Sun Catching at the Best Amsterdam Terraces

Sun Catching at the Best Amsterdam Terraces

These days higher temperatures create an even better image of Amsterdam: warmer, fresher, brighter and more appealing.  When the sun is shining you get to see Dutch people popping up at bars and cafés terraces as beautiful spring flowers-fast and everywhere around the city. So why not follow their example and enjoy the long-awaited sunshine sipping your drink, trying local bites and admiring a gorgeous view.

Amsterdam Terraces

In the park

You might be surprised with the amount of Dutchies already laying on the grass around all 30 parks of Amsterdam. Even if it’s still cold, but the sun is out, locals are ready to take their jackets off and catch some rays in the green spots of the city. Let’s share these fun places with them, herrons, ducks and large green parrots (yes, they are permanent residents of Amsterdam too!).

Amsterdam Terraces

Pacific Parc

Located in Westerpark, this lively bar/restaurant is a part of Westergasfabriek complex that attracts alternative people coming here for cultural events and nice time at the huge terrace. Westergasfabriek is quite a unique venue worth seeing, as it’s a former gasworks that are recognized as monumental buildings now. Lots of creativity, recycled materials, lush green park and young folks bring in a very special easygoing atmosphere at Pacific Parc. Be ready for some rock n roll here in the evening!

Westergasfabriek, Westerpark

The Blauwe Teehuis

This Blue Teahouse serves way more than just tea on its ground floor garden terrace and a panoramic balcony patio in the heart of Vondelpark. The building itself is quite modern for Amsterdam, but the green park and blooming flowers add lots of charm to it. Keep your eyes open for the nests of those parrots right next to the terrace, and allow yourself some time to explore the park too. Vondelpark hides an original sculpture by Pablo Picasso, romantic spots by the water and even small fairytale like bridges.

Vondelpark, Amsterdam Oud-Zuid 

Amsterdam Terraces

Amazing waterside terraces

Who ordered an incredible view? It is almost impossible to choose the best waterside terrace in Amsterdam, as its 165 canals create a picturesque city landscape in all the directions. A week won’t be enough to enjoy yourself on all the attractive patios by canalside, but let’s start with a few.

 Café de Jaren

One of the most central cafés with a nice terrace, Café de Jaren offers a stunning view of the Amstel River and passing by boats. Their quite large deck and buzzing vibe makes it into a nice lunch spot on a sunny day. The menu is casual and international here with highly ranked soups. If the weather is not suitable for the terrace, Café de Jaren has two storeys of light inside space too.

Nieuwe Doelenstraat 20

Amsterdam Terraces
Amsterdam Roest

Amsterdam Roest is that cool industrial hangout spot with a more alternative crowd, hip concerts and authentic markets by the canalside city beach. Explore this sandy, groovy and fun bar/café terrace perfect for trying local beers. Maybe Roest looks a bit rusty for some people, but it definitely got the spirit!

Czaar Peterstraat 213


Colorful and arty, Waterkant has a tropical ambiance inspired by Suriname and enormous waterside terrace. If you stay long enough while trying their specialties, you might get lucky with a nice evening event and a DJ playing. There is a lot of Surinamese influence in Amsterdam adding more intercultural character to the city, because Suriname used to be one of the Dutch colonies.

Marnixstraat 246


Make an exciting adventure out of your afternoon drink in the sun by taking a free ferry to Amsterdam North to find yourself at the terrace of the EYE Bar and Restaurant. Look at Amsterdam from another side of the IJ, explore the urban northern part of the city full of hipsters and maybe even decide to check out the Film Museum there. One of the trendiest places in the city, EYE is a masterpiece of modern architecture.

IJpromenade 1, Amsterdam Noord

Amsterdam Terraces

 Historical terraces of Amsterdam

Café de Sluyswacht

A bit crooked yet delightful, this former cottage of a lockkeeper serves as a nice café with a wonderful canalside terrace. Built in 1695, it gives you a wrapping historical feel combined with a great opportunity for some relaxed people watching.

Jodenbreestraat 1

Restaurant-Café In de Waag

Even older (built in 1488!) In de Waag shares its historical secrets accompanied by nice drinks and snacks (and even better deserts!) at its charming terrace. Enjoy the view of this monumental architecture and always alive Nieuwmarkt square while trying Mediterranean cuisine or just sipping your coffee. A remarkable fact is that de Waag is the oldest building among non-religious ones in Amsterdam, and it can be seen on one of Rembrandt’s paintings!

Nieuwmarkt 4

Say Cheese in Amsterdam

Say Cheese in Holland

When asked about the first thought hearing “Holland,” many people would say “cheese” without a doubt.  The Dutch are known for making cheese since prehistorical times (way before they started to grow and trade their tulips) and they’ve made their product world known. Nowadays the Netherlands is one of the largest cheese producers in the world, exporting their Gouda to 130 countries. So if you happen to be in Amsterdam, you shouldn’t leave without discovering the world of Dutch cheese and its palette of flavors.

Way more than Gouda

Although Gouda is the best-known cheese in the Netherlands (and usually is the first choice of locals when they’re making their super delicious sandwiches), it is not the only cheese type in Holland worth trying. Maasdammer will surprise lovers of typical Swiss cheese by its sweet taste with a nutty note, while Geitenkaas will melt in anybody’s mouth with a bit of fresh honey. Boerenkaas bought from a local farmer will disclose its unique creamy taste due to fresh unpasteurized milk with a glass of fresh unpasteurized beer. Delft’s Blauw will change your perception of blue cheese forever, while Old Amsterdam cheese might become your favorite and cause some overweight in the luggage on the way back from Holland. So many types and flavors (cumin, mustard seeds and cloves are only a few) to try, so open up your taste buds and be ready for delightful sampling in Amsterdam!

Shop and try in Amsterdam

It is hardly possible to imagine a cheese shop in Amsterdam where you won’t be able to try your cheese before making a final shopping decision. You will probably pass quite a few cheese stores in the heart of the city (Reypenaer Proeflokaal, Henry Willig Cheese, Cheese Museum, Old Amsterdam Cheese Store and more), but since lots of them are quite touristy, let’s look at the more local options.

De Kaaskamer

Located in the beautiful shopping district of 9 Streets, De Kaaskamer sells some of the best Dutch cheeses, various European cheeses, organic farmhouse types, very old matured pieces, interesting specialty cheeses and everything that can go with them (including wines & beers). The stock of 400 cheeses will amuse with its variety and exclusive types like Old Sheep Cheese with Sea Lavender, Organic Goat Cheese with Potato skins, Selected Gouda Cheese 3 Years and many more.

Runstraat 7

Kaashuis Tromp

The knowledgeable and helpful team of Kaashuis Tromp will be glad to offer you authentic, biological cheeses from Holland as well as diverse high quality cheeses from all over Europe. They have multiple locations around the Netherlands, but it doesn’t matter which one you choose, as their cheese will taste just as good. Try their Kruidenkaas (with different herbs), Pikante kaas if you like spicier and skinny or diet cheeses if you want the calories to be invisible.

Elandsgracht 27 or Utrechtsestraat 90

Fromagerie Abraham Kef

Abraham Kef cheese shops offer exclusive assortment of cheeses that changes with the seasons and with the best time for a particular cheese type. They focus on cheeses made by small producers from the Netherlands and France, especially the raw milk cheeses. Lots of storytelling and personal recommendations are involved when choosing the right cheese at this fromagerie.

Marnixstraat 192 or Czaar Peterstraat 137

Ten Katemarket

In case you are interested in buying good Dutch cheese, but want it to be affordable, then this local market in Amsterdam West will surprise you with its authenticity and great prices. Ten Katemarket has a couple of stalls with cheese where an older Dutch owner will tell you all about his product.

NeighbourFood Market

This is a very special market in Westergasfabriek, which doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, then all the local producers come together. Here you will have a great opportunity to combine cheese tasting with other locally produced delicious items.

Going out for cheese

True cheese fans won’t settle only for trying, buying and bringing home cheese, but they would want to have the whole dining experience with the good Dutch cheese. That would be perfectly possible and even recommended at Fondue & Fondue (Overtoom 415) and Café Bern (Nieuwmarkt 9). While most of the restaurants in Amsterdam will serve you a nice cheese plate or board, these two places will go further and indulge you into cheese fondue. Aside from this fancier options, don’t forget about local fast food spots where you should try kaassouffles- a very Dutch snack of deep fried cheese.

Biggest cheese markets in the Netherlands

If you want to extend your cheese experience in Holland and get the highest level of cheese knowledge, then hop on a train and explore the biggest Dutch cheese markets of Alkmaar, Edam and Gouda. Alkmaar hosts a very unique old cheese market with all the traditions of trade being followed from April to September. Visitors can enjoy a folkloric spectacle of cheese weighing, cheese carriers performing their duty and cheese sellers advertising their product. In addition to this spectacular show, Alkmaar opens its doors to The Dutch Cheese Museum, where you can learn everything about this delicious product and how it has been serving the country for centuries.

The  Edam cheese market features summer reenactments of the Middle Ages, when cheese was delivered to the main square by horse-drawn vehicle or boat and then weighing and sampling started. It is also quite an experience and leaves you with way more impressions than a regular market would.

If you are into Dutch cheese, you just cannot miss the Gouda cheese market, as the cheese type of the same name accounts for more than 60% of cheese production in the Netherlands. It is an authentic market, where local farmers sell their best cheeses and where the cheese weighing house offers some fun entertainment. They will even weigh you using cheese as a measure of weight.

Keukenhof – A Dutch flower paradise

Keukenhof – A Dutch flower paradise

The spring feel is embracing Amsterdam in its arms and the signs of it are visible just about everywhere around the city and especially its parks. Tiny snowdrops nod and bow to you, delicate daffodils turn their yellow heads towards the sun,  purple crocuses sprout and bloom altogether, some of the fruit trees spread their sweet fragrance into the fresh air and even gentle primulas hide behind the trees. The orchestra of early colors and flower beauty starts its tune, but the major highlights are yet to come. The world largest tulip fields are still waiting to burst into colors in the Netherlands, and so are the famous flower gardens of spectacular Keukenhof. Let us share with you what this blooming paradise is preparing this spring and get ready for the flower delight that can only be encountered in Holland.

What’s  in a Name?

Keukenhof is a gigantic (32 hectares!) flower garden in Lisse southwest of Amsterdam that manifests the beauty of flowers with 7 million bulbs of 800 various tulip types in full blossom! The name Kitchen Garden comes from the 15th century, when this area was used for gathering herbs for the kitchen of Keunkenhof Castle (worth visiting too with its 400-year old history!). Now this flower heaven is a number 1 attraction if you come to the Netherlands in spring that provides unforgettable experience to flower lovers from all over the world.

In addition to beholding the loveliness, you can learn everything about tulips in the Tulpomania exhibition and get valuable tips from the experts. It is possible to even christen your own tulip here! Get inspired for your own garden and change your whole perception of gardening with the ideas offered in a special inspiration gardens section in Keukenhof. This year you will get surprised by their Delfts Blauw Garden, Romantic Garden, Beach Garden, Vintage Garden and a few more that we will keep a secret this time.

Your kids will love the park of Keukenhof as they will be enjoying their treasure hunt, playing at the Miffy playhouse, learning about animals at the petting farm, trying to escape from the green maze or just observing the flowers around.


Only Tulips?

Yes, it’s all about tulips here, but the exhibition is extended with bright and fragrant hyacinths, tender freesias, passionate roses, lilies, fancy orchids and way more. Keukenhof is proud to present flower shows inside their unique pavilions. Gifted flower arrangers set up gorgeous displays each week and you can choose the date for your visit depending on when your favorite flowers are featured:

Even more, Keukenhof is not limited to flowers, but offers the demonstration of some fine art and sculptures by various artists. And while flowers and art will wait for you every day during the season, there are also some special events at the gardens too. Mark your calendar for Dutch Heritage Weekend (1-3 April 2016), Food & Flower Festival (9-10 April 2016), Flower Parade (23 April 2016), Family Weekend (30 April-1 May 2016) and Romance at Keukenhof (7-8 May 2016). In the end it doesn’t matter that much what day you will come to this amazing park, as there is always something going on and the flowers are there for you.


The Golden Age Will Prosper

Every year Keukenhof announces different theme for its gardens, and in 2016 it is “The Golden Age,” the time when the Netherlands became prosperous country due to the trade. To celebrate Keukenhof has prepared an impressive flower bulb mosaic of 250m2 next to the Oranje Nassau Pavilion. This beautiful piece with the Golden Age view is made out of 100 000 bulbs of tulips, crocuses and hyacinths to amuse visitors with its scope. One of the inspiration gardens also demonstrates this theme of 2016.


Best Time for Smelling Flowers

Keukenhof Gardens are open from 24thMarch to 16th May, but what is the best time to see all the rainbow colors at once and breathe in the fresh tulip scent? The blossoming period of the flowers is very much defined by the weather, and the Dutch weather can be quite unpredictable to say the least. It is almost impossible to provide an exact estimate, but based on the previous experience it looks like the last 2 April weeks and the first May week grant a higher chance to see it all. There is a handy weekly tulips and flower update that will give you an even a better idea about the favorable dates for visit as from the beginning of March:

Practical Info

The full day of outdoor fun, millions of flowers and lots of impressions will cost you 16€ for adults and 8€ for kids over 4 years old and it will be worth every penny. It is possible to book tours to Keukenhof from Amsterdam, but it is easy to visit the gardens by public transport- just take the Arriva Keukenhof Express (bus 858) from Schipol Plaza or the centre of the city and you will be at your marvelous destination within 30 minutes. You can learn more about how to get there on the official website of Keukenhof:

As you visit Keukenhof, don’t forget about vast tulip fields right next to it, which will add up even more to your flower day. Just rent a bike and ride towards the colorful fields of happiness and joy that flowers can give you! Please note that neither Keukenhof, nor tulip fields nearby allow picking your own bouquet there. For this purpose you might want to visit Annemieke’s Pluktuin, where you can pick wonderful flowers and finish your flower adventure:

Enjoy all the flowers in Holland!

The Secrets of Amsterdam

The Secrets of Amsterdam

It is hardly possible to find a person who has visited Amsterdam and remained indifferent towards this magical city. Somehow Amsterdam captures the hearts and offers something unique for everybody. However, it keeps so many secrets that when discovered add up even more to the experience and a positive image. Now is the time for us to share some of these hidden gems of Amsterdam with you and open your eyes to the secrets this city hides.

Seven Houses from Seven Countries

For those who wanted to travel whole Europe but chose Amsterdam as the only destination, these seven 19th century houses that represent seven different countries and architectural styles in Amsterdam can replace an entire Euro trip. Being built in a row in Amsterdam Zuid, these 7 houses bring you to Italy, Spain, England, Germany, Russia, France and the Netherlands. Try to guess which house comes from where and then check your answers with names above the buildings’ doors.

The Houseboat Life

You enjoy museums in Amsterdam, but already done with Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum, Van Gogh Museum and still want more? Then a great idea would be to see the life in a houseboat from inside out. Yes, we are talking about one of those adorable houseboats along the  winding canals of Amsterdam. Except for it is the Houseboat Museum now, that will welcome you home and answer all your questions about how things can be run in a former freighter.

Prinsengracht 296 K

The Cat Cabinet

If you love cats, nothing should stop you from visiting a very special KattenKabinet in the 17th century building. Numerous drawings and paintings are devoted to cats here, which by the way can be seen walking around the art museum. Don’t think that it’s a small scale exhibition, as even the pieces by Remrandt and Picasso can be seen at KattenKabinet.

Herengracht 497

15 Bridges at Once

Since we are already in the canals area with the cats, lets continue around here and see 15 bridges of Amsterdam from one observation point. So if you are standing on Herengracht with your back towards Thorbeckeplein, you are facing 6 bridges across Reguliergracht. Then turn your head to the left and see 6 more bridges across Herengracht, to the right-and you will spot two more of them. Where is the last one, the 15th bridge? Right under you! In case you’re confused and your head is spinning from all the information, see this map for the exact location you should find to have this moment of bridges in Amsterdam.

The Hidden Gardens

Sometimes you just need to push a door to uncover Amsterdam secrets, see the life of locals and delight in the hidden gardens and Dutch inner courtyards (counting you know what door to push of course!). There are so many of them that every day you can open one up for yourself, but we will sneak into only the most wonderful ones.

The Begijnhof

The Begijnhof is the oldest and one of the largest courtyards in Amsterdam. Its history goes back to 1150, while the oldest house here (in fact in whole Amsterdam, and even a wooden one!) dates to 1528. This courtyard, where Catholic women used to live together, is proud to present not only a beautiful garden and dancingly leaning house, but also two 15th-16thcenturies still acting chapels.

Begijnhof 30 (right next to the Spui)


This inner garden in Jordaan has been showing its beauty from the 17th century, while the building around it used to be a widow’s hospice.

Karthuizersstraat 89-171

Zon’s Hofje

The door leading to Zon’s Hofje concealed a Mennonite church in 1650, and now the 18thcentury clock and a carving on the stone serve as witnesses of the history here.

Prinsegracht Nos. 159 to 171

A Real Picasso in the Vondelpark

Here comes the secret that even not so many Amsterdammers know about. The well-loved Vondelpark keeps an original sculpture by Picasso himself. So many locals pass it by bike and so many tourists walk by it without being aware of who the master of the piece is. In 1965 this Figure découpée l’Oiseau was created by Picasso for an outdoor exhibition and later donated by him to our favorite city.

The Narrowest House

How wide is the narrowest house in Amsterdam (also believed to be the narrowest in the world)? Not wider than a door to your bedroom-just 1 meter wide! The best part is that when you come to see this house, you will also see the widest pedestrian bridge in the city called the Torensluis. Moreover, there used to be a prison under this bridge! Pay attention and spot an arched entrance and tiny windows of the prison cells underneath there.

Singel 7 and Torensluis