This January my BFF & I traveled to Europe and explored Amsterdam! We both have been before but this was a different type of trip than the first time I went to visit. I first went when I was studying abroad in London for a semester in college. This trip was amazing since it was relaxed, and explored almost like we were locals!
We stayed in the cutest boutique hotel, The Hoxton, which was in the perfect location and walking distance to all of the activities we had planned. The Hoxton offers rooms facing the canal and had the cutest European vibe to it. The lobby of the hotel was Lotti’s restaurant and bar which was always a packed and filled with the most lively crowd. The restaurant and lobby was always toasty and inviting. Veronica and I enjoyed drinks at the bar Saturday night as there is a DJ Friday, Saturday and live jazz band on Sunday.
We stayed in a two-twin bedroom room and it was cozy but worked! Each morning they delivered breakfast to your door, which was a banana, yogurt parfait, and fresh squeezed orange juice. The hotel was unique in the way it operated and we loved every minute of it!
The city is beautiful! It is picturesque with the canals running through the city and the countless amount of bikes parked along the buildings. The buildings are tilted and squeezed next to each other each with its own townhouse charm. Veronica and I walked everywhere! We found hidden gems down every street. We were staying at The Hoxton which is located on The Nine Streets, or De Negen Straatjes as they’re called in Dutch, and it was about a 20 minutes walk to the Rijksmuseum and the MOCO museum and through the flower market. We also walked in the opposite direction to the red light district and explored what felt like every inch of a 20-minute radius to our hotel.
Veronica & I spent a lot of time walking, exploring and shopping! We picked the perfect time to go to Europe as all of the department stores were running sales. We walked to the museum quarter of the city and went to the Rijksmuseum, which has an amazing collection of Rembrant paintings and a highlight was “the Nightwatch”. This amazing and larger than life painting demonstrates Rembrandt’s exquisite use of lights and darks giving the characters life.
The MOCO museum was also a great part of the day. I love contemporary art and the primary exhibit was all about Banksy. Banksy is an amazing UK street artist who has graced the streets with his graffiti art always leaving behind a message. This smaller museum curated his art very well explaining his influences and the different stages in his art career. The museum also featured a smaller exhibit of a new york based artist, Daniel Arshem. His art was all based on familiar things and he played with multimedia and sculptures.
The shopping in Amsterdam was amazing! I left with my luggage 6 kilograms heavier than when I left! I am not even exaggerating! I had to shuffle around 6 kilograms worth of items at the airport I order to avoid paying an overweight baggage fee. We went to a ton of cute local stores, some of my favorites were: Love Stories which had the prettiest lingerie sets, Costes, which had great full outfits, Stradivarius which was like the forever 21 in Amstredam, and the Sting.
I left with a few looks I want to wear to NYFW, a bunch of sweaters, a new pair of jeans, a couple of skirts and a few graphic tee-shirts. I also brought back some souvenirs and treats for my family and office. Shopping to me in a different city is one of my favorite things. I love observing the street fashion and trends around me and Europe always seems to be ahead of the curve.
The food here was delicious. I had a lot of eggs & lobster and I was OK with that! Once we landed we checked in and headed out to a late lunch. We went to the Libertine which was a 5 minute walk from our Hotel and we both enjoyed soft boiled eggs with tomatoes, cheese in a skillet and a piece of garlic bread. That night we had reservations at Soho House Amsterdam since it was a block away from my Hotel and I went Friday night for dinner and drinks. We sat at the restaurant and both were craving burgers! That was shocking for Veronica since she isn’t really a meat eater but after a day of travel it was much needed.
Saturday morning we slept in after a day of travel and walked about 25 minutes to Dignita for brunch. The restaurant was packed and it was a farm to table restaurant. I had zucchini and veggie patties with an egg and some yoghurt sauce. The breakfast was very filling and something I have never had before. For dinner we went to Mama Kelly, which was an all pink restaurant perfect for millennial. The restaurant prides itself on organic chicken and fresh lobster. There was a DJ playing and the restaurant was packed, with mostly girls enjoying girls’ nights and a few groups. We both ordered lobster and worked for our dinner! After dinner it was an instagram dream and we posed for a few photos. We both enjoyed a nightcap at our hotel and sat at the bar.
Sunday was our last full day and we walked to the Corner Bakery and enjoyed eggs and Veronica ordered her favorite, a croissant with jam and butter. The restaurant was also a cute spot and you could tell it was a local favorite. After lunch we explored and worked up an appetite for Stroopwafle, which is famous in Amsterdam. I had mine with chocolate and since it was fresh and warm it was delicious. For dinner we went to 5&33, which was on the other side of town in Amsterdam Central, still only 15 minutes walking from where I was staying. We started with charred Cauliflower to start and then both ordered lobster spaghetti with a side of spinach and it hit the spot.
The weather in Amsterdam was very chilly with on and off rain. I tried my best to pack light since I had a feeling I would do some shopping; however, I did not pack light enough!
I brought with me 3 pairs of shoes: I wore my yeezys on the plane, a black pair of waterproof boots and a pair of black heeled booties. I packed 3 pairs of jeans, my favorite blue boyfriend fit jeans, black skinny jeans and a pair of grey skinny jeans. I packed my favorite hat that I got from my Grandmother’s collection when I went to visit her last. I brought 2 jackets, I wore my lined black SAM rain jacket and packed a black teddy jacket I recently purchased from H&M. I packed 2 layering turtleneck shirts, one in black and one in white. I packed one army green dress that I wore to dinner with black tights and booties. For the adventures during the day time I wore many sweaters! I brought with me 5 sweaters and ended up purchasing 5 more. I love packing in similar color tones, I tend to bring mostly neutrals and greens that way I can mix and match my different pieces.