Amsterdam is one of Europe’s best hipster cities. Boy Glansbeek, who works at the wonderfully one-off Lloyd Hotel, reveals his favourite places to eat, shop and explore.
Things to see & do
NDSM neighbourhood A former shipyard, now the creative heart of the hipster Noord district, the NDSMis all that’s great about modern Amsterdam: vibrant social spaces, musician and artists galore, and fabulous people-watching. The monthly weekend flea market is superb. NDSM-Plein 28
Eye Film museum
Movie buffs will love this strikingly-designed cinema museum. It catalogues and preserves Dutch (and foreign) movies, and has the best hipster movie schedule you can imagine. IJpromenade 1
Artis Royal Zoo This forward-thinking city zoo may be one of the oldestin Europe, but it’s a leader in endangered species breeding programmes. Artis has the lot: lions, flamingos, gorillas, elephants, plus an aquarium and a planetarium. The guided tours provide of-the-moment insight and your fee goes towards building a new enclosure for its buff-cheeked gibbons. Plantage Kerklaan 38-40
Nine Little Streets The perfect place for an afternoon stroll. You can find the ‘Nine Little Streets’ in the heart of the canal district between Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, Herengracht and Singel. There are some amazing shops here, like Velour Amsterdam. For a quick lunch, I visit the Lebanese Sajeria. Try the famous ‘Van Stapele’ chocolate cookie!
Where to eat & drink
Best breakfast… Dignitacafe is the place to start your day. Located near the Lloyd Hotel at the gardens of the Hoftuin, I can highly recommend the ‘Forest Dwellers’ – poached egg with mixed mushrooms. Nieuwe Herengracht 18a
Best food market…Noordermarkt is the reason why Amsterdam is hipster heaven. The market is located in a large beautiful square and packed with handicrafts, clothes, books, flowers and incredible food and drink stalls. Open Monday and Saturday. Noordermarkt, 1015 Best fine dining…The Duchess is located in one of Amsterdam’s most historic buildings and inspired by the Belle Epoque era. The menu is a delicious hybrid of French and Italian dishes. Spuistraat 172
Best cocktail bar… Hiding in Plain Sight (or HPS) has a unique location on the edge of the Red Light District and creates the best cocktails in town. The ambience is intimate and cosy. Try the ‘Walking Dead’ – it’s served in a skull-shaped glass! Rapenburg 18
Best local craft beer… Brouwerij ‘t IJ is a superb little brewery next to a windmill right on the waterfront. It’s a no-frills place beloved by beer-loving locals and visitors. Funenkade 7
Where to shop
Best vintage clothing… Zipper. If you love authentic vintage clothes head for this cool shop in the buzzing Nine Little Streets district. It’s one of the best in Amsterdam, and a must for classic dresses, jackets and hipster jumpers. Prices are fairly reasonable. Huidenstraat 7
Best for interiors… Dutch designer Marcel Wanders created MOOOI as a platform for international designersto showcase unique, one-of-a-kind interior pieces like plant chandeliers, rotating tables and skew-whiff vases. It’s not cheap, but its showroom is a feast for the eyes. Westerstraat 187
Best art gallery…Rademakers is a contemporary studio located on KNSM island. It has a strong emphasis on female artists, multi-media and sustainability, and there’s plenty of friendly assistance if you’re looking to buy a particular piece. KNSM-Laan 291
Where to stay
The Lloyd Hotel is a unique hotel designed by some of the leading architects in Amsterdam. It has striking Art Deco-era exteriors, equally stunning interiors and extremely friendly staff (like our guest blogger!) plus a fantastic restaurant. Overlooking the swish Eastern Docklands, The Lloyd Hotel welcomes everyone from backpackers to well-heeled locals and has truly attractive prices – especially out of season. Getting there: From Central Station take tram 26 (heading to IJburg) and get off at the third stop Rietlandpark.