectacular now it’s open and in bloom (it will not be long before I visit myself!). The Dutch do tulips very, very well!
- There are so many museums in Amsterdam, it’s difficult to pick one to visit but I can recommend the Amsterdam Museum. It is a refreshingly modern historical museum – their current DNA exhibit tells the story of the city really well and with good humour!
- Seeing Amsterdam from the water is a must, so if you can’t get enough of the water from the canal tour, head out to the back of Centraal Station where you can take a free trip over the River Ij – if you take the NDSM you’ll see a submarine and a floating hotel whilst enjoying a coffee overlooking the river at IJKantine!
And there I must leave you as it’s getting late, I’ll have had a few cocktails by now and I need to cycle home! Mrs Frampton, it will have been a pleasure!
ps – you can see all of these place on a map on my Foursquare page