Visiting Amsterdam? A local gives us her recommendations

Marianne Terry, Dutch interior architecture and design student and avid traveller, shares her perfect day of shopping and dining in Amsterdam 

As an Amsterdam native, going home feels like unwrapping a lovely unique gift every time I return: there's always so many new restaurants, cafés, boutiques and design stores to explore. Amsterdam has a unique heritage, beautiful old buildings, lazy canals and more trendy neighbourhoods than you can explore in one weekend.

visiting Amsterdam
CT Coffee and Coconuts

CT Coffee and Coconuts is my go-to café. It's located in a former art-deco cinema and has a super relaxed vibe. The building is a combination of white-washed walls, industrial details, long rustic tables and leafy plants. The kitchen is known for its wholesome food, mainly organic and locally sourced. They also do great coffee.


Related: Ten reasons why Amsterdam is the new Paris for shopping trips

When in De Pijp, I walk to the Gerard Doustraat where they have great concept stores full of jewellery, vintage items and lots of interior treasures. A few of my favourite shops on this street are Anna + Nina, Felice Amsterdam and De Kinderfeestwinkel. The last one has absolutely everything related to parties, whether you're celebrating Christmas, weddings, birthdays, or Easter. I always pick up things I never knew I needed.

visiting AmsterdamKO Conceptstore

I leave De Pijp on my bike, but on foot or by tram are great alternatives; and head towards the Negen Straatjes, which are nine picturesque little streets crossing the canals. The area offers a great sense of the architectural style of Amsterdam, and it's a Unesco World Heritage site.

I also always have a look in M.E.K. (Modern Exclusive Keramik), a lovely interiors store. They sell brands such as Fornasetti, Iittala, Hermès and Versace. Here you can pick up a unique item for your home or as a special gift. KO Conceptstore is another (more affordable) address for fashion and design.

visiting Amsterdam
Van Wonderen Stroopwafels

Usually, all this browsing makes me hungry for a real Dutch treat, stroopwafel. It's a waffle made from two thin layers of baked dough with a caramel syrup filling in the middle. There's only one place really where you should indulge in one, Van Wonderen Stroopwafels, where they make your order right in front of you in the bakery.


Related: A Foodie Tour of Amsterdam 

Next stop, some clothes shopping. Scotch & Soda is a Dutch brand with the coolest clothes for men, women and kids. You will find its designs in boutique shops in the Negen Straatjes, their flagship store at the Heiligeweg and there's also a selection in the beautiful department store Bijenkorf at the Dam.

visiting AmsterdamPluk

After all this shopping, you'll definitely be ready for lunch. For a healthy lunch I always end up in Pluk. It's a lovely place where you are surrounded by flowers, fruit and a lovely homeware range including candles, glasses and totes. They have a webshop too and ship worldwide if you don't have room in your suitcase.

Last but not least, I love to stop at the wonderful showroom of Moooi, a Dutch design company. It has products from the crème de la crème of the Dutch interior and design world. I personally love the lighting by Marcel Wanders.

visiting AmsterdamConservatorium Hotel

When evening draws in, I usually make a short stop at the Conservatorium Hotel for a drink. You can eat, sleep and shop in this stunning building, which used to be the Sweelinck Music Conservatorium, an arts university. The building dates back to the end of the 19th century.


To close out the night, I like to meet friends at one of my favourite laid-back neighbourhood restaurants where you really get that Dutch vibe. Panache in the west of the city is super cosy and as the Dutch say; gezellig!

Featured image: Eirik Skarstein via Unsplash

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